You mix in aliens and sci-fi. And while that's a very superhero thing, it also has some claim to Santa's pop culture history with the b-movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians...
Yeah, and we referenced that in the last year's special. He reminisces about fighting the martians in 1964. That's what you can get away with because Santa has all these weird dimensions and reflections of himself.
You write really detailed scripts, I know, but there's a ton of Dan Mora's personal style and imprint on this book. How much do you leave open for him to interpret on the page?
I tend to describe everything in detail. I'll tell him "It's a demon with one eye posed like a statue of Shiva holding swords." But that's just described because I want to give Dan a good foundation for a monster or a character. It's all there, but just like the other artists I work with that really get the descriptions and are able to throw themselves into it, what Dan comes back with just blows me away. It's not only great design. It's moving. It's dynamic. The colors are perfect, and the lighting is amazing. There's so much that Dan brings to this stuff, and it wouldn't be the same series without him. I'd be a lot more lackluster writing these stories if I didn't know that Dan would be transcribing them into these beautiful pictures.
I know that you've recently signed a deal to do even more TV and film development on the heels of Happy! Does Klaus play into that conversation at all right now?
I'm just focusing on the comics right now, and the development stuff is a complicated issue that I let my wife handle. [Laughs] But we have got some stuff in the works, though Klaus right now is confined to the comics.
I know the idea of an annual Christmas comic is huge in the UK, and it's never quite translated to the U.S. Are you trying to bring that tradition over here a bit as you continue with Klaus?
It's a little bit of that, but it's also kind of the idea of the Doctor Who Christmas specials I watched growing up. I'm a big Doctor Who fan, and I love doing this series. And while the origin story was a big seven-part serial, these allow us to do something more compressed and action-oriented in that Doctor Who model.
And do you spend your holidays in Scotland every year, or do you get out to someplace warm?
Oh yeah, I kind of like staying in Scotland because it's bleak. [Laughter] We tend to be here because it seems more Chrismassy. We'll go away for New Years, but I think at Christmas being out in the country with the water and the lights is quite nice. I don't have many traditions aside from a special dinner and putting up that damned tree. It seems like I just took it down, and then it's up again.
What for you is the Christmas message of good will that comes with Klaus and the Crying Snowman?
I don't think it's anything too strident, but there's certainly a message of forgiveness in there and of trying to see the best in things. I think that's a message you need from Klaus that you wouldn't see in most other characters. He has the license to be the nicest of nice guys. I like that about him, and that kind of character is enjoyable because he also kicks ass. I think that message of forgiveness works because even bad guys can maybe get a second chance. Maybe there's the possibility there. That's the way he looks at the world. But we also get giant mosquito bagpipes drawn by Dan More. Who wouldn't want that?
Morrison and Mora's Klaus and the Crying Snowman is in shops now from BOOM! Studios.