Wednesday, December 21, 2011
A Kidnapped Santa Claus (Alex Robinson's adaptation)
A Kidnapped Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Alex Robinson - I'm sure I've already written about the original story, which isn't really too developed in terms of plot (especially since we pretty much already know the Daemon of Repentance is going to let Santa go), but is an interesting expansion on the mythology Baum developed in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. And since it is Christmas-related, it's not too surprising that someone would produce a new take on it. In this case, the new take is a comic by Robinson, who has a rather modern and cute drawing style. The lack of physical description in the original story gives Robinson free reign with many of the characters, and while he does take some liberties with the original text, I quite like it. Wisk, a male fairy in the original story, is now a girl with glasses. While it's the Knooks who are the grumpy ones in Baum's fairy lore, Robinson transfers this trait to the Ryls, and instead focuses on how the Knooks are the protectors of animals. He makes them rather dog-like, and one is even named after and probably modeled on his own dog Wrigley. Kilter the Pixie, introduced in Life and Adventures as "the Silent and Swift," is more of a country boy in Robinson's adaptation. Admittedly, this is bringing in information from another source; there isn't much description of Kilter in the short story, and he has the same amount of lines as the rest of Santa's helpers (i.e., one). I think the adaptation works despite (and perhaps in some cases because of) the changes, though. Robinson also works in a few sly references to media released after Baum's lifetime, including the television special of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Dark Crystal, Stan Freberg's "Christmas Dragnet," and even Star Wars.