here’s hoping you enjoy the new year like a newly liberated krampus

Now that the holidays are over, I can say that the best X-mas card I received this year came from our friend Doug Skinner.

Mark — Here’s a nice old Austrian Krampus card for you. The Krampus was St. Nicholas’s helper in Austrian folklore; his job was to punish all the bad kids. Greetings from the Krampus! I hope you’ve been good.”

I’m particularly fond of the shackles lying at the feet of the Krampus. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a recently freed Krampus.

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18 Comments

  1. Kez Panel
    Posted January 9, 2005 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Mark, where did Doug get these cards? I love it! Please advise! I wish to get some for next year.

    ps… I just saw “The Aviator” and it made me uncomfortable. A man that saves his own urine in milk bottles should not be made fun of.

    Kez

  2. mark
    Posted January 9, 2005 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I beleive Doug has the real card, but all he sent me was a scan of it. I’ll see what I can find out for you, Kez… As for “The Aviator,” I’m reluctant to see it. Linette wants to, but I hate seeing films about other people with OCD. They always end up making me angry… As for the thing about Hughes saving his urine, I often wonder whether or not there’s any left. I’d love a bottle. (I went through a phase where I kept all my finger and toenail clippings. It went on for about five years, until I moved on to other obsessions. I’ve always been a hoarder, but I’ve never saved a drop of urine. I’m proud of that.)

  3. mark
    Posted January 9, 2005 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Kez, I looked though some old emails from Doug and found this: “The card is from a recent book called The Devil in Design: The Krampus Postcards by Monte Beauchamp.” (And, if you buy it from that Amazon link, I’ll make a quarter!)

  4. Posted January 9, 2005 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Why is that little girl sitting idly by while her presumed brother is being stuffed into the Krampus’s wicker backpack? At any rate, it’s a nice old-time image; thanks Mark.

  5. mark
    Posted January 10, 2005 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    My guess, Laura, is that she’s the good one, and that her little brother deserves what he’s getting. I know very little about Australian folklore, but, given the time period, it seems to me quite possible that she was given the basket of apples for being such a good little girl. So, in this image, she’s focusing on the apples, trying not to think of her brother’s well-deserved fate.

  6. Posted January 10, 2005 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of Struwwelpeter. I was going to offer you my copy for reading to Clementine, but I see it’s available online. My favorite was always The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb.

    http://www.fln.vcu.edu/struwwel/struwwel.html

  7. Doug Skinner
    Posted January 10, 2005 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s a beautiful book, full of amazing old East European artwork. Do buy a copy and let Mark earn that shiny quarter.

    Mark, have you ever read Frank Jacobs’s bio of “Mad” publisher Bill Gaines? Gaines indulged in some truly bizarre obsessions, like starting each day with exactly the same amount of money in his pocket. It belongs on the OCD bookshelf.

  8. Posted January 10, 2005 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Knowing Austrian strictness, the boy probably tied his shoes the wrong way.

    Verboten!!!

  9. Tony Button
    Posted January 10, 2005 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    “Hey, Krampus. Is that a boy in your basket, or are you just happy to see me?”

    It was funnier in my head.

  10. Posted January 10, 2005 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh yes, Struwwelpeter. That’s one nasty little book. Here’s the story of Little Suck-A-Thumb that Hillary mentions. The theater production Shockheaded Peter was scheduled to put on a production of their version of Struwwelpeter in AA in 2001, but it was cancelled–it had originally been scheduled in mid-September, but then the World Trade Center attacks occurred, and people thought it’d be too dark.

  11. chris
    Posted January 10, 2005 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    No, Tony it is just as funny outside of you head, please always to remember to share. And WTF, do you people mean by bizarre little obsessions?! They are not bizarre at all! Good God people, how do you get through life at all. If I do not have exact change to pay my bill at the Food Coop (at times I go up to three times a week) I get a little freaked out as it is this exact exchange that keeps the San Andreas shelf from buckling and Venice from sliding into the Pacific…bizarre little obsessions, THIS IS THE THANKS I GET FOR KEEPING YOU PEOPLE FROM LIVING IN WATERWORLD! Oh, and yes, I am an adult thumb sucker. No, seriously, I am. And, sorry Tony, that would be MY adult thumb.

    MARK! where is this Amazon link? You could of gotten a cut of my birthday purchase to brother Dan, “Harold and Kumar” DVD. I “high”ly recommend it.

  12. mark
    Posted January 10, 2005 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    It just doesn’t work like that, Chris. You need to buy the things I tell you to buy… like, “The Devil in Design: The Krampus Postcards.”

    Now wouldn’t that have made a better present for Dan?

    And, thank you, by the way, for keeping the continent together with your exact change. I knew someone was doing it, but I didn’t know who… God bless you.

  13. Posted January 11, 2005 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    OMG, I had that Struwwelpeter shit. Those images are burned into the back of my brain. Hmmm, that might explain a few things…

  14. Posted January 11, 2005 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    It looks to me more like she is focusing on infinity. That, combined with a slight smirk that may or may not be there makes it appear as though she is reflecting on a plan that worked like a charm. Not only did she get rid of her annoying little brother, she’s got apples!

  15. Posted January 11, 2005 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    You have this post filed under “Alternative Energy”? That’s quite funny.

  16. mark
    Posted January 11, 2005 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Now, if we could just build a machine that runs on the bodies of spoiled little brats in sailor suits!

  17. Elle
    Posted January 12, 2005 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Hey! Long time listner first time caller.

    I’m an Australian and I’ve been living in Sydney for 12 years now. I have NEVER heard of a Krampas!!

  18. Doug Skinner
    Posted January 14, 2005 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Elle — Austrian, not Australian! I think the Krampus is too busy cleaning up Vienna to make it down to Oz.

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