It’s surprising that a book with zombies and talking celery isn’t quite goofy enough to work.
Santa Claus hates you and wants you to die. 364 days a year, he’s a tyrant who forces children to fight to the death in an enormous coliseum. Once a year, on Christmas Eve, he travels across the dimensions to Earth, where his entire personality transforms, and he becomes a jolly gift giver with a bag stuffed with candy canes. Pilot and Huxley have the bad luck to meet him on December 23rd. To get home on his world-hopping sleigh, they’ll need to defeat Bruto the giant elf and Rudolph, who’s armed with a rocket launcher. Luckily, Huxley has a bowl of noodles. All of this is very silly. It’s the Simpsons’ fault it doesn’t work. Kids who’ve grown up on Captain Underpants and Shrek and Family Guy will recognize the formula: Sarcastic comment, self-referential joke, ridiculous occurrence that our heroes take perfectly in stride. In spite of the familiar pacing, some of the jokes are right on target. PILOT: “But isn’t Limbo supposed to be like an empty, blank place where lost souls roam forever?” TALKING STRAWBERRY: “…It seemed like a waste of good real estate, so we all moved in.”The book is full of inspired nonsense. It’s just too easy to see who inspired it. (Graphic novel. 7-9)