I’ve been a big fan of SM Beiko since the Auroras two years ago.
She won me over when I was a finalist with her at the Auroras. My podcast was nominated, and I found myself competing against Sam in the same category. But as I was going through the whole aurora ballot, one thing occurred to me very quickly. No one was in as many ballots as she was. And everything she does is great. Whether it’s her novel Scion of the Fox, or her cover work with Laksa Media, Sam has amazing talent. Everything she does is nothing short of excellent. I had met her and she seemed nice, but dang, she might be one of the most talented people in the Auroras.
To my surprise, and joy, Sam launched her own comic Krampus is My Boyfriend and it’s this story I want to talk about.
Krampus is my Boyfriend
Created. Written and illustrated by: SM Beiko
Krampus is my Boyfriend’s premise is literally in the title. Olga Bozyk that stumbles onto a ring on her first day to school. From there, things go upside down in her life with the arrival Leo fricking Halstedt and his mom, who proceed to buy the bookstore with her family name on it, and life as she knows it changes.
A suggestion from a friend compels Olga to summon Krampus, using the magic ring she had fun. Turns out, the ring is one of Krampus’ and he wants it back. Their meeting is fun filled and comes with the problem that the ring…won’t come off.
This may sound like a serious story, and there is gravity to it. But the whimsy is why I love reading this. SM Beiko has a very strong command of dialogue. Whether she’s doing text messages, word bubbles or monologues, every character in this story has an arc and a challenge.
The designs are amazing. I love the little notes that describe likes and dislikes, as they reveal nice little tidbits about all the characters in the story. Whether it’s Olga or Benny or Krampus himself, all the voices in the story are distinct and feel like real people.
I’m actually a big fan of both Olga and Krampus. Krampus is the demon of myth, but he definitely is the fish out of water as he somehow lost a thousand years and had ended up in Canada. You can relate to how lost he feels, even if he’s a manipulative demon that likes to ruin lives and such. I mean, as much as you can sympathize with that sort of thing.
Olga is not your typical heroine, more along the lines of Zephyr from Valiant Comics than the more slender heroines out there. But I love her backbone. Her fight with Krampus in her room is genius but also shows that Olga just doesn’t take anyone’s crap. It’s easy to like her and root for her, and I think you’ll cheer her on as well.
Beyond the story and characters, the art is strong. There is a manga feel to the whole arc, and some influences there for sure. That said, the pace moves more like a traditional comic. It feels different than anything I’ve ever read, and yet has a certain charm and heart to it few books possess. I love the colors, especially the reds and greens with Krampus. Each part of Prairiecrest feels distinct and a world within themselves, and the choices of color, and design is immense.
I hope this still keeps going for a long time. This is a clever comic being told by an incredibly talented storyteller. Best of all, it’s free. You can subscribe to it on Webtoon right now. Subscribe to it and check it out. This is better than a lot of books on the shelf, and shows the talent I discovered when I viewed Beiko’s work in the Auroras.
Once you’re done that, try one of her novels or other stories. Scion of the Fox is great. One day I hope she shows up on the podcast and we can talk. SM Beiko won me over. Her talent is undeniable.
Check it out.
This week’s podcast features Jonathan Himann. Jonathan is a freelance writer making his living writing SEO content and we have a great talk about it. You should check it out at the bottom of the link. LD Crichton is my guest heading into the weekend and next week we talk to cool people in California.
Next week, I should have a date for the Cloud Diver. This week I have been sick and so I’ve been behind with some things. I’ll be catching up the rest of the way by the time you read this.
Next time, I want to talk about the importance of buying local. In the meantime, stay inspired out there. Keep doing your thing and I’ll be back here soon.