(Dandy Press 2012, 2013)
Review by Raymond Jacques
Written by David Dellecese
Illustrated by Andrew Cieslinski
Holidaze is an ongoing webcomic & the boozy yet charming brainchild of writer David Dellecese & artist Andrew Cieslinski about a particular bar with a quite particular clientele:
“Holidaze. The only Inter-Dimensional drinking establishment catering to Mythical Characters that keep the holidays seasons and children’s myths alive.”
If you read that last line and inferred that SANTA CLAUS MAY BE GETTING BLACKOUT DRUNK IN THIS COMIC, then you have inferred correctly.
Along with Santa Claus, you’ll be imbibing a decidedly trashy Tooth Fairy, a flamboyant Cupid, an irresponsible Easter Bunny, a sauced up St. Patrick, and other holiday stalwarts such as Abraham Lincoln, Dracula, Father Time & Baby New Year in an incredibly fun cocktail of mirth & semi-good natured madness! It’s kind of like the bastard son of “Bad Santa” & “Cheers”.
Along the way you’ll see a number of cameos inside Holidaze (particularly in an absolutely lovely full page establishing spread on Page 5 of issue #1) including a number of our favorite holiday film characters that show me a pretty good indication of the humor and media influences that inform these works. This is a good thing. I enjoyed what I was seeing from page one of the first issue, but felt completely reassured at that point that I was in good hands.
David Dellecese is a writer that shows great promise; he performs a balancing act of nightlife raunchiness and warm spirited charm in a cartoon world and succeeds admirably without veering into dire crassness or pulling back to the point of cutesy pandering. It’s good clean fun without being too good or too clean. Dellecese shows a DeMatteis-ian knack for snappy repartee in his character dialogue. The result is a welcome winking & nudging tone that resonates with a truly endearing quality for the reader.
The first issue of Holidaze centers around a Christmas in peril due to some poor choices made in the titular saloon by a certain Jolly Saint Nick and mainly serves to introduce us to the characters, location & tone of the book (as any good first issue should). At 13 pages, it is a quick but rewarding read that illustrates to us the potential in Holidaze as a quasi-anthology style book where anyone could show up and anything could happen. It’s an approach I wholeheartedly endorse that leaves the future of this series wide open for exploration and experimentation.
Holidaze #2 is a full 25 page story that is a big leap forward from an already enjoyable start. Andrew Cieslinski really shines in this issue and I find his art on this story to be more compelling & distinctively stylized than the first issue’s already excellent work. His depiction of the central character in this story, St. Paddy, is a thing of grotesque beauty. Cieslinski’s facial depictions of St. Paddy exude character and show a divine knack for expressiveness; particularly on this character.
Issue #2 tells a solo story about St. Patrick and a well worn & often misunderstood folk saying and the ups & downs of being luck powered imp. It is a fun tightly crafted tale in the vein of The Twilight Zone or Amazing Stories…a thoroughly satisfying “one & done” deal with all the loose ends neatly tied by the last page. Their 2nd effort of this series shows an evolution in style, storytelling and execution on every level from both creators.
It has been a blast to read these stories and I look forward to future installments as I can’t wait to see which character’s path we’ll stumble upon next!
Holidaze #1 receives a score of 8 out of 10 = **** 4 STARS.
Holidaze #2 receives a score of 9 out of 10 = **** 4 & 1/2 STARS.
Holidaze Comics are available inexpensively on iTunes. Here are links to the issues reviewed here:
You can follow Holidaze on Twitter at: @HolidazeComics
The Holidaze Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/holidazecomics
THE COVER ART FOR ISSUES #1 & #2:
Follow Raymond Jacques on Twitter: @danceformyhorse