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Image Comics’ Scotch McTiernan’s Holiday Party #1

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Scotch visits a wealthy Scrooge to show him the folly of his ways in a metatextual outing with rotten humor and bloody action.

  • Scotch McTiernan's Holiday Party #1
    Scotch McTiernan’s Holiday Party #1

    Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn

    Scott Koblish

    Joe Sabino

    Cover Artist:
    Scott Koblish

    Image Comics


    Release Date:


With politics influencing judicial decisions and public opinions, the land of opportunity is seeing a rise in hate crimes, with basic welfare and women’s bodily autonomy in the line of fire. To make matters worse, billionaires and social media giants only add fuel to the fire of discord. After the debacle at the Halloween Party, Scotch McTiernan returns, this time to set some wealthy scrooges on the right track or die trying. Written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, with artwork from Scott Koblish, colors by Hi-Fi, and letters from Joe Sabino, Scotch McTiernan’s Holiday Party #1 is a truly absurd take on the classic Dickensian tale.

Eighty years in the future, Christmas has been canceled. Not because of all the water at the North Pole due to climate change but because of Santa’s failure to save his marriage or pay his elves for the last eighteen hundred years. Departing from the gloomy future, Scotch McTiernan turns back the clock, setting it thirty years in the future from now. Billionaire Ollie the Oligarch has successfully done everything to destroy this beautiful planet. He has enslaved people in dead-end jobs and debt, and now his eyes are set on Mars. But not if Scotch can help it. Thus begins a tale to show the rich guy his past, present, and future and hope for the best.

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Scotch McTiernan's Holiday Party #1 Santa and his elves

Scotch McTiernan’s Holiday Party #1 opens like any Yuletide celebration is supposed to: at Santa’s home at the North Pole, where he prepares to bring joy to the world. Except his home is in shambles, and his days of ordering elves around have run aground. It is a disillusioning view that instantly shows audiences the kind of hijinks they are getting into. Next up, the story takes a page or two from the classic tale of the Ghost of Christmas Past and sends the protagonist hurtling through a pot-infused adventure through time and space. Duggan and Posehn don’t hold back in their lampooning of a society deeply entrenched in capitalism. The writers rely on crass humor that is sure to appeal to readers as long as they don’t take it too seriously.

The artwork is as whacky as the script. Artist Scott Koblish humors the oddball nature of the book with some outlandish artwork. The graphic depiction of a sinking Santa’s house surrounded by famished animals is both comical and deeply disturbing. The gore gets toned down in the cacophony of the rusty, grimy inkwork. Colorist Hi-Fi does an excellent job accentuating the best parts of Koblish’s illustrations. The green-tinted speech balloons of Weed-Thing and the occasional bold fonts from letterer Joe Sabino work well with the artists’ stylized choices.

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Scotch McTiernan's Holiday Party #1 Weed Thing and Scrooge

Although a bit late to the party, Scotch McTiernan’s Holiday Party #1 keeps the Christmas spirit of gifting alive as it comes bearing a warning. While conservatives may blame doomers for the targeted messaging in the book, it’s easy to see the truth in the not-so-subtle subtext that mixes the festive season tropes with real-world issues. Scotch McTiernan’s Holiday Party #1 is as violent as the rest of the franchise. But this issue is laced with a unique melancholy as the gun-blasting protagonist’s origin story takes centerstage by the end of this off-kilter one-shot.

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