Review: “Clerks Holiday Special” (Oni Press, Jolly Jinglings Special)

Welcome back to The Splintering’s Jolly Jinglings holiday event! Today we’re going to pick apart one of the lesser-known “episodes” of Kevin Smith’s expansive “View Askewniverse” (the connected universe including Clerks., Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and others).

Published by Oni Press in 1998, Clerks. (Holiday Special) is a black-and-white one-shot comic written by Smith and illustrated by Jim Mahfood. The story itself is a direct sequel to Kevin Smith’s original Clerks. film, complete with the same characters and raunchy humor, though the tone is sillier and the plot is more fantastical.

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The story opens inside the local Comic Toast retail store, run by View Askewniverse regular side-character, Steve Dave. Realizing that he needs to pick up some extra gift-wrapping tape late on Christmas Eve, he has no other choice but to visit the local Quick Stop to pick some up.

Enter our beloved pair of store attending clerks: Dante Hicks and Randal Graves. After their interaction with Steve Dave and shuffling off some other late-night customers, the two start to discuss the significance of the coming Christmas Day, most importantly, that Randal is about to lose a fifteen-year-old bet to Dante over a Mötley Crüe jacket. While Randal panics over the prospect of losing the bet, Dante decides to visit his ex-girlfriend Caitlin, who has been committed to mental hospital following the events of the first Clerks. movie.

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In Dante’s absence, Randal discovers a mysterious apartment located between his video store and the Quick Stop. As it turns out, the apartment is occupied by one “Mister Nicolas,” and the apartment is not really an apartment at all – it’s a makeshift workshop for Santa and his midgets elves.

Despite the book’s age, I still don’t care to spoil the entire story.

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Merry Christmas!

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