Geordan Moore is allergic to Christmas trees — but that doesn’t stop him from getting into the holiday spirit.
The 37-year-old Halifax-based illustrator has come out with a couple of new cards for the Christmas season, including one that features a Santa who’s a little under the weather.
“Growing up, we eventually got a fake tree but I always associate Christmas with getting sick,” said Moore.
The card, inspired by the Garbage Pail Kids cards, shows Santa, drawn in Moore’s distinct style, sneezing out a glut of dark green snot. Above him, it says “Sneezons Greetings.”
Like much of Moore’s work, the card isn’t cute or amiable, but it strikes the viewer with both its gross-out factor, its goofiness, and the style with which it’s drawn — which Moore said draws inspiration from the books he loved as a kid.
“Growing up, I used to copy comic books, like Looney Tunes, Calvin and Hobbes, the things I really loved,” said Moore, who has degrees in both design and fine art.
“So there’s a lot of this pen-and-ink drawing style that influences my work.”
He also used to work with relief printmaking, which meant making woodcuts and working with negative space. Moore said he often incorporates the use of negative space in his work.
The sick Santa Claus isn’t his only Christmas card. He also has one bearing a less conventional symbol of Yule: Krampus, a horned figure from European folklore who punishes children that misbehave.
The card, which says "Gruss Vom Krampus" ("Greetings from Krampus") shows the half-demon, half-goat chasing a child while holding a big stick and a chain. An unfortunate child is already stowed in Krampus’ bag.
“He’s sort of this anti-Santa-Claus monster, and has an interesting look. He looked like he’d be fun to draw, and the idea is kind of funny,” said Moore.
“Like a Christmas monster that takes all the bad little boys and girls.”
Other cards feature a “party skull” and a tentacled sea monster — “you’re always Kraken me up!” — but not all of his cards are creepy. Moore also sells Golden Girls-themed thank you cards.
Moore’s business, The Quarrelsome Yeti, is based out of a Dartmouth studio, where he also creates T-shirts and prints. The products are sold either online or at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market.
Some of his designs draw direct inspiration from Halifax. One of his designs — “It came from Peggy’s Cove!” — is drawn in the style of a vintage movie poster, with lobster claws shown bursting out of the famous Peggy’s Cove lighthouse.
One of his shirts simply says: “Donair meat.”
“The Peggy’s Cove design I’ve been making for a while, it’s probably one of my better selling things,” said Moore. “Things that are sort of local references are most, if not a big part of my work.”
Moore added that no idea is too odd for him to pursue.
“My rules for making stuff is if I have an idea that’s persistent, no matter how dumb it is, I force myself to follow through with it,” he said.
“So sometimes I make stuff that’s pretty silly.”