Houppeland is a happy place, where it's Christmas every day, and you'd better be full of the holiday spirit or else! Citizens are subjected to random raids from the Joy Division and good cheer checks on the street. Not seeming happy enough or not giving good enough Christmas presents can lead to a citizen being dragged off by government troops in the middle of the night. Rene Poliveau is having trouble keeping up appearances as he goes to Christmas dinner party after Christmas dinner party, night after night. Then one night he meets a mysterious woman, Annette Champagne, who seems equally disaffected by the season. The two of them become involved in the resistance, who seek to overthrow the government and bring an end to all the compulsory merriment.
Joylandia (called Houppeland in the French version) is a graphic novel by Trouchet, the pseudonym of French author Didier Vasseur. It's a surreal comedy, mingled with a love story. It's certainly out of the ordinary for a holiday-themed book, and it made me chuckle in parts, especially the bit about the two dogs, one trained to attack anyone who says "yes" and the other to attack anyone who says "no".
If you've ever found yourself irritated at being expected to act happy when you're just not feeling it, you'll enjoy this book.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Europe Comics, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.