Here at ComicsAlliance, there are a few holiday traditions that we look forward to all year, and chief among them is our yearly visit from writer Benito Cereno to tell us a true Christmas story from the life of St. Nicholas. Previously, he and Anthony Clark told us the tale of Catalonia's Tio de Nadal, but this year, things are a little more monstrous.
So enjoy the art of Evan "Doc" Shaner as he and Benito bring you the tale of Klaubauf, a Bavarian variant of the Krampus who baked children into pies!
Q: How do the holiday mythologies compare between Marvel and DC? -- @crcovar
A: How did you know, Crovar?! Another excuse to drop nine thousand words about the underlying differences in the structure of imaginary universes and how they've affected their storytelling over the past seventy years? It's exactly what I wanted for Christmas!
Nah, I'm just kidding. We can probably get through this one in five or six thousand. Seven, tops.
Christmas is a time for traditions. For some, it's all about stringing up lights on a Christmas tree and wrapping up presents to put beneath it. For others, it's spending singing carols door to door to spread holiday cheer. And for still others, it's a time to beat a log with a stick until it poops out candy.
If you're not familiar with that last one, don't worry: ComicsAlliance favorites Benito Cereno and Anthony Clark have stepped up to explain it all in an original comic featuring an Untold Tale of St. Nicholas! Check out the five-page Tio de Nadal: A True Christmas Storyafter the cut!
As anyone who knows me can attest, I'm a pretty big fan of Christmas, and this time of year, I start going through my set of holiday traditions. There's the usual ones, of course, like decorating the tree and opening the Advent Calendar, but I've also got a few of my own, like the traditional Christmas Eve slice of pie at the Waffle House.
But the ones I look forward to most of all are the round of Christmas specials I watch every year. The centerpiece, of course, is a 1967 episode of Dragnet called "The Christmas Story," where Joe Friday investigates the theft of a statue of Jesus from a church on Christmas Eve, but for me, the Christmas season just isn't complete without a viewing of the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "A Solstice Carol."
In the spirit of previous comics such as The Klaubauf's Wager and Tio de Nadal, we at Comics Alliance are pleased to present a brand new exclusive original Christmas comic by Benito Cereno and Chuck Knigge. So to help celebrate this joyous Christmas Eve, please enjoy this traditional tale of Saint Nicholas, and a baker who has to learn a new way of counting.
Earlier this year, after decades --- literal, actual decades --- of rolling my eyes dismissively whenever anyone brought up the franchise, I agreed to sit down with a complete run of IDW's current Transformers comics and write about the experience of reading them. By the end of it, I wasn't just a fan, but I had to admit that they were, bar none, some of the best comic books I have ever read in my life. Now I'm a dude who got really excited about paying fifty bucks to buy an Ultra Magnus figure that included Minimus Ambus. The system works.
The only way I could've liked it more is if they'd somehow combined what they were doing on those titles with something that I already loved, like, say, Christmas. This week, they did that very thing, so in order to talk about it, I'm reviving The Transformed Man for a very special look at this year's Transformers Holiday Special, in which presents are given, trees are decorated, and Thundercracker tries to kill Santa Claus.
With 800 episodes over the course of 22 years, the Power Rangers television show is arguably the single most successful live-action superhero franchise of all time, and certainly one of the strangest. Adapted from Japan's long-running Super Sentai series, created by manga legend Shotaro Ishinomori, the Power Rangers combined the giant robots and monsters of their Japanese counterpart with a completely different set of secret identities and problems, and became a pop cultural phenomenon. That's why we're looking back with an in-depth guide to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, including its source material, Kyuoryu Sentai Zyuranger, in ComicsAlliance's Ranger Station!
This week, well, there's no sense in putting it off any longer. We're finally watching Alpha's Magical Christmas.
Q: How do Santa Claus and Christmas magic mix with superhero settings, where actual magic and superpowers exist? Just how powerful is it? -- @anniezard
A: If my years of obsessing over Christmas specials have taught me anything, it's that Christmas magic is quite possibly the most powerful force in the universe. It can change the hearts of miserly ducks, open up a portal to to the mystical realm of Eternia so that kids can learn all about how Skeletor loves fights, and it can even cause dangerous levels of interference with the Morphin Grid. Outside of Batman's thirst for justice and Jughead's love of hamburgers, it might be the single most powerful force in the universe, assuming that you're measuring between Thanksgiving and January 6.
As for how Santa Claus himself can fit into a superhero setting, I actually think he's one of the easiest characters from literature or folklore to just slide right into a world of crimefighters and arch-villains. More than Dracula, more than Robin Hood, he's the one who works the best, because when you get right down to it, he's already doing the same kind of stuff. It's just that for some reason, they never call him up when it's time for a crossover.
Over the past few years, zombie comics have become popular enough that zombie Christmas comics are a surprisingly thriving subgenre all of their own. As you might expect, the apocalyptic horror of surviving against a horde of the undead is usually at odds with the good cheer of the holidays, so most of those stories end up being pretty cynical. Every now and then, though, you get one that's pretty fun and captures the spirit in a very enjoyable way.
That's the case with Karl Kesel, David Hahn and Grace Allison's Johnny Zombie Christmas, a fun, festive, and reasonably violent tale of yuletide cheer and flesh-eating monsters, and you can read the whole thing for free right this very minute!
Along with the Christmas tree and strings of lights, the nativity scene is one of the classic Christmas decorations, but to be honest, they can be a little boring. I myself have tried to spice things up in the past by removing the usual figures and replacing them with GI Joes and Lego Batman pieces, but it's just not the same, which is why I'm glad that cartoonist Chris Schweizer has stepped up to save Christmas with his amazing papercraft Nativity Scene.
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