Despite the fact that a good chunk of my floorspace is taken up with long boxes and bookshelves, I consider myself more of a "reader" than a "collector," except for two things I hoard shamelessly: Christmas comics and Abraham Lincoln appearances. If I see Santa Claus or our 16th President in a comic book, I buy it -- no questions asked.
And as a result, I've picked up my share of Christmas stories that are truly bizarre -- and considering this is a weird little sub-genre that routinely features stories about Ultron being reprogrammed to give out toys, Batman stopping all crime in Gotham City by singing "Joy to the World" with the GCPD choir, and a Jack Kirby tale entitled "Santa's War Against the Seal Men," that's saying something. So this year, I've rifled through the comics under my tree to bring you The Five Most Insane Christmas Comics of All Time!
The Thanksgiving holiday is now behind us, and you know what that means: the stoplight for Christmas insanity has officially turned green, and now every department store, television ad, and song you hear at Starbucks will be unrelentingly focused on our favorite annual holiday of economic consumption and good cheer.
We'd like to start out the new season with our tongues firmly in cheek, thanks to these Not-Right Nativity scenes for sale on Etsy. Our personal favorite, below, features Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman as Mary and Joseph, the Thing as a shepherd doing one-handed curls with a sheep, the Human Torch and Silver Surfer as Wise Men, and presumably Franklin Richards as everyone's personal savior.
The holiday season is all up on us and we'd be remiss as all-get-out if we didn't do our best to help our dear readers to ring in the radness. In what's our first in a weekly series of holiday-themed cards illustrated by the esteemed Nedroid creator Anthony Clark, ComicsAlliance presents a Christmas card reminding all the good girls and boys of the world (and the bad ones too) that a certain someone sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake.
If hundreds and hundreds of holiday comics, TV specials and movies have taught us anything, it's that Christmas is a time of truly magical sights. And that even applies if you're somewhere like Gotham City, where"magical sights" tend to be the last thing you see before you're murdered by a mental patient or, if you're lucky, rescued by an equally terrifying vigilante. 'Tis the season for miracles!
So today, we're offering up the last of our four ComicsAlliance holiday cards, featuring art by the inimitable Anthony "Nedroid" Clark! Click through to see the full card and get a full-sized printable versionyou can give to your friends as a reminder that hey, maybe spending time at the grandparents' wasn't so bad after all!
DC Comics has been producing holiday comics for a full 70+ years now, ever since Superman first teamed up with Santa to encourage kindness and generosity in "The Christmas Adventure!"
So with seven solid decades of holiday fun, some of them are bound to rise to the top, which is why we've asked ComicsAlliance contributor and Christmas comic aficionado Chris Sims to rifle through the long boxes at the North Pole and bring us his picks for DC's Twelve Greatest Holiday Stories!!
Q: DEAR CHRIS: I am 42 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in ComicsAlliance it's so, unless that Wolkin guy wrote it, and then all bets are off.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? -- David Lartigue, via email
A: David, your little friends are wrong, especially about David Wolkin. At least 30% of the stuff he writes is well-researched and at least partially semi-accurate. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe anything except what they read on message boards and comment threads. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, David, whether they be men's or children's, are little. Except Batman's. Because Batman thinks of everything. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect in his intellect (and not the radioactive kind that can give you super-powers), as compared with the boundless world about him.
Yes, David. There is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as Batman and Superman and Spider-Man exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no genocidal killer robots who were reprogrammed to give out presents but decided instead to murder the Avengers with hate-lasers.
In a recent essay, I posited that rather than being the villain of Christmas as he is popularly understood, the furry demon known as the Krampus is actually the Batman of Christmas. This got me thinking: who would play which role if we were to build an entire Justice League of Christmas? If you are wondering, yes, this is what it's like inside my brain all the time. And so, I propose to you this roster for the JLXmas.
When it comes to Christmas comics, you can't really get around the fact that some characters lend themselves to holiday stories a little easier than others. Superman is essentially built around peace on Earth and goodwill to men anyway, Batman's themes of family and sacrifice are perfectly suited for a bittersweet Christmas tale, and Spider-Man shopping for presents is almost always a good recipe for seasonal comedy.
And then there are the characters that don't quite fit. Like, say, the Punisher, whose tendency to run around brutally slaughtering murderers and other criminals doesn't exactly fit well with good cheer and eggnog.
Listen, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a complete sucker when it comes to Christmas comics. I love 'em, and the more heartwarming they are, the better, whether it's a thoroughly predictable ending where someone does a good deed for the less fortunate or a passionate, starry-eyed speech about peace on Earth and goodwill to others. I love that stuff, and as a result, I've never been a fan of Christmas stories that go dark. Call me a sap if you will, but in most darker Christmas stories, there's a cynicism that I just don't find all that appealing.
Every now and then, however, I run across a holiday story that's not just dark and not just cynical, but so utterly, shockingly grim that I end up completely fascinated by it, and this week, that is exactly what has happened. Everyone who has ever tried to make a jaded, pessimistic holiday story needs to step aside, because I have found the darkest, most shockingly violent Christmas comic of all time -- and it's a six-page Archie story from 1958.
Last year we collected 150 classic comic book covers celebrating the Santa-ier aspects of the holiday season and it was so popular, we dug into even more covers. Seriously, there's at least 200 now. There may even be more! Our fingers are covered in tape and bows and whatever from wrapping presents and cats are knocking over trees and there's a Tofurkey feast burning in the oven. It's chaos, man. Distract yourself from the season of giving with 200+ holiday comic book covers after the cut.
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