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.
Q: Merry Ask Chris-tmas! What's the weirdest version of the Santa Claus origin story? -- @prograpslady
A: You know, it wasn't that long ago that I wrote about two different version of Santa's origin that were done as stop-motion TV specials from Rankin-Bass, and as much as I love them both, they're not exactly what you'd really expect. I mean, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town is essentially the story of a revolutionary who brings down a corrupt European government through illegal toymaking and is then hunted until he has to relocate to the North Pole, and The Life And Adventures of Santa Claus has him raised on the milk of a lioness and taught about Japanese samurai by a twelve foot tall druid who shot laser beams from a silver axe in a war against child-hating goblins.
I guess what I'm getting at here is that even for someone who's spent a lifetime getting used to origin stories with nonsense words like "bitten by a radioactive spider" and "inhaled hard water fumes," Santa's beginnings are pretty weird.
The Christmas season is upon us once again, and that means that it's time for children all over the world to kick off the annual debate about the existence of Santa Claus -- despite the fact that we've already settled that in court, twice. I mean, yes, it was a court in a movie, but this is America, and if there's anything more binding than a fictional courtroom scene in a beloved classic that's upheld in its '90s remake, I'd like to hear about it.
In any case, the Santa Question has provided the inspiration for a new short comic from Kyle Starks. The infuriatingly good creator of one of the year's best graphic novels, Sexcastle has given us the gift of ten new full-color pages, decorated in the spirit of the season with a whole ton of cusswords. It's a Christmas miracle!
It's been over 1600 years since St. Nicholas of Myra first punched someone out for heresy right in front of the emperor, and in that time, he's mellowed out from a surprisingly violent theological hard-liner to the jolly old gift-giver that we know today as Santa Claus. He's beloved by children all over the world, owns a set of flying reindeer and has an origin story more complicated than most X-Men, but there's one area where Santa Claus is truly lacking: action figures.
Seriously, with the possible exception of Robin Hood, there has never been a character so beloved that is so dreadfully underrepresented in posable plastic. There are, however, a few options, so for those of you in dire need of something to fill that vacant spot in your miniature Christmas village, we're making like elves and doing our best to rank the 10 best Santa Claus action figures! Or at least, you know, the ten that actually exist.
Two of my greatest loves in life are Christmas and comics, and so it's always a treat for me when the two cross over in that most wonderful of things: the holiday special. Even when those things are bad, they're still kind of good, because it's Christmas, and you're feeling charitable. But sometimes the introduction of Christmas-themed elements are not what you expect. Here are ten appearances by Christmas folk that might confound you, and that's even without mentioning that time Aquaman saved the baby Jesus from pirates by mind-controlling a giant squid.
There are very few things I love in this world more than a story where a superhero teams up with Santa Claus to save Christmas. I mean, I love Christmas comics in general, but the ones where the Jolly Old Saint himself shows up are always just a little bit more special, especially when the hero in question is Superman. If I was in charge, you'd see Santa Claus literally every time there was a comic set at the Fortress of Solitude, because really, the North Pole has exactly three residents, and who else are they going to hang out with? But I digress.
My point is, Superman/Santa Claus team-ups are great, even when they're weird -- and folks, they do get weird. Take, for example, one of Superman's earliest team-ups with St. Nicholas, wherein they have to battle against the evil machinations of a dude who hates Christmas so much that he makes Santa Claus even fatter than he already was, and Superman has to help him lose weight.
Video: Stan Lee reads "A Visit from St. Nicholas" like a true believer... in Santa. Proposals: Eddie Zarick shows off his arc reactor proposal prop. How could any body turn down a ring stored in this thing...
As you might expect, Santa Claus is a fixture in Christmas comics, but he's rarely having a very good time of it. At the very least, he tends to need help saving Christmas from just not happening, and often, he's in pretty bad shape himself...
Over a lifetime of reading comics, Senior Writer Chris Sims has developed an inexhaustible arsenal of facts and opinions. That's why, each and every week, we turn to you to put his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions...
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