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."
Q: What is the best media representation of Santa Claus's origin? -- @pbarb
A: I'll be honest with you, folks: I love Santa Claus almost as much as I love Batman. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only reason the Caped Crusader gets the edge over Jolly Old St. Nick is that nobody's out there publishing five monthly comics about his continuing adventures. As a result of that egregious oversight, I'm not as familiar with Santa's various origins as I probably should be. There are, however, two origins for Santa Claus that I like an awful lot, despite the fact that they're so different from each other that they could almost be about two completely unrelated characters.
Chris: Hello, everybody! Over the past couple of weeks, we've been taking a look at the Japanese Spider-Man show, but in this special holiday season, we thought it might be fun to fast forward a bit...
Q: What superhero has the loveable jolliness/elf-oppressing fist of iron necessary to take over for Santa? -- @FrankMcCormick
A: A replacement for Santa Claus, eh, Frank? Well, that shouldn't be too hard to figure out. It really just comes down to -- wait. A replacement for Santa Claus?! Why do we need a replacement?! Did something happen to Santa?!
Oh God. Oh God. Okay. Don't freak out. We've still got two weeks. There's time to fix this before Christmas Eve. C'mon, Frank. We've got work to do.
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.
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...
The first time I saw a poster for Rise of the Guardians, I rolled my eyes so hard that I actually hurt myself. You probably saw the same one I did if you went to the theater any time last summer. The close-up of the Naughty and Nice tattoos just conjured up images of a Poochie-esque version of Santa Claus, cranked up to x-treme by a team of ad executives and accompanied by "hilarious" and marketable elves to drain every last bit of sincerity and replace it with something that would look good on a Burger King cup...
DC Universe Online is ringing in the holidays with a touch of avarice in "Season's Greedings," a new game update that sees heroes and villains alike working to stop Larfleeze's planetary plunder. Similarly to 2010's Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special one-shot, the greedy Orange Lantern is throwing a tantrum in response to a perceived slight on the part of Santa...
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