Comics Alliance’s Guide To The 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
As a kid, I used to love springing from my bed and scrambling to the living room every Thanksgiving morning to catch Macy's annual balloon-filled parade. Why, one of my most cherished Thanksgiving memories is my mom yelling for me to hurry back from a bathroom trip in 1993 to see a massive Sonic the Hegehog balloon snag on a tree or something and deflate. These days I live out west, so by the time I'm able to stumble from sleep into the kitchen to brew the first of what will add up to be about 15 cups of coffee, Twitter and Tumblr have already spoiled the entire New York City-scheduled event for me. I don't blame those in another time zone for their enthusiasm, but there's no way I'm waking up at 6 a.m. on a holiday to hear intern-scrawled soundbytes stuttered in saccharine tones by whoever's hosting from The Today Show along with them. I just want to set a DVR and skim the greatest hits between brewing some coffee and taking my pug out to poop. Forunately, after years of mediocrity, the Macy's website has finally yielded a solid lineup of what to expect this year. We dug in to pick out the baloons, floats and balloonicles (BALLOONICLES!) that comic book fans are going to want to look for, whether they're awake from 9-10:30 a.m. EST or not. Plan your annual viewing after the jump.
Hello Kitty: A staple in the MTDP for five years, Hello Kitty and her plane are some three stories tall. Sanrio-iffic!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: DoaWK is part comic, part novel. This balloon, though? All Wimpy Kid. I guess. He looks like a kaiju here, and those can only be killed by two mech pilots sharing a neural net according to a song by Blake Perlman ft. RZA on the Pacific Rim soundtrack. That's not wimpy, bro. You've got to get some confidence.
Spider-Man: The Spidey balloon has been tweaked only once since its initial MTDP run from 1987-1998. I don't know if you can call getting a new balloon in 2009 a reboot or an all-new #1 or what, but this will be the newer balloon's fourth year in business. Wait... could this new balloon simply be a CLONE?! B-B-Ben Reilly, is that you?!
Ronald McDonald: I assumed McDonald's spokesclown had to have appeared in comics in one form or another over the years, but while doing research for this piece I found out that the burger meister had a full-blown series from Charlton from 1970-71! Who knew Ronald was the inspiration for The Comedian in Watchmen? When's JMS gonna dig into that, DC? Are you lovin' it or what?
Buzz Lightyear: Ever since Boom! Studios' Toy Story comic series came to an end after Disney bought Marvel, Buzz and the gang's comic book presence has been lacking. Marvel's given no indication that it'll reprint the material the way it's bringing back Roger Langridge's Muppets material, but who knows? Until then there's a few short movie adaptation comics on ComiXology.
Pikachu: Shortly after the release of Pokemon X & Y, I kept seeing mainstream media narratives that kinda guffawed at the game/anime/manga franchise's longevity -- like nobody expected Pikachu and his dope fellow pocket monsters to be anything more than a fad when it arrived in America back in 1998. Sorry, geezers, but Pokémon ain't Beanie Babies (except for when it is). Look who's laughing now! ...Just me, I guess. Pikachu is merely a balloon no matter how badly I wish he were real. Stuck in a lab. Hooked to the power grid. Providing us all with clean energy.
Adventure Time's Finn and Jake: Adventure Time has done really well as a comic book, winning multiple Eisners and helping to usher in a number of successful all-ages titles at Boom!
And that's no hot air!
Okay, sorry, that was terrible of me. There's an Adventure Time balloon in this parade, okay? Just keep reading.
Sonic: Though Sonic hit a snag in the SEGA Genesis years, he's has been doing fine in a post-SEGA console world with a newly designed balloon. I do miss the goofier model, but time marches on. For WHOM THE BEHHHHL TOLLLS! *chuggachuggachugga
Papa Smurf: I've seen a lot of Smurfs stuff in my day, but I've also never seen Papa Smurf rock a cane, which, as shown by Scrooge McDuck in Capcom's DuckTales games, are double as lethal pogo sticks. Has Papa Smurf degenerated after being exposed to a weaponized toxin loosed on he and his people by Gargamel? Or has he simply taken up treasure hunting? These questions, like this float, are four stories tall.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Last year Nickelodeon's TMNT float rolled through with the Neon Trees atop (pictured above), who pretended to jam out some of their pop hits. It's not their fault, it's just how these pantomimed parade performances go. Though the affair distracted from me looking at a super cool recreation of the green machines' sewer lair and surrounding NYC landscape a bit, the band had the good humor to dress kind of like the mutants they were cruising around with. It's unclear if a musical act will be floatin' it up with the TMNT this year, but if there is, hopefully they make the most of it.
Smurfs: Unlike Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures' two abominable CG animated nightmares, Peyo's original Smurfs comics are something I can get behind. They're currently being reprinted in different formats by Papercutz, and seem to be represented well by this Smurf's Village float... even if it's paid for by the people who put out the films. I just wish this Papa Smurf was swinging around a cane like his balloon counterpart.
Kool-Aid Man: Ohhhhhh yeaaahhhhh! The Big Man's lost a little lustre ever since science concluded that, well, maybe drinking a ton of sugar water and food coloring isn't as good for you as drinking water? But whatever. The Kool-Aid man saved all kinds of kids from the diabolicle "Thirsties" -- through time, space and even cyber space -- back in his Marvel Comics days. Dude even met Batman at DC and hung out with the Archie gang in a battle against "Scorch" at his "Wacky Warehouse." The Kool-Aid Man is a veritable nexus of comic book goodness. He's like Access only... not a creepy-looking balding guy in the world's ugliest jacket.