Thank You, Veterans

Thank you, Veterans

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History of the Superman Parade Balloon

Scott Niswander offers a history of The Superman Parade Balloon featured in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For more of Scott’s insightful videos, click the Nerdsync button.

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The Santos Evening Post

Fan favorite Mark Dos Santos looks at life in Gotham City from Norman Rockwell’s point of view. Santo’s tips his hat to artist Rockwell who captured American life on the cover The Saturday Evening Post for five decades. For more information on Santos and his other creations, click here.

The Saturday Evening Post – not

 

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The Bakers Meet Jingle Belle

The Bakers Meet Jingle Belle

The Bakers Meet Jingle Belle

A 2006 one-shot, The Bakers Meet Jingle Belle is another romp through a Paul Dini-demented Christmas season.

Santa Dad hijacks Jingle for another Christmas Eve spin. As usual his pixie-offspring is less than enthusiastic about the annual around-the-world romp. During one stop Jingle makes a break for it and finds herself mistaken for a last-minute nanny for the night.

To prove she’s really Santa’s daughter, Jingle steals Santa’s sleigh and takes the tykes to the North Pole. There they revel in the magic that is Christmas while their parents fight last-minute shoppers at the mall.

By book’s end the mood is mellow as seasonal magic sooths fraying nerves and flaring tempers.

Jingle first appeared in 1999 for Oni Press in “Sanity Clauses.” The short story led to a two-issue mini entitled “Miserable on 34th Street”/“Santa’s Little Hellion.”

Dini’s creation has bounced from distributor to distributor, most recently landing with IDW. The company released a collection entitled Jingle Belle: The Whole Package! and a one-shot for the 2018 Christmas season, Jingle Belle: The Homemades’ Tale.

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Four Color Comics (1942) 178

It being November 1st, let’s start with a first. Also known as Donald Duck issue seven, Four Color Comics 178 has the distinction of hosting the first appearance of Uncle Scrooge McDuck.

Donald Duck and the nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louis; are dreading Christmas. None have the finances for food or festivities. Donald’s wealthy Uncle Scrooge could change that – if he wasn’t such as skinflint.

As fate – and writer/creator Carl Barks – would have it, Scrooge is whiling his time away thinking up a way to trick his nephew. He decides on inviting Donald and the boys to his cabin on Bear Mountain, hence the story title “Christmas on Bear Mountain.”

Four Color Comics (1942) 178

Four Color Comics (1942) 178

Scrooge wishes to humiliate his nephew. To do so he buys a bear suit which Scrooge plans to don at the appropriate moment and scare Donald.

In the meantime, Donald and the nephews take the bait and arrive at the cabin. The only thing they lack for a true holiday is a Christmas tree. Pines are scarce so they chop down a hollow oak and drag it back.

Unbeknownst to them a bear cub is hibernating in the tree. The warmth of the cabin wakes the cub and he begins foraging for food. The mother, still in the stump, awakes and follows the web prints to the cabin.

Scrooge arrives to find an idyllic scene where Donald has fainted on the mama bear who is snoozing by the warm fire. The nephews are content to play with the cub and all is well.

Scrooge has the group formerly celebrate Christmas at his mansion where Donald is rewarded for his seeming bravery.

Barks packs a lot into 36 pages for the December 1947 comic book.

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Batman The Brave and the Bold 12

Happy Halloween from Four Color Holidays.

More importantly, happy Halloween from Batman, Zatanna, Cain and Able and the House of Mystery.

Batman enlists the aid of Zatanna to help in the mystery of the transformed Cain.

Not all is as it seems and Zatanna must call in the clairvoyant cavalry to save the eve.

Batman The Brave and the Bold 12

Batman The Brave and the Bold 12

Batman: The Brave and the Bold premiered Nov. 14, 2008 on Cartoon Network. It marked the first cartoon since Batman the Animated Series. Rather than follow the critically acclaimed series in a similar vein, B&B chose a more tongue-in-cheek approach.

Each episode teamed Batman with A- and B-list characters from the DC Universe. Everyone from Adam Strange to Vicki Vale.

Brave and the Bold was cancelled after three seasons in 2011. The next series returned Batman to a more serious tone.

B&B was resurrected one last time in 2018 with the straight-to-video BluRay release of Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

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A Very Strange Halloween!

To mix it up a little, let’s toss in some Marvel “horror” for this Halloween ’19. Avengers Assemble Season Three, Episode Seven is worth a sit back in your most comfy chair with a bowl full of Halloween candy.

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DCU Halloween Special 2010

Though it never reached the heights its predecessor achieved, the 2010 DCU Halloween special made a respectable showing.

It followed more of a supernatural Brave and the Bold or DC Comics Presents format. Batman and Robin co-star with I…Vampire, Flash and Frankenstein team together, Wonder Woman meets Deadman, the Teen Titans side with Klarion the Witch Boy and Superman is aided by the Demon.

DCU Halloween Special 2010

DCU Halloween Special 2010

The Scarecrow is on the other side of his fear toxin in “Trick for the Scarecrow.”

Damian Wayne sides with Batman to take on a legion of vampires.

Flash and Frankenstein work together to stop a killer in “Time or Your Life.”

“A Night to Remember” gives Deadman a chance to experience some of his past life courtesy of Wonder Woman.

Teen Titans team with Klarion, the Witch Boy, in “Medusa Non Grata.”

The Demon helps Superman in “Fears of Steel.”

Again, not on par with the previous year, but still worth the time.

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Marvel Zombies (Halloween Special)

Kudos to the team who mated Night of the Living Dead with Rankin and Bass stop motion “Animagic.”

Marvel Zombies began as a five-issue limited series cover dated December 2005. Robert “Walking Dead” Kirkman wrote the series while Sean Phillips added the viscera visuals. Arthur Suydam provided covers.

The mini proved popular enough it has spawned a continuing franchise appearing as further short series and one-shots.

 

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DC Universe Halloween Special ‘09

Unlikely book emcee Bizzaro Superman proved to be a very officious host for the 2009 special. His “Unhappy Halloween” story arc bracketed the remaining 12 tales of terror.

“Halloween the Guy Way” takes a deeper and more disturbing look at the Guy Gardner’s past. An ass of astronomical proportions at times, the story reveals a life paved with disappointments and degradation. It’s actually a very good story about a man who isn’t very nice.

DC Universe Halloween Special ‘09

DC Universe Halloween Special ‘09

The Creeper stars in a one-page throw away that can be skipped.

“Seeing is Believing” resurrects the vampire myth with the Outsiders starring as the Van Helsings.

Absent from the Outsiders in the tale that came before, Batman takes center stage for “Trick and Defeat.” The Killer Moth returns to rob Wayne Manor. Unmasking the heroes proves a surprising turn of events.

Damian Wayne is the Robin in the next story, “Cavity Search.” Kinda wish this one was longer. It has the makings of a good psychological thriller. Damion earns a spot at home with this one.

Red Robin’s “Our Father’s Sins” is a bit sappy for the holiday.

“Lady Down the Lane” stars Ravager. Her reputation precedes her.

The rest of the book finishes strong. Anabolic steroid strong.

“Mirror Games” is another that wouldn’t have suffered from a higher page count. Kid Flash, Mirror Master and a group of teenage girls take on the myth of Bloody Mary. Writer Joe Harris knows his stuff.

Beast Boy has a quick gag page in “Never Too Old.” He shares the spotlight with Cyborg.

Wonder Woman is spooked by reality television and the gentler gender of the Teen Titans in “Haunted or Hoax?”

Maybe not a word associated with Halloween, cute is the best term to describe “To the Finish Line.” Superman and Flash race one more time.

“My Turn to be Scary” is a fun read. The cliché ending makes the reader wonder if they would be disappointed with or without it.

Overall, Halloween 2009 was represented in a grand manor. Maybe the best of all Halloween specials.

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