Archive for the ‘Christmas Covers’ Category

Posted Friday, September 18th, 2020 by Barry

Hazel & ChaCha Save Christmas (2019) 1

The days are shortening and Christmas is beginning to peek around the discounted summer items. If the hands of time could be turned back, the Sears Wish Book would be on its way.

So, it’s not too early to begin thinking about Christmas. Shopping has already started. It’s the only way to include everyone on your list without resorting to selling organs.

The ambassadors today are Hazel and ChaCha, two hitmen from the Temps Aeternalis. Their mission is to kill a specified number of Umbrella Academy members, 00.05, but aren’t picky about collateral damage.

In this special, they are commissioned to track down a rogue time agent and cross paths with a plot to discredit Christmas.

With no background on the pair or situation, I cannot honestly give an opinion of the book. To me, it was confusing, jumping between the title characters and the guest stars. Neither seemed to mesh in any sort of storytelling fashion.

Even when the explosions settled, I wasn’t sure what had happened.

The two are supposed to be Netflix favs. Again, I know nothing about that. There’s not even a Wikipedia entry on the two. How famous can they be?

If a fan, try it out. If not, do some research first.

Posted Sunday, August 16th, 2020 by Barry

Jingle Belle Gift Wrapped (2011)

This 2011 offering is courtesy of Belle creator Paul Dini with artistic aid from Stephanie Gladden.

Uncle Krampus is called to settle a family dispute. His judgement endangers Christmas until Jingle can prove her point.

Kringle and Krampus is a nice look at the relationship between the two titular characters. It proves even Santa can be wrong at times.

Also included are two one-page funnies, Slapshot and First Date.

Slapshot is a return to the ice and the release of some unwanted guests, or pests.

First Date allows Jingle to grow, but at her and her father’s pace.

Finally, Dini and Misty Lee collaborate for Polly Green in Hocus-Croakus. A little product placement is in order for Polly’s indiscretion to be undone.

An early Happy Holidays from the dysfunctional first family of Christmas.

Jingle Belle Gift Wrapped (2011)

Posted Monday, July 27th, 2020 by Barry

The Tick Big Red-N-Green Christmas Spectacle (2001) 1

Memories stretch long in this holiday tale of regret and revenge called ‘Rootin’ Tootin’ Christmas.’

The Tick Big Red-N-Green Christmas Spectacle (2001) 1

The Tick Big Red-N-Green Christmas Spectacle (2001) 1

The City needs a hero to save the season. One more powerful than the Tick. He and Arthur call up a saddle-sore trailblazer to handle the holiday hijacking. In typical Tick fashion, the day is saved as the new millennium takes hold.

Ben Edlund’s creation has peeked around the periphery of comic book fame for three decades.

Not quite an overnight sensation, the Tick did earn a spot in Fox’s Saturday morning line up in 1994. His cry of, “Spoon!” could be heard for two seasons. In 2001 he was given a live-action series on Fox starring Patrick Warburton.

It died after one season.

Amazon Video saw merit in the hero and green lit another live-action, web-TV series in 2016. It ended after two seasons.

But, the big, blue boob has never lacked for holiday specials. His first was in 1997 in Tick’s Big Yule Log Special. The sequel came in 1999 and a third installment in 2000. A fourth Yule Log Special was released in 2001 followed by the Big Red-N-Green Christmas Spectacle and the Tick Big X-Mas Trilogy released Dec. 1 through 3, 2002.

Posted Monday, July 20th, 2020 by Barry

Sgt. Rock (1977) 350

Before Sgt. Rock was relegated to seasonal stories and minis, he was the Top Kick of Easy Co. from 1959 to 1988.

During his time in service to his country, Frank Rock served from the shores of Italy across the Rhine and into the heart of the Fatherland. All the while shepherded by creator and chief scribe Robert Kanigher.

Sgt. Rock (1977) 350

Sgt. Rock (1977) 350

Having survived the backlash from the Viet Nam conflict, Rock was moved from Our Army at War to his own title in 1977. He would continue through most of the 1980s to issue 422 only to fall victim to Crisis on Infinite Earths.

But, for the winter of 1980, Rock and Easy were on the front lines in ‘Home for Christmas.’

A missing G.I. takes the sergeant from his men during the holiday season. Most of the story is spent with Rock recounting his interaction with the AWOL soldier.

The missing man’s mantra throughout the war was to be “home for Christmas”. With the holiday fast approaching, Rock fears the wayward private has left the war early to be back with his family.

What he finds is a heartwarming sight that turns heart wrenching. However, in true DC war fashion both soldier and Easy are saved by story’s end.

The book is rounded out with a two-page Battle Album focusing on types of gases. Also included are stories ‘The Last Knight,’ ‘Roman Nose’ and ‘The Men of Easy Co.: Right Arm.’

Following his regular-series run, Rock returned for cameos and seasonal one-and-dones. He was also featured in a 21-issue run of reprints and two specials.

Posted Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 by Barry

The Ren & Stimpy Show Holiday Special, Yah Lousy Bums! (1994)

Mr. Yak channel surfs to the cadence of a twisted ‘‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ in this holiday hoot that parodies cable television of the 1990s holiday season.

A stop on ‘The Muddy Mudskipper Christmas Show’ offers a musical that merges with an advertisement, merges with his neighbors, Ren Hoek and Stimpson J. Cat, arguing about commercialism, ad nauseum.

The Ren & Stimpy Show Holiday Special, Yah Lousy Bums! (1994)

The Ren & Stimpy Show Holiday Special, Yah Lousy Bums! (1994)

Ren and Stimpy’s ‘Yule Time Log’ interlude is a send up – of sorts – of ‘The Gift of the Magi.’ If there is a lesson to be learned, it’s not forthcoming.

Back to Mr. Yak and more of the Muddy Mudskipper Christmas extravaganza followed by flipping through the late-night show, more commercials, trash-talk TV and a surreal look at the Ren and Stimpy Show.

Airing is ‘Black Mail, White Christmas, Green Moulah,’ a dark tale of Ren stealing Santa’s surveillance equipment and using it for evil. It ends with more channel surfing and the ugliest “snowman” conceived.

Dan Slott does a fine job of recreating the madness normally animated on television, but the special is disjointed. The flow would have been smoother had it been a television special.

The Ren and Stimpy Show debuted on Nickelodeon in 1991. Creator John Kricfalusi only lasted one year with the series, but the show ran until Dec. 16, 1995 airing 52 episodes.

Posted Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 by Barry

Sugar and Spike (1956) 44

Sugar and Spike find parenting isn’t as hard as grown-ups would have them believe in ‘Santa’s Parents.’

Sugar and Spike (1956) 44

Sugar and Spike (1956) 44

In another misunderstanding, the two tykes find themselves fending for themselves. Finding a remote control only brings more confusion to the holiday season as Santa does his job only too well courtesy of Sugar and Spike.

All is forgiven when the unexpected publicity brings mountains of money.

‘Little Arthur’s War’ is the second act. Santa dispenses justice rather than coal for the bratty Arthur.

Arthur gets his revenge – briefly – as he wreaks havoc with the push of a few buttons in act three. His reign of terror is ended and his destruction tallied in dollars and sense.

The final part of the four-act adventure is a lesson for the parents, who are taught they are never too old to learn.

Tucked between stories are some one-page funnies and a chance to make some greeting cards.

Maybe the sum and total of the book is another December survival.

Posted Thursday, June 25th, 2020 by Barry

Spider-Man Kids julehefte 2009

This is just a fun looking Christmas comic book. C’mon, Spidey and the Green Goblin duking it out over Santa? How could it get any better?

Maybe with some translation and background?

Good luck with that.

About all I could glean from the cover was the Danish to English translation stating the book has “posters, activity pages and lots of Christmas fun.” Secondly, it’s a Christmas booklet.

Hanging 10 on the ‘Net, I’ve not been able to find much on this comic book. If you have any knowledge, please contact Jeff or I. We’d love to feature this with more information.

Thanks to Yet Another Comics Blog for the heads up.

Spider-Man Kids julehefte 2009

Posted Friday, June 12th, 2020 by Barry

Mickey and Donald Christmas Parade (2019) 5

Christmas 2019 would not be complete without IDW’s Disney holiday offering from afar.

The fifth installment brought something new with Topolino – or Mikey Mouse – 3239, originally printed in 2017. The opening tale, ‘Mickey Mouse and the Lost Toy,’ is a which-way story. Our titular hero loses his gift for Minnie. Mickey’s fate is determined by the choices made by readers. Most don’t end well.

Mickey and Donald Christmas Parade (2019) 5

Mickey and Donald Christmas Parade (2019) 5

This is followed by a one-page funny called ‘Christmas in Mouseton.’ Mickey falls victim to an expanding waistline. This from Topolino issue 3083, circa 2014.

‘Christmas in the Money Bin’ is another one-page excursion, this time with Uncle Scrooge. Technology helps Duckburg’s most prominent citizen with his electric bill, but does little to enlighten the town. This is reprinted from issue 3083, too.

Skipping forward to 2016 and issue 3187, readers are welcomed by ‘Uncle Scrooge and the Christmas Contest.’

Scrooge sets his sites on the season’s hottest toy in hopes of closing a business deal. His holiday lesson is individuality is a valuable trait.

‘Christmas at the Farm,’ with Donald and Mickey, is another one-page affair. Mickey’s memory is longer than Donald’s in this retelling from Topolino 3083.

Peg Leg Pete gets top billing in ‘Christmas Spirit.’ One kind act can offer far reaching benefits, especially during the holidays. This from Topolino 3187, 2016.

The book finishes with two one-page funnies.

‘Christmas in Duckburg,’ with Donald and nephews, jumps the calendar by several months.

‘Christmas at Grandma Duck’s’ is another Donald vehicle featuring Uncle Scrooge.

The first of the last two was originally published in Topolino 3239, 2017 and Topolino 3135, 2015.

Posted Saturday, June 6th, 2020 by Barry

Unexpected (1956) 220

‘Santa Claus is a Killer!’

Robin Snyder and Sarah Gregory phoned this one in and stayed home for the holidays.

Work beckons daddy Denny, leaving mommy Margaret and daughter home alone. It just so happens a madman has escaped from a local asylum and is sporting a Santa suit. A literary shell game ends with an arrest, a surprise and salutation from the real man of the North Pole.

Horror veteran Ernie Colon provides the proper atmosphere with pencil and pen.

The opening salvo is the only holiday offering for this issue. Three more shorts, ‘The Bride is Aglow,’ ‘The Strange Guide’ and ‘Trollbridge’ close out the book.

Unexpected is a continuation of National Periodical’s Tales of the Unexpected running until issue 222 in 1982.

It was brought back as an eight-issue mini in 2006.

Unexpected began as a sci-fi title before giving up spaceships for ghosts. It became part of DC’s stable of horror-anthology titles that closed out the 1960s and ran till the early 1980s.

Unexpected (1956) 220

Posted Thursday, May 28th, 2020 by Barry

Alpha Flight (1983) 105

‘The Bachelor Party!’

Not a name you’d associate with a Christmas issue. It is what you get, courtesy of Scott Lobdell and Tom Morgan for the 1991 season.

It’s Christmas Eve and snowing. It’s also a night for bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Alpha Flight (1983) 105

Alpha Flight (1983) 105

The boys decide to down their pints at Corky’s Tavern. The girls choose a rowdier atmosphere at Cloisters, a male strip club run by former foil Pink Pearl.

The Christmas spirit comes from the guys who stop a robbery and show mercy on a suffering soul. The girls wind up in jail.

If you were a regular reader, this might be a fun story. Not on par with Incredible Hulk 417, but still a quirky excuse for some peace on Earth.

I am not a regular reader.

So, this issue is confusing and with little charm beyond what is perceived.

Alpha Flight is an early X-Men spin off. The team’s first appearance was in Uncanny X-Men (1963) 120.

Volume one ran from 1983 to 1994. It was relaunched with new characters in 1997. The team and title were revamped once again in 2004 with the All New, All Different Alpha Flight. In 2007 it became Omega Flight and, in 2011, became Alpha Flight again in volume four.