Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Christmas Preview

So tell me, Germ from Night in the Woods, what do you think about my idea of celebrating Christmas this year by writing a series of posts about seasonally-appropriate non-Barks Western stories?

Yes. Thank you for your encouragement. Honestly, you're not wrong, but hopefully, it can be an at least somewhat interesting weird bad time!

So Western released a series of Christmas Parade Giants from 1949 to 1971 (though after the first Gold Key issue, they stopped being giants and became less ambitious in general) (also, for unclear reasons, the 1960 and 61 issues were just titled "Merry Christmas," with no Parade in sight). The first two featured, respectively, "Letter to Santa" and "You Can't Guess" as their marquee stories, and later issues featured the Barks-drawn "Christmas in Duckburg" and "Christmas Cha Cha." But aside from that, there were an awful lotta issues, and they couldn't just be filled by endlessly recycling Barks, no matter how much they woulda liked to (though one kinda wishes they had kept him on permanent Christmas Duty--I know I know, given the prodigious amount of stuff he was cranking out, something would've had to give, but still--man. Imagine a world with a half dozen additional Barks Christmas stories). So...there are quite a few--nine, to be exact--full-length, marquee Christmas stories by people other than Your Only Man (in Christmas specials, at least; there are probably a few others in regular issues of Donald Duck or whatnot, but...let's not go crazy). That you probably haven't read unless you're an obsessive like me (well, maybe it's different for some of you Europeans--a lot of them have been reprinted over there in recent years). Aren't you the least bit curious about them? Welp, you're in luck, because I've read all nine, and I'm gonna tell you aaaaaaall about them. All of them? Yes, all of them, plus some extra little bits. I wasn't sure at first whether I was going to be able to manage that, but at this point I've already written the first three entries, so I think I'll be good. "Shouldn't you save some for next year?" Do you REALLY want two straight years of this stuff? "So what..." We'll worry about that when we come to it. For now, this! I know it seems dopey, but I'm actually unreasonably excited about it. I'm gonna expose the internet to a whole shit-ton of stuff that it previously knew nothing about! And for good reason! Huzzah!

Well you might ask: these are all going to be bad, aren't they? You basically just admitted it. Don't you think this is a fairly dispiriting way to celebrate the holiday? Well...some are worse than others, is all I'll say in that regard. But it's true that you're not going to be seeing a whole lot of transcendence this year. And yet--don't tell anyone!--I can't help having a certain sneaking affection for a lot of this stuff. Some of it's too bad even for that, it's true, but, I mean, I don't find writing about this to be an unpleasant process, as much as I joke about it, and I hope you won't find reading it to be either. Let's try to have some fun!