Sunday, December 24, 2006

Number 72

Walt Kelly's Santa's Christmas Gift


Oh, sorry. …sniff… You caught me boohooing and blubbering over this sentimental little Christmas story by the master cartoonist, Walt Kelly, from Santa Claus Funnies #2, 1943.
This is a real tearjerker, folks. It even begins with a jerk! Jerk Frost, errrr, I mean Jack Frost, is a nasty twit who freezes up the forest, putting all of the critters and even the forest's human dwellers in a real bad way. Animals are starving; two kids and their sick mother shiver with cold and hunger in a little cabin.

I'll tell you before you start reading, you won't get through this without going through a box of tissues.

Well, it has a good ending. I mean, you didn't really think the kids were going to starve to death along with all of the forest animals, while Mom withered away with her indeterminate illness, did you? This is a Christmas comic book, after all.

There's a heroic pigeon in the story, too. Santa comes to the rescue...say, am I giving away too much, here?

And in the end…wait. Maybe you'd better read this whole story and then come back and I'll talk about the end. I'll wait for you.

"Deck us all with Boston Charlie, Walla Walla Wash, and Kalamazoo…" Oops. Caught me singing. After all, it is Christmas Eve. I've got Christmas presents wrapped and under the tree. I'm also rubbing my greedy little hands together in anticipation of getting some great comics goodies himself. I know I am because I picked 'em out!

As I was saying, in the end Santa takes off in his sleigh, with the hero pigeon by his side. He tells the pigeon he's going to Africa, Europe and America. Since this was a very dark era of World War II, one wonders if Santa had some knowledge the rest of us did not. Especially how to get around anti-aircraft guns and the Luftwaffe. But, we assume this story, although written and drawn during the war, did not take place during the war, but during a more placid time for Santa and the rest of the world.

It's a good story, just a little bit…sniff, sniff...sad. Be warned.

Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you Pappy's readers. I hope you all got what you wanted.

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