Of all the Christmas cards I've received this year, this one is my favorite. It was sent to me by Roger and Jane Price.
I used to be really good at Christmas cards about thirty-five years ago. I'd have an artist-friend draw a cool picture for me, usually including me in the drawing, print them up and send them to my friends in fandom. Some years, I would write a holiday message, print it on my mimeo - if you have to ask what that is, you're too darned young - and include it with the drawing. I would very much like to get back to that seasonal creativity. It seems fitting for a day that celebrates a first-rate act of creation; i.e., the birth of Jesus Christ.
You'll note I use "Christmas" and "holiday" interchangeably. That's intentional. Today is a day of good will towards men, all men, and, Christian or otherwise, we shouldn't let the exact phrase of good will become an issue. Jesus wouldn't; you shouldn't. Get over yourselves already.
In the air, there's a feline of Christmas...
This card was sent to me by Dwight Decker.
Where was I? Oh, yeah.
Focus on the good will. No blue states or red states. Don't much care if you're of the Democratic Party or the Republican Party or any other legitimate party. Peace to all, regardless of their age, creed, gender, race, sexual orientation, or other distinction folks might make of others or themselves. It's one day. We should just be nice to each other.
One day. It would be a good start.
I'm writing this several days before Christmas because Justin and his adorable, wonderful Suzi will be visiting her family. The best-case scenario for me is that I will manage to get this to him before he leaves, finish my Christmas shopping on Thursday, get my phone service to remove all the great bells and whistles that have rendered my phone service amazingly inconvenient, remove the comics overflow from our living room, write two reviews for the Comics Buyer's Guide online forums, and accomplish all this before my annual Christmas lunch with buddies Bob Ingersoll, Roger Price, and Thom Zahler on Friday. I'm leaving Saturday and Sunday available for (a) helping others, or (b) going into panic-mode if I've failed to do all the above.
"Oh, Honey, it's beautiful!...and it's the same color as Mittens...where's Mittens?
This one is from Rex Joyner. Inside, the card requests that I "get wrapped up in the holiday spirit."
I should design a personal Christmas card for next year. Or run a contest here to get one of you talented artists out there to design it for me. Show me what you got. I'll make it worth your while. It's Christmas and all.
John Wells sent me the Batman card.
I used either DC Super-Heroes or Kwanzaa stamps on this year's cards. Next year, it'll be Marvel Super-Hero and Kwanzaa stamps. I like Kwanzaa. One of these years, I'm going to figure out how to talk my family into celebrating it.
Have a Merry Christmas or whatever other happy holiday you're celebrating this time of year. I could have said that at the start of this column, but I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas and holiday cards with you.
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.
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