Spreading Cheer.

This was oddly cathartic to draw.

This was oddly cathartic to draw.

I also really like how satisfied she looks in Panel 4.

At this point, we are at the turning point of the year. The close, if you will, where we sit back and begin to reflect upon the past year. What we have achieved or failed to achieve, progress, loss, and so forth. I generally feel that way until New Year, quietly, or sometimes loudly reflecting upon the year’s progress.

For businesses, this represents a final clearance push. With Holiday sales over, Post Holiday Clearances set in. That last squeeze to clear out inventory and place a little bit more black ink on the ledger before the close of the financial year. I sometimes drive by the former location of Comics Ink, which was always crazy busy this time of year, and see Comics Bug, which has taken over. For what it’s worth, I wish those guys success, but every time I drive by, the parking lot seems deserted. As I consider what the end of the financial year means to them, and the various decisions made, I can only wonder.

For comics, of course, there are various Holiday Specials being put out, much like television handles its own holiday specials. There’s nothing more patently ridiculous than a superhero holiday special. Ostensibly, you are already a superhero. Every day, you risk your life for your fellow man, and a thank you. The idea that suddenly there’s a MORE heartwarming Christmas adventure is just nonsensical.

Not to say that it doesn’t happen, more or less annually. My favorite example has to be DC Comics’ “Christmas with the Superheroes” from 1989. In it, the Flash and Green Lantern, suffering from a lack of Christmas cheer, decide to visit some little Norman Rockwelly town on Christmas Eve, to soak up a little bit of that Smalltown America holiday spirit. In order to prove to a suicidal millionaire they meet that life isn’t a joyless joke, they decide to play Santa Claus, delivering gifts to all the town’s children. It’s all pretty boring and the only reason it deserves mention is the shocking revelation that’s casually slipped into the story’s final panel:

Wait, WHAT?  The Flash is Jewish?

Wait, WHAT? The Flash is Jewish?

That’s news to me! Thirty years of Barry Allen as the Flash, and never a hint that he might be Jewish. In fact, both of his weddings were startlingly secular. Being honest, it’s pretty @#$% weird, because this entire story is about these two dudes doing Christmassy @#$% and talking about Christmas and searching for the Spirit of Christmas and Christma,s Christmas, Christmas. Most probably, DC Editorial decided at the last minute to politically correct the story up by making Santa-hat-clad Barry a Hanukkah-celebrator. Whatever. I’m taking it as CANON, and I’m accepting this story as canon. Barry Allen is Jewish, everybody! Yay!

The Flash is kind of a tool however, for appearing in the issue, if he actually IS Jewish. Way to over-assimilate, and totally lose your home traditions, bro. But…

That means the big A-List superhero show on television right now is about a Jewish Superhero. I think that might be the gift that Klaus was trying to bring to the Fortress of Togetherness, before getting blasted to the Moon by a dolphin to the beard. Incidentally…that was a chore. There is exactly no visual reference in the world to look at for a flying lady smacking an elderly mythological figure in the jaw with a cetacean.

I am pretty sure that Klaus and his weird Reindeer Suits were responsible for sneaking around and putting holiday decor on Baby Groot. I liked the way the Reindeer Bodyguard came out…he really adds a kind of menace to Klaus. Although, the Baby Groot image from yesterday demanded a final treatment, on this, the day for which the largest number of Groot’s Pine Style bretheren are felled:

I wonder if Hallmark will carry these next year?

I wonder if Hallmark will carry these next year?

Baby Groot. Apparently, a Baby Groot figure is supposed to finally hit stores next Wednesday, on the LAST DAY of the year. Hard to believe that Disney merchandising fumbled the ball that epic level hard, isn’t it? I mean, all kinds of fans would have happily used Groots as Holiday decor, in the way that I imagine Klaus’ Reindeer Thugs keep doing. Those Reindeer have had ninja training, so they can just sneak into your house at night, and mess up your Groots. Everyone knows that.

Still, as this part of the season comes to a close, I feel like I need one last attempt at a Baby Groot vandalized with ornaments. So, here it is True Believers.

Poor sad Baby Groot.

Poor sad Baby Groot.

Figure that Klaus will be back from the Moon at the North Pole by the end of the weekend. It’s mostly an organizational problem. See…if we assume that Santa has to travel 510,000,000km on Christmas Eve, and that he has 32 hours to do it (the reasoning behind these numbers is another story), then Santa will be travelling at 10,703,437.5km/hr, or about 1,800 miles per second, all night (assuming he never stops). I used metrics there, just because I can, and then switched to things that people understand and care about, like miles.

Anyway…the moon is only 240,000 miles away. That means, at a speed of 1800 miles per second, it takes 133 seconds to get from the moon to Earth. Round trip, that’s 266 seconds, divide by 60 seconds in a minute, and you get a roughly five minute round trip. His big problem is that a bunch of Elves and Reindeer, who he makes work in a sweatshop, have to come pick him up. Figure they’ll let him cool off on the Moon for a couple of days, until the checks aren’t signed, and they discover that they actually need him to maintain their unfortunate existence in their industrialized fortress.

I’m hoping that all you Gentle Readers spend a nice day, with people you like, regardless of whether you are Pro-Christmas, or of more of a “meh” direction. I look forward to drawing, and generally having pleasant quiet time, which I enjoy. Whatever you enjoy, I wish you the best in it.

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