Art For Art’s Sake #188: Merry Blooming Christmas One And All!

by Richard Bruton

Another day, another bit of Christmas for you. All month we’ve been doing our Comicon Advent Calendar for you, but here’s a wonderful wintery grab bag of Christmas comic art for your festive Art For Art’s Sake…

So, settled comfortably in a chair, warm fire going? Pour yourself another drink (hey, you deserve it) and settle back to enjoy… have a wonderful Christmas…

Dan White, creator of the always wonderful Cindy & Biscuit…

The always wonderful Deep Dark Fears

Walter Simonson – Christmas Dwarf. 1994 Fantasy Art Calendar illo for December.

Fred Blunt – Doodle Scrooge

Warwick Johnson Cadwell

Gilbert Hernandez

Barry Windsor Smith…

Howard Chaykin

Chris Giarrusso

David Hitchcock

Mike Mignola

Tove Jansson

Tom Reilly


J. Bone & Darwyn Cooke

Richard Sala

Bill Sienkiewicz

Carl Barks – Santa’s Christmas Mail

Sergio Aragones

Jill Thompson‘s Scary Godmother enjoying the snow…

John Cullen –

Stephen Collins

Terry Moore

The Mickey Mouse Christmas Carolers… Hank Porter original from 1938.



And we shall leave you with Raymond BriggsFather Christmas… simply because it’s the very best Christmas book there’s ever been.

First published in 1973 and followed, in 1975, by Father Christmas Goes on Holiday, this is not your usual jovial old man dressed in red and white – this is Briggs’s own wonderful reinvention, turning Father Christmas into a put-upon, grumpy, cantankerous old man who just happens to have the world’s most difficult job one night every year. And it’s that perfect twist of Briggs’s that makes Father Christmas quite the best Christmas tale you’ll ever read and one that you should read, every year, to your kids, and give as presents to everyone.

Briggs’s Father Christmas is quite wonderfully, magnificently grumpy all the way through the book, as we follow this simple working man – Briggs imagined him pretty much like his milkman father (who makes a cameo late into the book), getting up way too early and struggling through the weather to do his deliveries – from the very start of the very special day all the way till its ending, in front of the fire and with a nice tot of whisky before heading to bed.

So, in Father Christmas, you’ll see him work his way through the night, fed up with the weather, the cold, the endless present run, fed up with the cold, the chimneys, the cats, the aerials. In fact, the only thing brightening his night is the goodly supply of food and drink.

Particularly the drink.

Everything here, whether it’s the beautiful double-page spreads of travelling through the inclement blooming weather or the cut-away shots of the houses, or the perfect body language and characterisation of the grumpy man leading the tale, is just so simply perfectly done, a masterpiece on the comic page.

As with all of Brigg’s work, Father Christmas takes a saccharine-free look at things, there’s no Coke-Santa Christmas overload here, the sentimentality is tempered with the grumbling and the realism of the world we see. Briggs’s Father Christmas is magical of course – the sleigh and the flying reindeer give that away – but also just a normal bloke who puts up with the responsibilities of his job, gets through the working day and looks forward to “nice clean socks, good drop of ale, lovely grub” and a late night whisky and cigar in front of the fire.

Father Christmas is, quite simply, a delightful comic that will enchant children and adults for generations to come, just one book in the enormous legacy left to us by a true genius of comics, Raymond Briggs.

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