Archive for Santa Claus

A review of L Frank Baum’s The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (1902)

Posted in books with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2013 by Paxton

Following the Yellow Brick Road

In 1902, just two years after writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but 2 years before the first Oz sequel, L Frank Baum wrote The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. It was illustrated by Mary Cowles Clark.

Life and Adv of Santa Claus cover

This was Baum’s attempt to tell the origin of Santa Claus and explain the beginnings and reasons for all of our different beliefs and practices around Christmas time. It was a very ambitious undertaking.  But Baum does it in his usual dreamy, fairy tale-like manner and, for the most part, it works.

Baum sets up the world by describing all the magical immortal creatures that oversee various aspects of Nature.  We see creatures such as Fairies who watch over humans, Wood Nymphs who watch over forests, Gnomes who watch over the rocks and Ryls and Knooks who watch over the flowers and animals, respectively (along with many other creatures I’ll not name).  All of these creatures are presided over by the Great Woodsman, Ak.

One day Ak stumbles upon a lost child and allows a Wood Nymph, Necile, to adopt him.  Necile names him Neclaus (Nicolas).  Santa is raised by these magical, immortal creatures in the forest until Ak decided Claus must learn more about his own people and takes him on a trip into the human world.  Santa is shocked and frustrated by the wars, greed, child neglect and child abuse he witnesses.  Ak encourages him to not forsake the mortals as he is one of them.  Santa decides to do something about what he’s seen.

Santa moves to the nearby Laughing Valley where all the magical creatures help him build a workshop and get him started making toys.  The idea Baum posits here is that toys don’t currently exist.  Santa invents them when he makes his first toy which then transfixes the children.  So he continues to do it and his operation becomes bigger and bigger as he tries to help more and more children.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 112: Secret Santa Gunpoint Review

Posted in Christmas, holiday, movies, nostalgia, podcast, pop culture, Santa Claus with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Welcome to our annual TAG Christmas crossover. CT, Jeeg and I are visited by The Atomic Geeks; Digio, Downs and Christian, for a friendly round of Gunpoint Reviews.

Secret Santa Gunpoint Review

For this week’s show, the Geeks assigned us a secret Christmas movie and we assigned them a secret Christmas movie. We both watched the movies and had to review them to each other on the show.  We assigned the Geeks the Mexican holiday movie classic Santa Claus (1959-60) and they assigned us Santa Claus vs The Martians (1964).  Much fun is had trying to describe the absolute lunacy of the movie plots to the other members of the show.  Come on over a take a listen to some holiday hijinx courtesy of the TAG network.

The closing song in this episode was done by none other than former Atomic Geek Andrew Bloom!

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to this train wreck online here.

Nerd Lunch Episode 66: Creating the ultimate Christmas special

Posted in Christmas, holiday, podcast, pop culture, Rankin/Bass, Santa Claus with tags , , , , , , on December 18, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Episode 66 of the Nerd Lunch Podcast has stuffed itself down your chimney and is sitting in your stocking. Waiting.

This week we are joined by Mr Michael Digiovanni from The Atomic Geeks for a discussion about Christimas Specials.  Except we aren’t going to actually discuss the specials themselves, we are going to take our favorite characters from our favorite specials and start creating our own Nerd Lunch Christmas special.

Rankin Bass characters

We each pick a hero, a villain, some henchman, a narrator and a specific plot device (MacGuffin). Then we all talk about and pick the ones we like best and “Frankenstein” those ideas up into our very own Christmas special.  And it turns out pretty f**king awesome.  Give it a listen and see if you don’t agree.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Merry Christmas from the Cavalcade of Awesome!

Posted in Christmas, holiday, Santa Claus with tags , , on December 25, 2009 by Paxton

Santa vs Easter BunnyPainting via Todd Schorr

Hope everyone has a great Christmas holiday. I’m back in Alabama celebrating with my wife’s family.  I may return next week, I may not.  We’ll see how things go.

Until I return, I wish you and yours the best and I’ll leave you with the most mind-bendingly awesome Indian Christmas carol I’ve ever seen.

Happy Holidays,

Paxton Holley
Cavalcade of Awesome

Yuletide Brawl 2: Comic books featuring Santa kicking ass

Posted in Christmas, comic books, holiday, pop culture, Santa Claus with tags , , , , on December 17, 2009 by Paxton

If you missed the first part of this article, in which I show you Santa getting his ass kicked, then check it out here.  I also wrote another article featuring ’50s and ’60s super heroes helping Santa deliver toys on their covers.  See those comics here.

This week, we are changing it up and featuring a Santa Claus that has had enough and taking things into his own hands. Time to bloody up the snow with comic book covers featuring Santa kicking all kinds of asses.

Jingle Belle vs Frankenstein
From the 2008 Jingle Belle Holiday Special. Santa vs Frankenstein. You saw this a few months ago during my AWESOME-tober-fest 2009 countdown. I still maintain that it is awesome beyond words.  SANTA VERSUS FRANKENSTEIN.  Why has no one else thought of this?  And where’s the movie script?

Hulk 378
Hulk #378 – Santa fights The Incredible Hulk.  With a crowbar.  While falling out of a building.  The only thing left would be to have them (or the building) on fire, but I’m not sure my mind could handle that much BAD ASS.

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Yuletide Brawl: Comic books featuring Santa getting his ass kicked

Posted in Christmas, comic books, holiday, pop culture, Santa Claus with tags , , , , on December 15, 2009 by Paxton

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful.
But beating Santa’s ass, is sooooooo delightful.”

Okay, I was paraphrasing those song lyrics. But they tie into today’s topic, you’ll see.

Santa Claus has a long history of showing up in comics books as an actual character, especially around the holidays. In the ’50s and ’60s, it was a more innocent time. Santa showed up as the typical jolly, old elf. He would distribute cheer and famous super heroes would help him deliver his toys to all the boys and girls.  Last week, I looked at a few of these jolly comic covers featuring Santa Claus.

In the ’70s and ’80s, things were a bit different for Mr Claus. For one thing, comic heroes had no problem beating the fat boy down. Seriously. Santa showed up as an adversary throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Then in the ’90s and ’00s, Santa turned the tables, armed himself to the teeth, and took on all comers like some bad ass pit fighter in a Van Damme movie.

Today, I’m going to take a look at the comic book covers that feature Santa getting his jolly, old ass handed to him by some of our most beloved superheroes. Don’t worry, though, next week, we’ll see Santa get his revenge. For now, let’s watch all kinds of mayhem be delivered unto “The Claus” as Santa gets his butt kicked by some of the most violent heroes of the ’90s.

Lobo Xmas Special
Lobo Paramilitary Xmas Special (1991) – I mentioned this comic last year when talking about my holiday reading.  Lobo gets into literally a 10 page vicious, bloody brawl against an armed-to-the-teeth Santa.  As you can see by the cover, it doesn’t end well for Father Christmas.  To be fair, though, Santa is portrayed as a slave driving, drunken dictator over all of his elves.

Hitman 22
Hitman #22 (1998) – I’m not sure what leads to this moment in the story, but Santa seems to be in a situation that is causing him to rethink the decisions he’s made.  And by that I mean he just crapped his pants.  Feliz Navidad, bitch!

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Comic book covers featuring Santa Claus

Posted in Christmas, comic books, holiday, pop culture, Santa Claus, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 9, 2009 by Paxton

Santa Claus Funnies

I love comic books. I collected them for many years and I love to look at old comic covers.  You can find comic book covers that conform to almost any theme.  I posted several Frankenstein monster comic book covers during AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  For this holiday article, I thought it would be fun to look at some comic book covers that feature the lovable image of St Nick.  He’s been showing up in some form or another on comic books since the ’30s and ’40s.

Santa has made many appearances in comics, this week I’ll look at some images of jolly old Saint Nick getting some help from superheroes to complete his rounds.  Next week I’ll have a different Santa comic book theme.  Now, let’s see Santa get some help from some of our favorite heroes.

Action Comics 105
Action Comics #105 – Here’s Superman using his super strength to help Santa get his plump midsection down a chimney.  You can imagine a thought bubble above Superman saying, “Maybe you should hit the treadmill, Santa.  I have murderers and rapists to catch.”

Batman 27
Batman #27 – Up above in the first comic cover we see Superman stop his normal duties to help Santa deliver toys.  Here we see Batman laugh and what looks like smack Santa on the back while he and Robin try to carry a gi-normous bag of childrens’ toys.  Batman is a douche, dude.

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