You’d have to be a true grinch to dislike this collection of great, classic comic book stories about Christmas. Editor Craig Yoe has assembled a very nice assortment of favorites from comics’ Golden Age, the majority of which come from the John Stanley, Walt Kelly, and Richard Scarry. Other creators appearing in these pages include Dan Noonan, Frank Johnson, Klaus Nordling, Al Fago, Dan Gormley, Mike Sekowsky, and the wonderful Alberto Giolitti, whose artwork on “The Christmas Story” is truly brilliant.
The 21 stories here run from simple delightfully simple (“A Mouse in the House,” “Ticky Tack, the Littlest Reindeer”) to nostalgic looks at a long-ago time (“A Letter for Santa,” “Joe and Jennifer in The Wonderful Snowhouse”) to much beloved classics (“The Night Before Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol”). It’s with the classics that the artists really show off their skills, creating visually stunning representations that adults will appreciate probably even more than kids.
The rest of the stories are, as one would expect, cheerful examples of the spirit of Christmas. This book would make a wonderful addition to many children’s libraries.
All that’s really missing, from an adult perspective, is text that would frame each of the stories properly. Each story is presented with no context, no description, no background. Kids won’t miss that, but adults like me would love to know more about the creators, the stories, and where they came from. The reader has to check the copyright page to find out what year each story was published—it would be nice if that information had also been put on the table of contents for easier reference. Nevertheless, The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories is a joy-filled experience for the season.
Reviewed by John Hogan on November 30, 2010
The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories