Thursday, December 26, 2013
Aside from being the Feast of Stephen, the day after Christmas Day is all about playing with the gifts —and in this fun cover from Woody Woodpecker Issue 88 December 1965, Woody, Knothead and Splinter enjoy their new toys. This cover art (drawn I believe by Paul Murry) was originally published for the Walter Lantz anthology title New Funnies, Issue 246, cover date January 1955. But whatever the year, this cover with the classic wind-up men (make that wind-up Woodpeckers) is a Christmas treat.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
It's now Christmas Day, and to celebrate here's the View-Master set retelling the story of Birth of Jesus. This unique set, while covering the same territory as the View-Master set entitled The Christmas Story, stages the scenes with costumed actors. The scenes were created and photographed by Church-Craft Pictures, Inc., and reportedly Hollywood's favorite Biblical epic director Cecil DeMille actually directed at least some of the three-dimensional tableaux. Originally produced in 1947, this timeless View-Master set was in print for decades, and apparently still is available. Merry Christmas, everyone.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Christmas Eve is the perfect time for The Muppet Christmas Carol. (The Spirits did it all in one night, remember?) Our celebration of that very merry Muppet movie continues with one of the charming tie-ins issued at the time the film was in movie houses, the A Merry Muppet Christmas picture book. Though created for little people, Muppet fans of all ages can appreciate the delightful art of this "Through the Window" book that conveys the coziness of an old-fashioned Christmas Eve. And don't forget to check out the articles I wrote about The Muppet Christmas Carol for D23.com, including "A Closer Look at the Dickens Village in The Muppet Christmas Carol." written by Jim Fanning.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Who makes a better Santa Claus than Sebastian Cabot? Just about no one, as perhaps you can tell from this publicity still from the Family Affair TV series, which featured three Disney favorites: Mr. Cabot (who played gentleman's gentleman Mr. French), Johnnie Whitaker (who played Jody) and Brian Keith (Uncle Bill). Stay tuned to Tulgey Wood for more Family Affair fun soon. And also check out Embarrassing Treasures, an entertaining blog that is currently reviewing each episode of this classic TV show. Bonus Christmas Fun Fact: Sebastian Cabot portrayed Kris Kringle (the role made famous by Edmund Gwenn in the 1947 original) in the 1970s TV remake of Miracle on 34th Street.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
From Christmas Past (but not long past) comes this stained glass-like cover art from The Disney Catalog for Christmas 2003. The festive colors speak of holiday cheer and beauty as does the fact that it features all three of Walt Disney's original princesses (added and abetted by Cinderella's mice friends), dressed in holiday finery.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Thanks to this issue of Marvel's Giant Superhero Holiday Grab Bag from 1975, we have what may be the most unlikely Christmas party ever on the front cover, drawn by John Romita. Does that little girl realize that Santa is green? At least it's not the Grinch. (The back cover is also fun in its festive oddness.)
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Looking for some (mostly) new Peanuts Christmas cheer? Look no further than Kaboom's title starring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and (as some commercial sussed to say and some folks still do) "all the Peanuts."Issue #14 features December-themed stories that add old-fashioned Christmas comic-book fun to the festivities.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
D23.com is running the five-part series I wrote about The Muppet Christmas Carol. Be sure and check out part two (and the other parts as they are posted), "It's Not Easy Being Mean" (focusing on Michael Caine who plays Scrooge in the Muppet movie) written by Jim Fanning for D23. In the meantime, from Dizmentia, the blog of Dan Alexander, here are some Christmas ornaments given away by Taco Bell as a tie-in with the movie.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Today D23 posted the first part of a five part article I wrote about The Muppet Christmas Carol. As a continuation of the celebration, here's the charming cover of the coloring-book adaptation of the film. Enjoy, and be sure and check out the first part (followed by the next four parts) of the The Muppet Christmas Carol at D23.com, "What it was Like to Cast 280 Muppets in Dickens' A Christmas Carol," written by Jim Fanning.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Yuletide always puts us in the mind of Walt Disney's Babes in Toyland. The movie was widely and wildly promoted and among the treasures created to tie-in with the film's 1961 release were not one but two Little Golden Books. The one pictured here, The Toy Soldiers (art by Robert Thompson) focuses on the climatic battle between brave Tom Piper and the villain Barnaby, with the miniaturized Tom (played in the movie Tommy Sands) leading the Toymaker's Wooden Soldiers to victory. Speaking of Babes in Toyland, be sure and check out the article I wrote about the musical fantasy for D23.
Friday, December 13, 2013
From December 1977: on this cover of the Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids comic book (Issue 22), William H. Crosby Jr.'s plus-sized character pays Santa a visit to give jolly Old St. Nick (who seems more distressed than jolly at this particular moment) his wish list, which undoubtedly includes a good number of sugar plums. Does anyone know who is the artist of this delicious cover? If so please leave your answer (or even an educated guess) in the comments.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
In this festive cover by, I believe, Harvey Eisnberg, Tom trims a Christmas tree (with a little "help" from Jerry and Tuffy) in this comic book cover from Issue #90, cover dated January 1952), which of course means that it was on the stands for Christmas 1951.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
For Christmas 2013, the Charles M. Schulz Museum has sent out this peaceful, colorful and charming holiday card featuring Snoopy's brother Spike. The hermit-like beagle, who lives in Needles, California, is decorating his cactus as a Christmas tree. (In one of the classic comic strips, Spike is defeated in this project when he realizes his extension cord won't reach to the nearest electrical outlet many miles away.) I hope this special card makes your Christmastide a little brighter. And Merry Christmas, Mom.
Monday, December 9, 2013
I've noted before that there isn't as wide variety of family-friendly comic books (in other words, more than super heroes), but lately there's Garfield. The always hungry tabby even came out with his own Christmas comic book (Issue #8) last year (2012), complete with this festive cover drawn by Gary Barker. He may be lazy, but the comic-strip kitty knows how to uphold at least two grand comic book traditions at once.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Archie Andrews is a Christmastime perennial here at Tulgey Wood but it's high time we made room for his comic company's contemporary, Sabrina Spellman. Part of the Archie Giant Series, Sabrina's Christmas Magic featured the teenage witch conjuring up some holiday enchantment from 1972 (she was then a popular Saturday morning animated star on CBS) through 1982. In this fun example of holiday annual's covers, Sabrina and her family (and Salem) show they were years ahead of Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).
Saturday, December 7, 2013
A little known Peanuts publication, Snoopy Magazine was published from 1988 through 1990. The Winter 1989 issue of this fun-filled quarterly featured a large and delightfully Christmasy centerfold, featuring a Victorian-garbed Snoopy in a one-Woodstock open sleigh. Though it's very unlikely this centerfold was drawn by Schulz himself (be sure and click on this large artwork for an even bigger view), it sure looks like his work, right down to the somewhat shaky line used at the time by the great cartoonist. In any event, this is a rare piece of Peanuts art, sweetly evoking sentiments of the season.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Today is Saint Nicholas Day, December 6 being the feast day of the inspiration for Santa Claus on the Church calendar. To celebrate St. Nick, let's visit several different versions of "A Visit From St. Nicholas" as published by Golden Books. The first Little Golden Book to feature Clement C. Moore's classic poem (one of the most reprinted poems ever penned, the festive verse was written in 1822 and first published in 1823), entitled The Night Before Christmas, as all the Golden versions were, was originally published in 1946, at least with this cover. New illustrations were created in 1949 and this edition was in print for decades, selling in the millions. (The edition shown here is from the 1970s.) Other editions with different illustrations were published in 1955, 1987 and 2001. Whatever the season, whatever the style, Saint Nicholas never goes out of fashion.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
In honor of Walt Disney's birth date, December 5, 1901, here is the cover (art by Disney artist Al Dempster) of the biography written by Diane Disney Miller (as told to journalist Pete Martin—who, Diane was forever pointing out, did most of the work and the writing that produced the biography). Diane was of course Walt's daughter, who sadly and all too soon died on November 18. This story of Walt's life, published in 1956, is a fitting tribute to the man who started it all and the daughter who tirelessly reminded the world of the value and legacy of that man. The Walt Disney Family Museum stands as a monument to both dad and daughter. (The ad for the book is from the apparently and unfortunately defunct Disney-centered blog, 2719 Hyperion.)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
As you know from previous posts, Yogi Bear is a festive Christmas fave here in Tulgey Wood. Designed to make the reader feel all Christmasy and cozy what with sleighs, woods, caves and Christmas trees, Yogi Bear: A Christmas Visit is an enchanting Little Golden Book from Yogi's heyday (make that hey-hey-hey) in 1961. And attention, Disney fans: the entrancing illustrations are by Disney Legend Burny Mattinson and his wife Sylvia. (Click on the illustrations for a larger view.) To see even more of this classic seasonal storybook, check out the must-see blog of our favorite Hanna-Barbera pal (well, our favorite after Yogi Bear…and Huck Hound…and the Jetsons…and the Flintstones…), Yowp!
Monday, December 2, 2013
Comic books and comic book covers are always a favorite here at Tulgey Wood and so is Christmas, so what could be more fun and festive than Christmas-themed comic book covers? This early Superboy cover from Adventure Comics Issue 113, February 1947 was drawn by Stan Kaye and George Roussos. Who needs a sleigh when you have Superboy to offer an assist? This festively outfitted comic—it actually hit the streets in time for Christmas 1946—came out just two years after the Superboy character was introduced in late 1944. As you can see here, Superboy was usually portrayed as a young kid as opposed to the teenager with which most readers/viewers are familiar (as in the Smallville TV series, for example). More Yuletide treats ahead in Tulgey Wood for Christmas 2013!
Sunday, December 1, 2013
It's December so here comes Tulgey Wood's Christmas Extravaganza 2013! To start off, here's a charming Victorian-style scene from The Disney Catalog. This 1998 illustration by master Mouse maven John Loter combines old-fashioned charm with the vintage look of "antique" Mickey and Minnie. It moon-and candle-lit glow evokes a seasonal warmth and cheerfulness that's perfect for getting December off on the right foot. Check back here at Tulgey Wood all month and into January for more Yuletide treasure.