Thanks for stopping by Hero Complex during the holiday week, apologies again for the sparse posting pace, we’ll be back at full speed before the first of the year…
Last week I put up some great Marvel holiday comics art through the years and Jim McCann over at Marvel sent me a nice note and even more images. So, happy holidays and enjoy these ghosts of Christmas past …
Here’s a classic yuletide image from my childhood. I loved the oversized Marvel and DC books of the 1970s. This 1974 collection of reprints included “Have Yourself a Sandman Little Christmas!” from “Marvel Team-Up” No. 1 and a classic battle between Hulk and the Thing that had pretty much had nothing to do with the holidays.
The Marvel Holiday Special became a tradition during the 1991 holiday season when this issue below kicked off the annual series. Art Adams did the cover and he also drew the Fantastic Four story inside:
And here’s the full wraparound cover version…run, Santa, run!
Geez, what did St. Nick do to deserve that kind of scare?
Two tidbits about the 1992 holiday special below (which has a January 1993 cover date): It had a Hanukkah story that revealed for the first time that Doc Samson was the world’s most powerful green-haired Jew and its cover featured Speedball the Masked Marvel, a Steve Ditko creation that just went nowhere but not for lack of exposure. He’s the guy down in the left corner who looks like he’s living inside the bubbles of a lava lamp:
The 1993 Marvel Holiday Special (with January 1994 date on it) has an offbeat cover by Michael Kaluta. Kaluta’s art fascinated me when I was a young kid in the 1970s and came across his work on the DC revival of “The Shadow.” Random fact: Kaluta shared a New York studio in late 1970s with Berni Wrightson, Barry Windsor Smith and Jeffrey Jones, which is a staggering amount of talent sharing one electrical bill.
That 1993 Holiday Special was also available with a second cover by the great George Perez…
The cover below, from the 1996 holiday season (again, with a January 1997 cover date) made me a bit sad to see again. It was drawn by the very talented Mike Wieringo, who died in 2007 in North Carolina at age 44 after a coronary calamity called an aortic dissection. I never met Mike but we had a lot of mutual acquaintances who speak very highly of him. Take a look at his website, which proves how important artistic talent can be to a community. And, during these holidays, it also might inspire you to hug the people you love just a little tighter.
— Geoff Boucher
UPDATE: An earlier version of this post made it sound like that George Perez cover above was from a different year than the Kaluta cover as opposed to being a variant alternative. No elves were harmed in the making of this blog.
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