I tried to avoid it. I really did.
I really wanted to write a Top 10 list of Christmas covers that didn’t call out some of the craziest comic covers of all time. I tried so hard to do that. But when I saw the #1 choice on my list, the decision kind of went out of my hands. I had no choice. I had to choose 10 more totally inappropriate Christmas covers for the week before Christmas, even though Danny D submitted a similar list two weeks ago. I know, I have no will power. But you gotta admit that some of these covers are pretty bizarre.
10. Love Hina #6
Seems to me that the women on this cover are on the verge of a very special Christmas, if you know what I mean. And if you’re the kind of guy who uses the Internet, you probably know where to find plenty of images of women having special Christmases. I’ve never read this series, so I have no clue if my first impression has anything to do with what really happens in this series, but please don’t tell me if I’m wrong about Love Hina. I’d like to live happily with my warm little dreams.
9. Amazing Spider-Man #314
Poor Peter and Mary Jane. They got evicted from their gorgeous apartment at Christmas. What a jerk landlord they must have. I realize that the inappropriateness of this cover is precisely the point, but this cover gets the nod for one very strange aspect of it – if you’ll notice, it’s not Peter and Mary Jane who get kicked out of their apartment, it’s Spider-Man and MJ. More than that, Peter – I mean Spidey – is getting his Spider ass kicked so bad that even a fat man in a Santa suit is laughing at him. Now that’s tough news. Who’s Petey’s landlord, Doc Ock?
8. Funny Picture Stories vol. 2 #4
I love the blatantly random elements on the cover of this comic. I can only imagine the editors saying “let’s stick every word we can think of onto this cover and see if people will buy it. Kids want stuff that’s funny, and some action and some mystery. Oh yeah, and also some hippos or vaguely racist monkeys celebrating Christmas in a pretty much random way.” I keep staring at this cover and trying to figure out exactly what’s going on with it. I keep failing completely in that aspiration. What is that creature in the Santa suit? Are those bells on its toes? What’s with the house with palm trees in the background? What the what? It’s all so thoroughly random!
7. The Strangers #19
Nothing says Christmas like beautiful ornaments on a Christmas tree. Looking at a gorgeously-decorated tree is such a happy and pleasant experience that it’s been known to create peace between Superman and Lex Luthor. But a tree doesn’t mean happiness for the female members of the Strangers, who are obviously the most emo super-hero team in the Ultraverse. Maybe if they weren’t strangers to each other, these heroines would be just a little bit happier. C’mon ladies, it’s Christmas. Smile. Maybe there’s some Prozac under the tree!
6. Guy Gardner: Warrior #39
I had to pick this cover in honor of Comics Bulletin’s own Beau Smith, who wrote this really fun comic. And knowing Beau, he probably meant this cover to be silly. But still, this is awfully inappropriate. Would you want some massively buff, shirtless dude with tattoos all over his body to come down your chimney with a set of Hawkman wings to put under your tree? It’s all very surreal and strange. And what’s with the sexy elf girl hanging out on the cover with Guy Gardner? Is that Guy Gardner’s version of Mrs. Claus? If so, you know why he’s called a Warrior.
5. The Kilroys #21
Listen, we all know about these scandals that happen with mail order brides coming to the US and being treated like possessions of their husbands. But it’s still shocking to see the American Comics Group celebrating that fact on the cover of an alleged humor comic. Thankfully the guy with the “P” on his chest looks like he’s about to call 911, because his degenerate friend looks like he can’t wait to get his new Russian spouse to bed and then to get the ashes cleaned out of his fireplace.
4. The Adventures of Chrissie Claus
Nothing makes me feel more like Christmas than watching anorexic and badly-proportioned beach babes playing in vaguely-drawn water. I think my favorite part of this cover is its assertion that despite the alleged sexiness of “Payne”‘s artwork, this comic is still “for children of all ages!” All ages, that is, if you’re a male over 18 years old, I think.
3. Saved by the Bell Christmas Special
How long do you think it took the production person at Harvey Comics to put together this cover? Maybe 10 minutes max? Take a blurry photo of the cast of a mediocre TV series, overlay that picture on a blown-up close-up of some Christmas wrapping paper, and voila!, you’re done! Good work if you can get it, I’d say. I wish I’d had a job at Harvey “Classics” at that time. I would have had lots of time to get my drinking in.
2. Dennis the Menace Pocket Full of Fun #18
This would have been a thoroughly sweet and innocent cover if it weren’t for the eyes. Just look at that look of… umm… ecstasy on the face of the Jack-in-the-Box. Jack looks awfully satisfied by having Dennis ride on him. Very very very satisfied. And judging by the look on Dennis’s face, I don’t think he’s too sad, either. Look away, Mr. Wilson. Dennis is going to go play with Jack now. Pay no attention to any odd noices you hear. That’s just calliope music.
The fact that this comic is a “pocket full of fun” just makes this whole thing even better.
1. Fantastic Four (second series) #4
They say that the sign of a good book or movie is when you can go back and read or watch it over and over and see something different each time. Whilce Portacio has delivered that same thing on this amazing comics cover. Every time I look at this cover, I see yet another gasp-inducing aspect of it Sue Storm’s breasts are front and center, and thankfully if her super-hero gig doesn’t work out, she looks like she’ll have a good career as an exotic dancer. Meanwhile, the Thing looks like he’s about 12 inches tall. Good thing he has super strength because that Santa bag looks like it must weigh about ten tons. What do you think is in that bag, anvils? On reflection, though, my favorite part of this cover is Reed Richards’s chest. I have to say I find it kind of vain of Reed to keep a perfectly buff chest while decorating the Christmas tree. Maybe he’s insecure because it looks like his wife’s trying to seduce her photographer right in front of him. If my wife did that, I’d make her become invisible. Or show her my muscles. In any event, doesn’t this cover fill you with the Christmas spirit?
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