Saturday, December 23, 2006

If Santa brought presents for the good kids, and beatings for everyone else, I'd be a lot more excited for this time of year.They had the good taste to go with 'Klaus' rather than 'Claws' or 'Clause,' and I for one am grateful.
From Badger #70, "Klaus" Written by Mike Baron, pencils by John Calimee, inks by Bill Reinhold. Badger may not be Baron's best creation, but it was a consistently insane book for a consistently insane hero. This was the last regular monthly issue from First Comics, before they tried to change formats in 1991. (For one reason or another, it didn't work.)

Badger runs into Santa 'Klaus' in a biker bar, and the jolly old elf is anything but. Klaus considers not making his Christmas Eve run, as he has been hassled by animal rights activists, the Canadian Air Force (for repeated airspace violations), environmentalists, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (which I don't get: Santa isn't a religious figure, exactly), 'politically correct' groups, a socialist troll...
A cossack hat, Thor's wristbands, and elf shoes; and those aren't the weirdest part of his outfit.
Badger talks Klaus into doing it for the kids, but then has to go with him. It goes pretty well, until Badger catches Klaus about to have sex with a possibly-underage girl. That being wrong despite all those cartoons in the December issues of Playboy, Badger has to knock him out and save Christmas himself.

An interesting and occasionally funny Christmas issue, but it does raise the question: are special interest groups ruining Christmas? Does Baby Jesus cry when you say 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas'? Look, Christmas is going to be what you make it. Maybe your neighborhood doesn't want a nativity scene that can be seen from space. Maybe your co-workers aren't enticed by your mistletoe hat and matching belt buckle. Maybe your family doesn't need four years of credit card payments for this year's presents. But, if you are with your loved ones, and let them know how much you appreciate them, maybe that's all you need. Or maybe you don't need anything: a day off and a new toy go a long way for me, to be honest.

Maybe what I'm getting at is, you can't save Christmas. At least not for everyone, since everyone doesn't want your Christmas. All you can do is 'save' your own Christmas, by trying to make yourself and your family happy; without stepping on anyone else's holiday (or lack of same) or bankrupting yourself to buy whatever big-ticket item is the must-have this year. So, while I wish you all a 'Merry Happy,' as Evan Dorkin put it; you can all do whatever you like for Christmas, and I will do the same; let's leave each other to it.

Unless you put ketchup on ham, in which case you're an abomination that must be stopped. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have stockings to stuff, so shh.

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