8 Classic Holiday Comics to Read for 2018!
The holidays are upon us! One of the most fun things to read during this time of year is a comic book full of Christmas cheer, Hanukkah magic and yuletide greetings. Of course your favorite publishers are busy putting out some all-new holiday specials this season. But sometimes you just want to read a classic holiday comic or two to really get back to that magic of Christmas you felt as a kid. Here are 8 classic holiday themed comics that shouldn’t put too big a strain on your wallet and can currently be found online…
(Prices are based on Google searches taken from the week of November 26th, 2018. Availability and actual costs may vary over time.
1. Doctor Who: The 12th Doctor #16 (Titan Comics, 2015)
In a year which will not see a Doctor Who Christmas special, this 2015 adventure is a much needed boost of Time Lord holiday fun! Set during the Peter Calpaldi era, The Doctor and Clara are about to celebrate the holidays whether they want to or not. In classic fashion, the TARDIS has taken her crew to the most mysterious setting of all- festive holiday party. Everything looks straight out of a Hallmark Channel Movie. That is until Susan, the long lost granddaughter of the Doctor, appears bearing a cup of eggnog. A perfect read, especially for fans of both the classic and modern series. Mariano Laclaustra was on point with the artwork in this special. There’s so many Easter eggs, you forget it’s a Christmas special!
Price: Ranges from $1.99 on the Google Play store to $8.00 print.
2. Pink Panther: Classic Christmas (American Mythology, 2018)
I know what you are thinking- how is a 2018 comic book a classic holiday read? Even though the book was just published within the past week, it’s comprised of a Christmas classic that has been lost for nearly 40 years. Reprinting issue #60 of the Gold Key Pink Panther comic book, the story ‘Pink Christmas’ was adapted from the Pink Panther animated holiday special from 1978. Here, the Panther is trying to find a warm meal and ends up in a series of holiday mishaps. Only Clark Griswald seems to have worse luck during the holidays. This trip back in time has laughs, heart and oddly enough, words! Fans of the original Pink Panther will remember that the character never spoke! But that’s okay! It’s Christmas!
Price: $3.99 in both digital and print formats.
3. Brave and the Bold #148 (DC Comics, 1979)
I love team-ups. I love DC. I love holiday comics. This issue is the best of all three. Batman and Plastic Man team-up to find out why a group of thugs stole Gotham City’s Christmas decorations. The plot is a little bit predictable but compared to the other Brave and the Bold Christmas issue (#184 with the Huntress), this one is a bit more cheerful and with Plas involved, it’s also a lot more fun. Featuring art by Jim Aparo and Joe Stanton, this is classic DC Christmas.
Be also on the look-out for a pair of holiday themed issues based on the Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon. Issue #12 is a Christmas themed story with Adam Strange. All-New Batman: Brave and the Bold #14 takes place at Hanukkah with Ragman teaming with the Caped Crusader.
Prices range from $2.50 up to $15.00 on Ebay for the 1979 volume.
#4. Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #7 (Marvel Comics 1973)
This Luke Cage issue has hints of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and George Orwell’s 1984. It features a one-and-done villain named Marley (get it?!), an abused child and a bomb. This early work by Steve Englehart and George Tuska missed out on being the perfect Power Man holiday issue as Luke Cage would not utter his famous catchphrase ‘Sweet Christmas!’ for the very first time until issue #8! Did this story inspire that iconic exclamation? Perhaps. But it would have been worth the extra money just to have Luke Cage say it during a Christmas story.
Fans wanting Luke Cage to exclaim his beloved trademarked phrase finally got their wish in 2016’s Power Man/Iron Fist: Sweet Christmas Annual #1. Featuring Jessica Jones and the original Spider-Woman, this holiday book was used as a tie-in to the various Marvel series airing on Netflix.
Prices for Hero for Hire range from $9.00 to $20.
5. Michelangelo Christmas Special #1 (Mirage, 1990)
The nun-chucking hero is arguably everyone’s favorite Ninja Turtle. Reprinting the extremely rare and extremely expensive Michelangelo One-Shot from 1985, Mikey battles a gang who have stolen a truck loaded with toys for the orphans. Along the way, Michelangelo adopts a cat and enjoys some holiday festivities in the Big Apple.
Featuring art and story by TMNT creators Eastman and Laird, I could have picked the 1985 edition for this list or the numerous reprints done in both original B&W and full-color by IDW in recent years (TMNT: Classics Micro Series). However, none of those editions come with the bonus ‘Christmas Carol’ story by Jim Lawson like this 1990 release does.
Prices range from $3.49-$34.00 on Amazon.
6. DC Special: Elvira’s Haunted Holidays #1 (DC Comics 1987)
2018 has been Elvira’s year. The Mistress of the Dark has made a resurgence this year with an all-new miniseries by Dynamite Entertainment, a Funko Pop! bobble head, and several judging appearances on Food Network. So why not celebrate with one of Elvira’s earliest appearances in comic books? Around the time of this special, DC decided to revamp the horror anthology series House of Mystery. But instead of having original horror host Cain, DC outsourced the job to Elvira.
Featuring art and stories by original House of Mystery greats Paul Gulacy, Stepen Destefano and Frank Springer, this 1987 special is filled with several holiday themed frights including one chilling tale set in outer space. Unfortunately, while this book fulfills the requirement of scary ghost stories being told during the holidays, this is not an easy nor cheap Christmas special to find.
Prices range from $14.00-24.00 plus.
#7: The Simpsons (Bongo Comics, Various)
2018 saw the end of Matt Groening’s Bongo Comics. With it’s closure, a number of Simpsons titles were cancelled. For 25 years, Bongo published a number of holidays themed issues and specials. The Simpsons Winter Wingding was an annual special that had Christmas and winter themed stories. Alas with the demise of Bongo Comics, there will not be a Wingding this Christmas. So why not enjoy the holidays with the next best thing- The Simpsons Holiday Humdinger.
This 2004 holiday treasury is filled with hilarious stories starring Bart, Lisa, Homer and the rest of the town of Springfield. Featuring art and stories by Paul Dini, Jon Costanza and Ian Boothby, this thing is massive! Clocking in at over 140 pages, this is a must for fans of celebrating the holidays with the Simpsons!
Prices range from $0.25 to $23.62 on Amazon
8. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians One-Shot (Dell Comics, 1965)
A huge bust when it debuted in theaters in 1964, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians has become a cult classic thanks to shows like Mystery Science Theater 3000. This comic book adaptation from Dell is a very faithful telling of the film which has Martians kidnapping Santa in hopes of bringing Christmas to all the good little boy and girls of Mars. What will happen to Christmas on Earth now that Santa is one with the Martians? Thankfully, two little stowaways from the third rock from the sun are on the red planet to save the holiday!
This comic book is the most expensive to find on my list. But with fans of horror movie hosts such as Svengoolie and the Bone Jangler posting online petitions to have the film aired sometime this holiday season, images and demand for this book have really taken to the stratosphere. If you are a fan of B-movies and comic books- this is the perfect Holy Grail to add to your holiday wish list!
Prices ranges from around $40-$60.