Christmas, and the holidays in general, are the time of the year we celebrate our bonds with family and friends. Above all, we try to remember all the good from the year that’s slowly coming to end. In contrast, sometimes we get sick of the sentiments that can seem fake. In those moments it’s good to remember that there are people that celebrated in their own, unique way. Every one of these strangest comics to read on holidays I’ve found had a certain quirk that made reading them fun. Sometimes even a thoughtful, but mostly uncanny and unconventional experience that made the holiday season special.
Strange holiday comic #1: The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special
Long ago on a Christmas Eve (in 1991) and in a far away galaxy, a father attempts to calm his brood with a tale. He tells a story about the time Lobo was hired by the Easter Bunny.
Lobo is an alien born on Czarnia, a utopian planet, and acts as an interstellar mercenary and bounty hunter. In this issue the main objective is to terminate Santa Claus. Written by Keith Giffen and Alan Grant, this DC comic features art from Simon Bisley, known for Slaine and Motorhead.
It’s interesting to note that the cover contains two disclaimers. The first, located in the top left corner reads “Seriously suggested for mature readers.” The second, on the bottom right hand corner says “WARNING: Contains Bad Taste In The Form Of Ultra-Violence, Icon-Bashing, And “The Finger.” More Offensive Than Christmas Usually Is.
The American Film Institute’s director’s studies program adapted this one-shot into a short film. Made in 2002, with a budget of $2,400, it starred Andrew Bryniarski (who starred in Batman Returns) as Lobo.
Strange holiday comic #2: Evil Dead 2 – A Merry Deadite X-Mas
The Evil Dead holiday season with this one-shot story is going to put the undead into your holiday dread! This special “Peace On Earth” story pits Annie and Ash against a Christmas horde of Deadites. And they made the last stand i at Santa’s Snowy Garden, a rundown theme park. Soon, it’s Annie, Ash, the theme park staff, and time-traveling demon hunters against the forces of the possessed holiday icons.
Written by Georgia Ball, the artwork of this special one-shot made by Chris Summers and Vincenzo Ricardi, also it’s worth mentioning that the letterer was Taylor Esposito.
Originally, the stories follow the adventures of the Evil Dead series protagonist, Ash Williams. He managed, in unfortunate circumstances, to awaken the malovelent spirits of the dead, the Deadites.
Originally published by Dark Horse Comics and later by Dynamite Entertainment, the Army of Dark comics are based on the film Evil Dead and it’s many sequels. Space Goat Production published this particular comic in 2016.
Strange holiday comic #3: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween ComicFest
This comic, also published in 2016, was based on the much older source material and the cult classic stop-motion animated movie The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Directed by Henry Selick, and produced and conceived by Tim Burton, this dark musical fantasy from 1993 became a staple of unique Christmas movies done well.
It tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town who accidentaly finds a portal to Christmas Town and decides to celebrate the holiday. It’s one of those rare Disney’s stories that at first seem strange and uncanny.
Promoted in Japan as a manga, the special mini-comic must be read from the back to the front of the issue. It was published by TOKYO POP! and drawn by Jun Asuka, as part of the Halloween ComicFest, an event that celebrated comics, comic shops, and pop-culture.
Strange holiday comic #4: Zombies Christmas Carol
For the Christmas in 2011 there were no singing-only screaming! Something that Marvel wanted to portray through their limited mini-series written by Jim McCann and illustrated by David Baldeon and Jeremy Trace. It’s a spin off, or I’d dare to say a fanfiction, of Charles Dickens’ classic novel A Christmas Carol – with a ghoulish twist!
In a London that is being overrun by a plague known as the “Hungry Death,” the largest poor population turns into undead and ravenous monsters.
Only one person can turn the zombie tide and save Christmas for everyone when the disease spreads from the workshops to the public – the humbug, Ebenezer Scrooge.
Although not linked to the Marvel Zombies main universe, it has many common themes, like a celebrated character fighting the zombie apocalypse. Also, it’s partially similar to the Walking Dead series in that regard. In this particular case, the famous Ebenezer Scrooge of A Christmas Carol.
Strange holiday comic #5: Hellboy Christmas Special
Published by dark Horse Comics, Hellboy Christmas Special is a one-shot comic book edited by Scott Allie. It features Mike Mignola (Xena, Wolverine, Batman/Hellboy/Starman), Gary Gianni (Into the Silent Sea and Wake the Devil) and Steve Purcell’s (Sam & Max) work. In this 48-page special Hellboy spends Christmas underground with dead guys.
Hellboy, a surpisingly good half demon, was summoned from Hell to Earth as a baby. In this Christmas special from 1997 he celebrated the holidays in his unique and hellish way.
Also, in 1998 the special won two Eisner Awards, known as the comics industry’s equivalent of the Academy Awards. They were for Best Writer/Artist: Drama for Mike Mignola and Best Anthology for Scott Allie.
Along with the regular peanut gallery, Gary Gianni’s Corpus Monstrum, Steve Purcell joins Mignola and his Toy Box characters for a special holiday surprise.