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All I want for Christmas is a book that collects those Disney holiday comic strips

All I want for Christmas is a book that collects those Disney holiday comic strips

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Every year, I look under the Christmas tree, hoping to find that one present that I know would thrill Disneyana fans everywhere. And that's a collection of those great Disney Christmas comic strips.

Copyright Disney / King Feature Syndicate. All Rights Reserved

For those of you who don't know, the Disney Christmas comic strip is a tradition that dates back to the 1960s. Where each holiday season, the Disney artists would create this special Christmas-themed story featuring your favorite Disney characters that would then play out in your local newspaper over the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
When I was a kid, I'd eagerly look forward to seeing which set of characters would be starring in that year's strip. Though -- now that I look back on it -- these holiday stories usually took their inspiration from whatever new animated film the studio had just put into release and/or which older title Disney had just put into re-release.
To help illustrate today's article, I've dug down deep into my Disneyana collection (I'm lucky enough to actually own all of the strips, many of the catalogs that King Feature Syndicate used to promote this series. I've even got a few pieces of original artwork) so that you can hopefully get some sense of what these strips were like.
Here's the catalog from 1963, when that year's series of holiday strips was built around the Three Little Pigs ...

Copyright Disney / King Feature Syndicate
All Rights Reserved

And here's the King Feature Syndicate catalog from 1964, back when Disney's Christmas comic strip was used to help promote the re-release of "Cinderella" ...

Copyright Disney / King Feature Syndicate. All Rights Reserved

This holiday strips typically featured strong artwork and clever scripts. As for their storylines ... To be honest, they varied from year to year. Sometimes these strips would involve a holiday-themed story set that was in the time & world of that specific Disney film. Like Cinderella's dream of spending Christmas in the sunny South of France.

Copyright Disney / King Feature Syndicate. All Rights Reserved

Or this 1995 series of holiday panels where Pocahontas learns about the meaning of Christmas.

Copyright Disney / King Feature Syndicate. All Rights Reserved

While still others featured a storyline where Santa would be turning to the Disney characters for help. Like the 1968 Christmas comic strip series that was built around the cast from "Peter Pan."

Copyright Disney / King Feature Syndicate. All Rights Reserved

Or the 1997 series where the Little Mermaid first learns about the existence of a certain jolly fat man.

Copyright Disney / King Feature Syndicate. All Rights Reserved
This Disney Christmas comic strips were so charming, so much a part of the magic of the holiday season (at least for us baby boomers) ... Well, I know that I can't be the only Disney fan who anxiously awaited the arrival of the newspaper each day. Who'd then carefully cut each strip out and then store them away for future viewing.
Even today, every holiday season, I haul out my collection of Disney Christmas comic strips and re-read them. It's one of the White family's holiday traditions. And to be honest, I find them to be just as entertaining today as I did back when I was a kid.
So here's hoping that some enterprising employee from Disney Editions is reading JHM today and then -- after the holidays -- goes into the office and says: "I've got a great idea for a book. Let's publish a collection of those old Disney Christmas comic strips."
Oh, what a holiday treat that would be. Which is why I'll keep looking under my Christmas tree, hoping that special Disney gift eventually shows up.
Speaking of which ... If you'd didn't find what you were looking for under your Christmas tree, then why not drop by gregwhitecomics.com, which features thousands of collectible items. Disneyana, comic books, Big Little Books, TV & film-related items, lunch boxes, Lionel trains, Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia. You name it. I've got it.
Anyway ... Here's hoping that you & yours had a great holiday season this year. And best wishes for 2009.
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  • Nice article on something I wasn't even aware of!  I guess I lived in a part of the country that didn't carry this fun tradition in the local papers...man, I really missed out!

  • The last Disney XMas comic I remember reading starred the Lion King crew...kinda cute, but not exactly brill. But speaking of Disney comics...when I was a kid, I remember reading a comic that starred the 7 Dwarfs and Thumper (from Bambi) in a really well-written, well-drawn crossover. It was my cousin's comic, and it was pretty old. But I loved it. Wish Disney would put out a book containing comics like that one. I'd buy it in a minute.

    And digressing further...Jim, I think a lot of us would be very grateful if you could give us any info as to the REAL story of why Disney's cut Narnia loose...that really knocked me for a loop...any info your contacts could provide would be greatly appreciated. It's just so hard to understand...

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