Friday, December 14, 2007
Santa's Secrets, Day 5
|Year||NEA Christmas Strips |
Title & Dates (United Media 2010-on)
|1936||A Visit From St. Nicholas (Nov. 23-Dec. 23)||George Scarbo (a)|
|1937||Sally Sailor & Meany Mo (Nov. 22-Dec. 25)||Hal Cochran (w) & Walt Scott (a)|
|1938||Bobby's Christmas Dream (Nov. 21-Dec. 24)||Hal Cochran (w) & Howard Boughner (a)|
|1939||Peter & Polly in Toyland (Nov. 27-Dec. 23)||Hal Cochran (w) & Howard Boughner (a)|
|1940||Santa's Secrets (Nov. 25-Dec. 24)||Hal Cochran (w) & Howard Boughner (a)|
|1941||Santa's Wonderland (Nov. 24-Dec. 24)||Hal Cochran (w) & Leo Nowak (a)|
|1942||Santa's Victory Christmas (Nov. 23-Dec. 24)||Hal Cochran (w) & Leo Nowak (a)|
|1943||First Aid for Santa (Nov. 22-Dec. 24)||Hal Cochran (w) & Les Carroll (a)|
|1944||The Spirit of Christmas (Nov. 27-Dec. 23)||Laurene Rose Diehl|
|1949||The Story of the Savior (Dec. 5-24)||William Gilroy (w) & Walt Scott (a)|
|1950||A Christmas Carol (Nov 20-Dec. 23)||Walt Scott|
|1951||Songs of Christmas (Dec. 3-22)||Walt Scott|
|1952||The Little People's Christmas (Dec 1-24)||Walt Scott|
|1953||The Little Tree That Talked (Nov. 30-Dec. 24)||Walt Scott|
|1954||A Christmas Carol (Nov. 22-Dec. 24)||reprint from 1950|
|1955||The Three Wishes (Dec. 5-24)||Walt Scott|
|1956||The Animals' Christmas aka The Animals' Yule (Dec 3-24)||Walt Scott|
|1957||The Music Box Trio (Dec. 4-24)||Walt Scott|
|1958||Jeremy Christmas (Dec. 1-Dec. 24)||Walt Scott|
|1959||Little Gabe & the Golden Stars (Dec. 7-24)||Walt Scott|
|1960||The Brightest Star (Dec. 5-24)||Jay Heavilin (w) & Walt Scott (a)|
|1961||Oleander's Christmas Eve (Dec. 4-23)||Jay Heavilin(w) & Walt Scott (a)|
|1962||Christmas on Marrow-Bone Ridge (Dec. 3-22)||Walt Scott|
|1963||Gifts of the Magi by O. Henry (Dec. 2-24)||Ralph Lane|
|1964||The First Christmas, A Story for Children (Dec. 7-24)||Ralph Lane|
|1965||Legends of Christmas (Dec. 6-24)||Kreigh Collins|
|1966||A Christmas Playhouse (Dec. 5-24)||Janet Henry (w) & John Lane (a)|
|1967||Bucky's Christmas Caper (Dec 4-23)||Wally Wood|
|1968||Why Christmas Almost Wasn't (Dec. 2-24)||Jack Kent (King Aroo)|
|1969||How Wyn Sock Saved Christmas (Dec. 1-24)||Paul Gringle|
|1970||Dreadful Dick's Dilemma or, Santa's Fright Before Christmas (Dec. 7-24)||Newton Pratt, Esq.|
|1971||Toys That Talked: A Christmas Fantasy (Dec. 6-24)||Phil Pastoret (w) & John Lane (a)|
|1972||How the Firefly Lost His Heat (Dec. 4-23)||Navarro (w) & Elmarine Hanratty (a)|
|1973||Amanda's Christmas in the Forest (Dec. 3-24)||Marcia Course (w) & Jack Millie (a)|
|1974||The First Christmas Toys (Dec. 2-24)||Phil Pastoret(w) & Don Baur (a)|
|1975||Mitten So Big (Dec. 1-24)||Dorothy M. Floreck(w) & Don Baur(a)|
|1976||America's First Christmas Candle (Dec. 6-24)||B. Craig(w) & Don Baur (a)|
|1977||Judy, Joe and the Ho-Ho-Ho (Dec. 5-24)||Phil Pastoret(w) & Don Baur (a)|
|1978||Why Christmas Almost Wasn't (Dec. 2-24)||Jack Kent (reprint from 1968)|
|1979||How to Make a Merry Christmas (Dec. 3-25)||Phil Pastoret (w), John Lane (pencils) & Bobby Miller (inks)|
|1980||Montague's Christmas (Dec. 1-25)||Mark Lasky|
|1981||Montague's Return (Dec. 7-25)||Mark Lasky|
|1982||A Christmas Carol (Dec. 6-25)||The Joe Kubert School|
|1983||Gifts of the Magi (Dec. 5-24)||The Joe Kubert School|
|1984||Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates (Dec. 3-25)||The Joe Kubert School(signed Joe Kubert)|
|1985||The Nutcracker (Dec. 2-25)||The Joe Kubert School (signed Joe Kubert)|
|1986||Christmas Every Day (Dec. 1-25)||John Lane based on a story by William Dean Howells|
|1987||Elmore, the Too Tall Elf (Dec. 7-25)||Kevin Fagan|
|1988||Carlyle's Christmas (Dec. 5-24)||Larry Wright|
|1989||Amos & the Christmas Couch (Dec. 4-23)||Susan Seligson (w) & Howie Schneider (a)|
|1990||Alphonse, the Misguided Moose (Dec. 3-22)||Heidi Stetson|
|1991||How to Make a Merry Christmas (Dec. 2- 24)||reprint from 1979|
|1992||A Christmas Carol (Dec. 7-25)||reprint from 1982, one strip omitted?|
|1993||The Grizzwells Christmas (Dec. 6-25)||Bill Schorr|
|1994||A Christmas on Santa Street (Dec. 5-24)||Gary Delainey (w) & Gerry Rasmussen (a)|
|1995||Big Nate's Secret Santa (Dec. 4-23)||Lincoln Peirce|
|1996||St. Nick of Time (Dec. 2-25)||Jimmy Johnson|
|1997||A Time-Traveling Christmas (Dec. 1-25)||Carole Bender (w) & Jack Bender (a)|
|1998||A Very Drabble Christmas (Dec. 7-25)||Kevin Fagan|
|1999||A Puddles Christmas (Dec. 6-25) note: may have been titled "The Search for Santa" ||Greg Evans|
|2000||Santa, Inc. (Dec. 4-23)||Dave Whamond|
|2001||A Fairy Merry Christmas (Dec. 3-25)||Brooke McEldowney|
|2002||Duncan's First Christmas (Dec. 2-25)||Chris Browne|
|2003||A Mall & the Right Visitor (Dec. 1-25)||Jef Mallett|
|2004||Spotting Santa (Nov. 29-Dec. 25)||Mark Heath|
|2005||Big Nate's Secret Santa (Dec. 5-24)||reprint from 1995|
|2006||Cow & Boy and The Quest For Santa (Nov. 27 - Dec. 25)||Mark Leiknes|
|2007||Roamin' Holiday: A Humble Stumble Christmas (Dec. 3-25)||Roy Schneider|
|2008||The Search for Santa (Dec. 8 - 25)||reprint from 1999 - 2 strips omitted|
|2009||Rip Haywire: Away in the Danger (Dec. 7 - 25)||Dan Thompson|
|2010||A Mall & the Right Visitor (Dec. 6 - 25)||reprint from 2003 with 5 strips omitted (now copyright United Media, not NEA)|
A big Stripper's Guide tip o' the tam to Holmes at Barnacle Press who sleuthed out the problem with the table above that was inserting those acres of whitespace. Not only that, he sent me all the corrected HTML to fix the problem. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It's a Festivus miracle!
Yeah, I keep thinking I've caught all the typos and flat-out errors when another one or three turn up.
We both seem to have missed the ending date for 1941's strip - I think it should be Dec. 24, not the 27th.
Right you are about Santa's Wonderland. I based the end date on a paper that ran the strip late, neglected to check the dates on the strips. Now corrected.
Just a note. Greg Evans later rerunned "A Puddles Christmas" few years later as a regular "Luann" storyline.
United Media has announced that this year's
annual Christmas strip will be a repeat of the
one that ran in 1999.
"The Search for Santa" by Greg Evans
December 8 - December 25, 2008
This year's version runs 16 strips.
When last we saw this story it ran 13 strips.
When it originally saw print in 1999
it ran 18 strips - from Dec. 6 - Dec. 25.
My problem now is to try to find out what the
actual title to the story was in 1999.
I got the original dates from Greg Evans himself
when it ran in 2006. I also got the title of the story
from that 2006 run, but now it turns out that the
original title may be "The Search For Santa".
I asked Greg Evans and he was kind enough to answer my questions about the title of the series and who edits out the two strips for this year.
His reply: "When it ran in 99, it was "A Puddles Christmas." NEA came up with the new title and also picked the 2 strips to omit."
Thanks to Mr Evans for setting the record straight.
running 17 strips from December 7 to December 25, 2009.
So someone will be editing out five strips, which seems kind of a drastic edit for such a short series.
The Ocala (Florida) Star-Banner has announced that they will carry the strip, as they apparently have for the past three years: "For the third year, we are offering a special comic strip during the holidays. From Dec. 6-25, you can look for this bonus comic strip in the classified section Monday through Saturday. Created by Frazz cartoonist Jef Mallett, this strip is titled 'A Mall and the Right Visitor.'"
The strip can be read online during the 2010 Christmas season at http://comics.com/frazz_holiday/
While United Media still refers to the strip as the NEA Holiday Special/Christmas Strip, this year the credit ran "dist. by UFS", not distributed (or copyright) by NEA.
No newspaper comic strip carried the NEA mark since January 2010.
The Hogan's Alley magazine newsletter reports on the strip:
"In other comics news, we recently learned that Universal Press
Syndicate, which absorbed United Feature Syndicate's operations
earlier this year, will not offer a short-run Christmas strip this
year. UFS's Christmas strip, syndicated through its Newspaper
Enterprise Assocation subsidiary, had a long history, dating to 1936,
but obviously the industry has undergone seismic changes since then.
Our source at Universal didn't indicate that the Christmas strip won't
return in future years, so time will tell."
I think I may have found out who Hanratty is.
John Platt's recent post at
gave me the name Elmarine for that 1976 NEA feature.
That led me on a hunt for who that was,
which led me to Elmarine J. Hanratty.
In her 1955 high school (West Technical High School, Cleveland) yearbook she took a "Special Art" course and her ambition was to be a commercial artist. The yearbook's prophecy had her as a "Park Avenue Artist".
She was Elmarine J. Howard then, but her eventual married name was Elmarine J. Hanratty. She was born April 4, 1937.
Many of the This Week in Astrology features
were signed by the artist as "E.H", but in 1976 she seems to have signed, at least a few, as "Elmarine".
Her 1976 art is a bit more detailed and is more closely aligned with the NEA Christmas strip art.
I think I found Hanratty.
Still on the lookout for Navarro.