Friday, December 14, 2007

 

Santa's Secrets, Day 5

Last day of the Santa's Secrets run today. As an added bonus, and courtesy of D.D. Degg, a most likely complete history of all the NEA Christmas strips, based on research by himself, Merlin Haas and yours truly. (note to DD - I made a few more minor corrections in this version).








Year NEA Christmas Strips
Title & Dates (United Media 2010-on)
Creators
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
1945 Unknown not offered?
1946 Unknown not offered?
1947 Unknown not offered?
1948 Unknown not offered?
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 & Hanratty
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
2006Cow & Boy and The Quest For Santa (Nov. 27 - Dec. 25)Mark Leiknes
2007Roamin' Holiday: A Humble Stumble Christmas (Dec. 3-25)Roy Schneider
2008The Search for Santa (Dec. 8 - 25)reprint from 1999 - 2 strips omitted
2009Rip Haywire: Away in the Danger (Dec. 7 - 25)Dan Thompson
2010A 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!

Comments:
"note to DD - I made a few more minor corrections"
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.
 
Oh, and if anyone can tell me the full names of 1972's Hanratty and Navarro or 1976's B. Craig, I would be most appreciative.
 
Hi DD -
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.

--Allan
 
Great list, Alan.

Just a note. Greg Evans later rerunned "A Puddles Christmas" few years later as a regular "Luann" storyline.
 
Smart fella, that Evans chap. If Roy Schneider is still lurking about, take notice buddy - you've bought yourself three weeks off when you want it!

--Allan
 
Just stopping by to update the list to include the 2008 entry...
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
http://www.unitedfeatures.com/images/pr/20081008LuannXmas.pdf

This year's version runs 16 strips.
When last we saw this story it ran 13 strips.
http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComic.mpl?date=2006/12/11&name=Luann

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".
 
Much thanks for the update DD!

-Allan
 
Regarding "A Puddles Christmas"(1999) versus "The Search for Santa"(2008) -
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.
 
United Media has announced the 2009 NEA Christmas series - "Rip Haywire: Away in a Danger" by Dan Thompson,
running 17 strips from December 7 to December 25, 2009.
http://www.unitedfeatures.com/images/pr/20090929NEAHolidayRipHaywire.pdf
 
The 2010 Christmas series will be a rerun of the 2003 "A Mall and the Right Visitor" series, and will run from December 6 to December 25, 2010.
http://www.unitedfeatures.com/images/pr/20101011NEAHolidayFrazz.pdf
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.'"
http://www.ocala.com/article/20101129/COLUMNISTS/101129732/1005/sports01?p=2&tc=pg
The strip can be read online during the 2010 Christmas season at http://comics.com/frazz_holiday/
 
Just a note to note that last year's (2009) NEA Christmas comic strip was technically the last.
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.
http://www.unitedfeatures.com/?title=Bio:NEA_Holiday_strip

No newspaper comic strip carried the NEA mark since January 2010.
 
After 75 years the NEA Christmas strip may be a thing of the past now.
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."
http://groups.google.com/group/hogans-alley-newsletter

D.D.Degg
 
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