Thursday, December 15, 2016


The Brightest Star, Part One

Well folks, it's that time of year again, when the Stripper's Guide blog runs one of those special newspaper offerings of yesteryear, the Christmas strip. As has been discussed on the blog before, many syndicates back in the good old days would thank their subscribing papers by sending out a Yuletide freebie. These were usually in the form of a comic strip that ran three to four weeks.

NEA offered these strips for a longer period than any other syndicate, but sadly they gave up the practice in 2010. This year on the blog, we're featuring their 1960 Christmas strip offering, The Brightest Star by writer Jay Heavilin and cartoonist Walt Scott.

I have to be honest about The Brightest Star -- this strip is not going to make anyone drop A Christams Carol from their Christmas story top ten list. In fact, this tale was thrown together in such an obvious rush that the title itself ended up having absolutely nothing to do with the story. So maybe try to think of this as a fascinatingly bad curiosity rather than a heartwarming gift from us here at Stripper's Guide. Make a game out of -- see who can spot the most plot inconsistencies and bald swipes from other classic Christmas stories!

The rest of the story will run next week, and the conclusion of the strip will be on Christmas day.

Oh, one note. I am missing the 12/20 episode and had to use a bad copy from an online source. if anyone has the 12/20 episode and a scanner, could you send me a good 300 dpi TIF image?


Recalling that the bizarre and often sex-obsessed "Pibgorn" started out as a mild holiday special.

I do miss Christmas in Pogo, what with "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie" and Porky's ritual of bringing one summer flower to Pogo's house. Kelly offered various ancient origins of the hymn as part of a book. One variation ended with Pogo and Mam'selle Hepzibah -- cast as medieval characters -- married with cute hybrid children.

"Dennis the Menace" had an odd tradition of running the exact same joke for multiple Christmases: Dennis sitting atop a small mountain of toys, asking his parents "Is this all?" Postwar prosperity in a nutshell. How many years did that go on?
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