Archive for December 24th, 2016


by Sam Juliano

The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story is predicated on that rarest of occurrences in this age of climate change, late-launching winters and the annual transients who prefer a yuletide celebration outside a swimming pool.  Still, December 25th is a date that for centuries has captured the imaginations of writers and illustrators, who have maintained a traditional image of Christmas, one inhabited by the seasonal trappings and the setting most of us can only dream for.  We’ve been treated to such holiday winterscapes and the indelible trappings that have long given this holiday its sense of mystery and anticipation in works such as Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman and Chris Van Allsberg’s Caldecott Medal winning The Polar Express.  In all three and in many others Christmas is defined by blustery snow, freezing temperatures and Jolly old St. Nick, a tireless globetrotter who somehow defies all logistics by making a personal stop at every house where children reside, usually entering through chimneys.  The favored visual transcription of Christmas Eve is a very dark blue starry sky, a snowy terrain, houses scattered, pine trees in abundance and a rustic home with a  fireplace, a living room Christmas tree and gifts wrapped in red and green paper.  This exquisite setting, usually evoking a location far to the north is captured via pencil and ink washes with digital color in a gem of a holiday book, written by Kallie George and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin.   The story, chronicles the return of a present that fell off Santa’s sleigh after a gust of wind, by four dutiful forest animals, who must complete their task in frigid cold way past their bedtimes.  Their challenges -and a later snowbank mishap- recall that which faced the resilient title character in William Stieg’s classic Brave Irene. (more…)


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© 2016  James Clark


Long before there was Cyber Monday there was the more direct World War II, presenting, among other things, a weighty Christmas shopping dilemma. Wrapped up in the glorious Christmas shopping number seen above, we bring to you here (with its surreal Christmas tree by by that same Marcel Vertes who oversaw the visuals and won a couple of Oscars in connection with John Huston’s film, Moulin Rouge [1952]), a true feast of struggle to make merry at death’s door.

In this season when designer Tom Ford has cropped up in the capacity of an auteur, with his Nocturnal Animals, the many forerunners in our pages here, of inflected celebration, give us their own incisive take on the nocturnal.

To continue the blog: http://www.idesirevintageposters.com/blogs/christmas-1943-near-and-dear/#more-3952

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by Sam Juliano

During the closing act of Nino Wrestles the World,  readers learn against all reasonable odds that the only way to handle Las Hermanitas is to join ranks with them.  After death defying but ultimately triumphant battles against some of Lucha Libre’s  most terrifying opponents, the irrepressible youngster Nino finds more than he can handle with two toddlers who never play by the rules.  Mind you this was a crafty marauder who put down the Guanajuato Mummy of Muarggg! and Whaaarrg! fame with the pulverizing, if intoxicating “Tickle Tackle!;” completely neutralized the mysterious Olmec Head with the debilitating “puzzle muzzle;” confounded the benign space explorer El Extraterrestre with his adept play at “Marble Mash” and sent the king of temptation himself, El Chamuco slip sliding away on ice pop slicks.  But our intrepid freebooter is way over his head against the tag team who possess double the irreverence and audaciousness.  These feisty ninas are totally natural – no masks, no hiding behind alternate identities, just a comprehensive embrace of the old adage “where there’s a will there is a way”.  In the equally raucous and deliriously irresistible Rudas: Nino’s Horrendous Hermanitas these rattle waving Lucha Queens really hit their opponents below the belt with their irascible toddler antics and gassy implications.  Nino’s celebrated Mexican-American Caldecott Honor winning author-illustrator Yuyi Morales won superlative reviews for her endlessly delightful Lucha Libre prep course, prompting her to stage a second act in this unmissable circus show, one even more boisterous, animated and colorful in its inimitable comic book style. (more…)

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