Dell Comics published an insane number of Christmas books and comics back during the Golden Age. The Digital Comic Museum website has an extensive selection of Dell’s holiday offerings. One Dell Christmas comic series was titled Santa Claus Funnies, which contained traditional comic tales as well as some text selections accompanied by illustrations; the comic book even featured illustrated sheet music of popular Christmas carols.

Here’s a fun story from a 1944 book, notable for having been drawn by well-known artist Walt Kelly (who you’ll remember as the creator of the long-running Pogo comic strip). The story contains the usual Kelly touches: understated backgrounds, great facial expressions, the use of dialect touches in the text (which helps individual characters have their own voices in the mind of the reader), and whimsical character names.

If you’re not in the holiday spirit yet, you will be after you read this tale:

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Santa Claus Funnies #61, 1944

Page scans courtesy of The Digital Comic Museum.

Have fun! — Steve

Copyright 2012, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

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