Comic books have a long history of noting the change in seasons and images representing different times of the year, but they have especially been good at celebrating the Christmas holiday season all the way back to the early years of the medium. To kick off the holiday season, here are some of the best Christmas covers from the Golden Age of comics!
Let’s start with the most obvious covers, those that feature characters interacting with Santa Claus himself. It includes the oldest book in this article, All American Comics #10 (January 1940) where we see Santa being conned by Scribbly and his pals. We also see Santa with Batman and Robin on the cover of Batman #27 (February 1945), with Captain Marvel, his alter-ego Billy Batson, and the rest of the Fawcett heroes on Xmas Comics #1 (December 1941), getting some help into a chimney from Superman in Action Comics #105 (February 1947), and finally hanging out with three more members of the Justice Society in Comic Cavalcade #5 (Winter 1943).
Next, we see some characters dressed as Santa like the cover of Tom and Jerry Comics #77 (December 1950) with Tom hoping to catch Jerry and his mouse buddies unaware, but getting outwitted again. Also, we see Donald Duck trying on a Santa costume that was not stored very well in Walt Disney’s Comics #99 (December 1948).
Of course, it couldn’t be Christmas in the Golden Age without a tree and presents, so here we have characters decorating and delivering. Who is that masked man with the tree and presents? It’s the Lone Ranger in Lone Ranger #79 (January 1955). We also get Superman showing Christmas to the world in Action Comics #93 (February 1946). Then that “wascally wabbit” is decorating a tree that Porky and Elmer Fudd are still delivering in Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Funnies #7 (December 1956). And finally, Batman #33 (February 1946) shows Robin demonstrating the grace and skill of an experienced trapeze artist as he…falls into the tree and knocks it over?!? Sheesh, Robin laid an egg.
We also get some characters interacting with Christmas stockings on their covers, like “The Big Red Cheese” Captain Marvel with a big green stocking on Xmas Comics #7 (December 1952), Donald Duck playing a prank at the expense of his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie on Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories Christmas Giveaway (1943), and Archie Andrews and the gang getting together on Archie’s Christmas Stocking #1 (1954).
One of the easiest ways to combine comics book characters and Christmas was simply adding a wreath as a frame for an image like Captain Marvel Adventures 42 (January 1945) and Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Funnies #2 (November 1951) or for a character to jump through like Hoppy the Marvel Bunny (basically a combo of Shazam and Bugs) on the cover of Xmas Comics #3 (December 1947).
Finally, let’s end with the jolly old elf himself from his own comic book, Santa Claus Funnies #1 (Winter 1942).
From all of us at Comics Price Guide, have the happiest of holiday seasons, and may you find a fantastic comic book gift under your tree!
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight – “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
By Rob Otto