Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Have a Cool Yule Comic(al) Christmas

When I was ten years old I traveled alone to Quito, Ecuador, to spend a summer with my relatives. After a few weeks of hearing & reading nothing but Spanish I began craving English. I wanted to hear it, see it, read it. I found it to be the strangest craving I’ve ever had. I quickly found that imported English-language comic books satisfied that need. It’s true that comic books are a kid’s best friend.

As an insecure, semi-neurotic kid, one would think I’d have a natural attraction to superhero comics. Actually, I found them kind of silly and difficult to get into as I felt I was dropped into the middle of a storyline due to their self-referential nature (*see issue #148!).

I found Archie comics to be much more interesting. Here were several people that acted like a family (of which I missed back in California) and they played in a band. Being the huge Beatles, Monkees, Jackson 5 and Partridge Family fan, I was a sucker for any story lines involving a band.

Jump to the present time and I’m surfing the net looking for something/anything to keep me in the Christmas mood while my band, The Hipwaders, records our Christmas album. Very few things can give one the feeling of Christmas while the weather is warming up and Spring is blooming all around.

I come across something called Cool Yule Comics and I’m instantly intrigued. Why, there’s this fellow named George Broderick Jr. who’s drawn some Christmas-themed comics involving a female superhero named “Christmas Eve” and she looks like she could have stepped out of an Archie Comic parallel universe with her Betty/Veronica looks!

I quickly order the package deal which includes 3 comic books and relieved to find the first book has the “origins” storyline of Christmas Eve. Everyone knows that the most interesting storyline for any superhero is the “origin” story. The fact that she’s a superhero doesn’t even bug me as it’s a Christmas tale and Christmas is the best make-believe world there is.

Now, George has not only come up with a great character, he’s come up with lots of great characters with witty, intelligent dialog and story lines. These are family-oriented tales that kids AND grownups can enjoy together on different levels. There’s funny stuff that only the parents will get and that’s the stuff that’ll get the parents reading to their kids. I instantly found a kindred spirit in George when it came to entertaining kids. The Hipwaders have always felt that family-oriented art - art that brings all family members together - be it music, literature or visual art, is truly the key to the best entertainment for kids. After all, if it doesn’t appeal to the adults, there’s a good chance it will never be seen or heard by kids.

So, check out George’s Cool Yule Comics. You can even see pages in E-Book form. The actual hard-copy books are very colorful and printed on quality paper – much better quality than what I was used to as a kid. If you’re looking for a new way to get yourself AND your kids into the holiday spirit, get yourself over to Cool Yule Comics and purchase some Christmas joy.

We thought so much of George’s work we asked if he’d do us the honor of using a song from our forthcoming Christmas CD, “A Kindie Christmas” and apply it to a slideshow of his Christmas comic book art. He did. So here’s The Hipwaders with George Broderick Jr.’s art…

"Yes, It's Christmas"

If you're interested in The Hipwaders' album, "A Kindie Christmas", it will be released officially on November 3rd, 2009. If you're the impatient type and want to hear the songs now , go HERE.