St. Nicholas visits George Scarbo, Walt Kelly, Bill Elder, Jim Davis, and, because you were nice, Walt Kelly again.
‘Twas a couple nights before Christmas when an Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas by someone or other was first published 200 years ago in the December 23, 1823 edition of The Troy Sentinel. With a couple edits it has come down through the passage of time as A Visit from St. Nicholas or The Night Before Christmas.
For newspaper comics fans in 1936 it was adapted by George Scarbo for NEA’s first closed-end Christmas strip.
Larger versions of the above illustrations can be seen at The Daily Cartoonist’s post of three years ago.
Ten years later Pogo creator Walt Kelly adapted the poem for Oskar LeBeck’s Christmas with Mother Goose (Dell Four Color #126, November 1946).
Supersized images of the above Walt Kelly art can be enjoyed at Whirled of Kelly.
The entire issue of Christmas with Mother Goose featuring all Walt Kelly comic art can be read here.
Now it’s December 1953 and …
Panic #1 (dated Feb-Mar 1954, but on sale in December 1953) is Banned in Boston and all of Massachusetts.
In 1983 Jim Davis repeated the poem for a week of Garfield dailies!
Every one of the above adaptations used the poem as it has been handed down, but I can’t resist a different take that takes a few opening liberties with a word or two and leaves out a few lines.
The original version as seen in 1961’s Gone Pogo in black and white from Roger Ebert.
The Daily News Magazine’s colorized version from 1987 thanks to Whirled of Kelly (with some pages out of order).