It’s Christmas time, everybody! It’s time to kick back and enjoy your favorite holiday stories. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street, and of course that perennial yuletide classic, Spider-Man: Christmas in Dallas.
In the spirit of the season, I did a torrent search for Christmas-themed comic books, and found lots of great stuff which I will hopefully be writing about soon. One thing stood out from everything else though. Spider-Man: Christmas in Dallas was a promotional supplement in the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald newspaper in
1963 (edit: 1983, actually, stupid tiny copyright font) , and it’s fucking awesome. The ridiculousness begins immediately on the first page:
Who could this ultra-top-secret surprise villain possibly be?? This mystery might be a bit more of a head-scratcher if he wasn’t featured prominently on the cover of the fucking comic book! Anyway, I consider myself a true Spidey-fan, and my guess is the Vulture.
Our story begins with J. Jonah Jameson informing Peter that he has been invited by millionaire Stanley Mudge to a charity Christmas ball in Dallas, Texas. Jonah orders Peter to accompany him on this trip and take photographs. Peter is pissed because, of course, he desperately wants to spend the holiday with his beloved Aunt May. But as a freelance photographer, he is apparently duty-bound, so it’s off to a Christmas in Dallas! Stanley Mudge meets them at the airport:
No, I don’t remember that, but it sounds totally hilarious!
We then cut to the Kingpin beating up a guy in a Santa suit, so he can put on the suit and infiltrate the charity ball.
This all seems pretty beneath the Kingpin, but whatever. Once he is at the party, he almost immediately changes out of his Santa outfit, and starts screaming about how he’s holding everyone ransom for millions of dollars.
Of course, Peter changes into Spider-Man and starts smacking the Kingpin around. During the course of this battle, Spidey refers to Kingpin as both “Tubby” and “Chubby” at two different points. It’s pretty great. They knock around for a while, but you’ll never guess how this fight ends!
Wow! Anyway, after Kingpin drifts off to spend Christmas in the endless black void of space, Stanley Mudge has a surprise for Peter:
Awww… I do love a happy ending! Thank you, Dallas Times Herald! So that’s where this heartwarming holiday tale ends, but that’s not nearly the best thing about this comic book. The best thing is the advertisements. It seems like every business in the Dallas area went completely fucking apeshit when they heard there would be a Spider-Man supplement in the newspaper, and they all began frantically throwing together ads that featured Spidey in some way.
Some of these ads made a half-ass attempt to tie Spider-Man to their product in a way that made sense, such as this ad for a door store:
While others clearly did not give one single fuck:
Here are some other ads that appear in the comic:
Which is your favorite? I think mine might be the SPAS one, but I also love the fact that Spider-Man is shilling for two different boot stores. Oh, Texas! But my absolute favorite ad in the comic is one that isn’t even really an ad, but appears on an advertising page:
Let’s take a closer look at that “advertisement” on the upper left, shall we?
Holy fuck. There is nothing non-amazing about this image. The fact that it appears randomly with no explanation, the kid’s expression, Hulk’s hat, and best of all, the fact that “Ho, Ho, Ho” and “Kids!” are inexplicably separated by a colon. This rules: you guys.
This is the most amazing comic book I’ve ever seen, and I kind of want to scour eBay for an actual copy of it. I won’t though, so everyone can feel free to track one down for me as a Christmas present! Or, if you can’t find this one, check out the teaser for the next issue of the free Dallas Times Herald comic book:
Holy sweet fuck. Merry Christmas, everybody!