Scrooge And Santa
Arcana (2010)WRITER: Matthew Wilson ARTIST/COVER ART/ASSISTING EVERYONE BUT THE WRITER: Josh Kenfield COLORIST: Dan Smith LETTERER: Jehoaddan Strain SENIOR EDITOR: Mike Kalvoda (I’m surprise Kenfield didn’t edit this, too.)
The latest in the Scrooge bloodline is so jaded even the Three Spirits have gotten tired of tried to fix him every Christmas. And then he goes and kidnaps Santa Claus in an attempt to “take over” the North Pole, with the help of a greedy elf. Running afoul of a dirty cop who will happily see Christmas ruined if it means taking down Scrooge and making a name for himself, Scrooge is forced to turn to his assistant, Bonnie Cratchit. Wacky hijinks ensue and somehow Scrooge finally opens his heart to Christmas and risks prison to finally see his mother.
I’m torn on this. If you just let it run it’s a wacky Christmas tale. However, any real thought about the story causes problems. What in Bonnie’s speech or the hyperactive Tim’s hug opens Scrooge up? Scrooge is painted as worse than his ancestor (who we’re told was only a changed man until he got the bill…which is an attempt to be funny but is a load of humbug to me), going so far as to attempt to steal the North Pole workshop. This should really bug me.
And yet I can’t be mad at it, not because it’s Christmas but because it’s just so fun, and not even “so bad it’s good” fun. Watching just how selfish Scrooge can be is hilarious. Watching Santa escape and what he gets into is fun. Watching the headline-chasing cop is fun. You feel sorry for Bonnie dealing with a troubled son and a jerk boss that her chipper attitude NOT being a facade somehow makes her more endearing. There are even little Easter eggs to other versions of Scrooge and Santa Claus that pop up if you keep an eye open. I should hate this story as a critic and be annoyed by it as a Christmas fan, but it’s just so fun I find it hard.
So in spite of myself I actually enjoyed this story. It’s worth looking up if you can find it.