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Dill Gherkin and the Legend of the Christmas Pickle #1

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

December 17, 2011

Title: One Fine Pickle                                              

Writer: George Broderick, Jr.
Art:
George Broderick, Jr.
Publisher:
Cool Yule Comics

Meet Dill Gherkin, carrier of the Christmas Pickle. Never heard of him? No problem! Scoop Twinkletype of the Garland Gazette is here to do an in-depth article on this unsung Christmas hero!

One of the things I like about George Broderick is how he so freely pulls inspiration from all kinds of Christmas stories. The “Christmas Pickle” isn’t nearly as well known in the US as it is in parts of Europe, but here he presents it in a way that makes it feel like it’s a regular part of the holiday season. Dill, the holiday spirit tasked with following Santa Claus on his route and placing a “Christmas Pickle” on each tree, explains the origins of the tradition in this special, and telling some rather amusing stories along the way. Broderick manages to work in just a hint of education along with the Yuletide fun.

Artistically, Broderick is doing his usual wonderful, cartoony artwork. The only page that doesn’t really work is when he tries to mix it up with a double-page spread of Dill planting his pickles on trees. Here, Broderick takes photographs of trees with pickles on them and lays Dill over them. The change in style is very jarring, and some of the photographs sadly don’t reproduce very well, making for a weak-looking page.

Helping the book out, though, are the flurry of coloring and activity pages at the end. These comics are perfect for kids, and it’s always nice to give them a little bonus after the story is over.

This book came out in 2009, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it until now, and it’s a shame. The story is perhaps the funniest of all the Cool Yule comics (and I can now officially say I’ve read them all), and the issue as a whole may just be my favorite.

Rating: 8/10

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Christmas Eve Sping Fling #1

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

December 11, 2011

Title: L-O-V-EEEEK! And other stories

Writer: George Broderick, Jr.
Art:
George Broderick, Jr.
Publisher:
Cool Yule Comics

Technically speaking, this isn’t a Christmas comic. It’s about Christmas characters, but it takes place outside of the Christmas season. It’s the Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July of Cool Yule Comics.

That said, it’s still a fun little book with some good stories in it, beginning with “L-O-V-EEEEK!” In this tale Christmas Boy, the ultimate Christmas fanboy, finds himself with a crush on our heroine, the yuletide-powered superheroine Christmas Eve. In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, he begins an all-out campaign to win her over. But the former object of his affections, Dotty the Sugar Plum Fairy, finds herself unexpectedly jealous, and a battle royale ensues. Technically, this isn’t a springtime story either (February is still Winter last I checked), but it’s a very cute story that begins a book’s worth of expanding the world of Cool Yule.

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” takes us up to St. Patrick’s Day, in which Eve’s fairy friends find themselves called upon to defend a colony of Leprechauns against a pair of decidedly Irish threats. Again, it’s a fun story, and it helps add more characters to this world. The mostly-wordless “No Time Like the Present” is next, when a little time-travel confusion on the part of the fairies sends Eve and Father Time on a strange journey.

The book ends with “Sunday, Bunny Sunday,” the Easter story. Pete the Easter Bunny is making his trip down to Mother Goose Land, but keeps falling afoul of various villains and pitfalls from the world of nursery rhymes. Again, it’s up to Eve and the Fairies to help out.

Cool Yule has kept a pretty regular “one book a year” schedule, which is nice for what is essentially a one-man production (namely, the fine cartoonist George Broderick, Jr.). This book really does make me wish they did more comics, though. The Christmas characters are fun, but this book adds several new characters to the universe that would be fun to explore at other times of the year. It’s a great little world that is wonderfully suitable to share with your kids. You’ve got to hurry, though – only orders made at the Cool Yule Website by Dec. 15 are guaranteed for delivery by Christmas. If you’re reading this after Dec. 15, drop in any way. The comics are now available digitally, too!

Rating: 7/10

Jill Chill and the Christmas Star #1

December 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Jill Chill and the Christmas Star #1 (Cool Yule Comics)
By Ed McCray & George Broderick Jr.

I just discovered the awesome work of Cool Yule Comics a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve immediately become a fan. You can click here to read my thoughts on their earlier comics, but for now, let’s just look at their most recent special. Jill Chill and the Christmas Star is a comic book spin-off of a children’s book McCray and Broderick released a few years ago featuring Jill, sort of a female equivalent to Jack Frost in charge of giving children who want it a White Christmas. This year, the Christmas Star itself has fallen from the Heavens, and Jill has to get it back in the sky before Christmas Eve — but her old enemy the Snow Baron is determined to get the star for his own. Like all the Cool Yule books, this is a wonderful piece with great art and a smart, funny story that has just enough Christmasy sweetness to it. If you’ve got comic-reading kids on your list, this and the other CY books would be a great surprise for them.
Rating: 8/10