Ho-Ho-Ho, X-Fans, and welcome to not just another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT, but the X-Men Monday Holiday X-Travaganza!
Don’t worry, it’ll be better than the Star Wars Holiday Special–I promise. Well, actually, there’s no Lumpy in here, so I can’t say that’s 100% true…
Let’s just compromise and agree it’ll be better than The Rise of Skywalker. (#HOTTAKE)
Anyway, you know who loves the holiday season? The X-Men! Seriously, if you look back through X-Men history, Marvel’s mutants are constantly in the holiday spirit. And, when you actually think about it, the Phoenix Saga–one of the most important storylines in all of comics history–kicked off as a Christmas story way back in Uncanny X-Men #98!
Since that issue was released (surprisingly, not around Christmas time in April 1976, according to Marvel.com), the X-Men have had several other holiday-themed adventures. (I see what you did there, Joe Mad… but where’s the updated ice skating Doctor Doom homage?)
As the year comes to a close, there’s no better time to tap into the X-Men’s seasonal eXcitement, come together as one GIANT-SIZE X-Men fan community (that includes both the Jott AND Scemma shippers) and have some festive fun. That’s right, I’m asking you to put away your printout of the Summer House floor plan for a bit and instead pour a glass of eggnog, because it’s time to celebrate!
Oh, and I hope you don’t mind, but I invited a few friends to join in on the fun. And I’m not just talking about X-Creators–I’m talking X-Fans, Santa baby! A few weeks back, I put out a call on Twitter for artistic X-Fans to create original holiday X-Art–and as you’ll see–they didn’t disappoint!
Hello! 👋🏼 Are you an artist or aspiring artist who likes to draw #XMen characters and would love an opportunity to get more eyes on your work? If so, DM me, please! Also, spread the word to people you know who fit this profile. Thanks and happy Sunday! pic.twitter.com/fAyapBXAZn
— Chris Hassan (@ChrisAHassan) December 8, 2019
Look for those gorgeous pieces at the end of this edition of X-Men Monday, and be sure to check out these artists’ other work, conveniently linked below their images!
Now, let’s join X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White, X-Men Assistant Editor Annalise Bissa and an assortment of past and present X-Writers for a festive Q&A!
AIPT: Happy Holidays, everybody! As you’re no doubt aware, there have been a lot of X-Men comics set during the winter holidays. What’s your favorite and why?
Jordan D. White: Is it déclassé to pick a book I worked on? Because doing the Merry X-Men Holiday Special last year was a total joy. The idea of an advent-style calendar taking place over December 1-25th with one-page stories… I am super proud of the idea, and I am super happy with how it turned out. It was a lot of work, but I stand by it as a really terrific book.
Leah Williams: I really treasured getting to be a part of the Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1 last year. I wrote a page about the Braddock family holiday and it still gives me the warm fuzzies.
Annalise Bissa: Uncanny X-Men #143! Of course. It’s a Kitty-centric issue, and it has everything! Murder, romance, Professor Xavier using the phrase ‘a miasma of evil’…
Tim Seeley: Uncanny X-Men #143, though for me it was X-Men Classic #47! Back in the olden days, we didn’t get a lot of superhero horror holiday mash-ups, so this was a special treat.
Matthew Rosenberg: Uncanny X-Men #205. It’s a great look at how terrifying and brutal Wolverine is from a child’s perspective, has some of the best art to ever be in a Marvel comic courtesy of Barry Windsor-Smith, and I’m a sucker for snow scenes.
Gerry Duggan: Uncanny X-Men #205. BWS, Logan and that snow. I could look at that splash for the rest of my life.
Lonnie Nadler: I’m going to have to go with Uncanny X-Men #205. The “Wounded Wolf” issue. It’s Chris Claremont and Barry Windsor-Smith doing a not-Christmas-Christmas-story. Brutal, emotional and cold as hell.
Seanan McGuire: “Piece of Cake,” by Farrago, Garrity, Kang, and Yeung. Who doesn’t love a story where Wolverine fights Santa Claus?
Chip Zdarsky: None.
AIPT: Oh… sorry to hear that, Chip. So, do any of you have a special X-Men holiday memory you can share? Maybe an X-Men-themed gift you once received?
Jordan: I think the first X-Men-related gift I ever got would have been the Wolverine Secret Wars toy. I still have a soft spot for those figures, with their one-shape-fits-all hero bodies. The Wolverine was in his brown costume (still my fave) and came with little clip on claws that I lost incredibly quickly.
Annalise: Probably reading Essential X-Men trades near the Christmas tree, which sounds very idyllic but was just what I did all the time–replace ‘Christmas tree’ with ‘public pool’ or ‘pile of leaves’ and it’s equally accurate.
Matthew: I saved up for months to get a Wolverine statue when I was 12 and right before I could buy it my local comic shop sold it and couldn’t get another one. Turns out my parents had bought it for me secretly and gave it to me for X-Mas. I still have it.
Leah: Two winters ago I was working on the script for the X-Men Gold Annual #1 with Marc Guggenheim and Chris Robinson while driving cross-country. I didn’t have a laptop and got stuck in Tennessee during some wintry weather when I needed to turn some revisions in–so I asked the motel front office if I could use their computer, and they said yes. It was very kind of them, and all of it felt so special and rarified to me.
Seanan: I have the very first ever appearance of Emma Frost (a poster distributed to comic book stores) hanging above my desk. It was a holiday gift from a friend who’d had it hanging in his garage for years.
Tim: When the first waves of Toy Biz X-Men figures came out, it was a big deal. So, my brothers and I were ecstatically buying them up and giving them as gifts for Christmas to each other. My favorite was the OG Team in the boxed set that my bro Brad got me. Loved those toys.
Lonnie: When I was a kid my parents gave me the werewolf Wolverine action figure for hanukah and it remains one of my favorite toys I’ve ever had. I don’t have it anymore, but I think about it often. I must have annoyed the hell out of my family because it had a sound mechanism where it howled like a wolf and I probably pressed it hundreds of times that day.
AIPT: Man… again, sorry, Chip. Next question–what X-Team would be the most fun to do a Secret Santa gift eXchange with?
Jordan: If there is a question that starts “What X-Team” and it doesn’t have some evil twist that ends it with something awful, my answer is pretty much always gonna be Classic Excalibur. Aside from just generally wanting to hang out with those folks, I am sure they give very considerate gifts. If Brian is your Santa, he would probably buy you something really expensive. Kitty would probably give you a cassette of the album “Another Way to Travel.” Meggan would probably give you something that had really sweet intent behind it, but was actually not useful at all.
Annalise: Not really a team, but the chaos of a Quiet Council Secret Santa appeals to me.
Tim: At this point, any one who could get me one of those Gold Balls so I can stop worrying about death all the time.
Leah: New Mutants, because Magik will inevitably gift you something darkly feral, Sunspot’s going to overspend flagrantly, and everyone else would probably just do their best. Like, no matter who you get matched with as your Secret Santa, you’re walking away with a fun story.
Seanan: The Exiles. I’m all about those extra-dimensional DVDs.
Lonnie: Colossus. I’d be hoping for one of his paintings.
Matthew: Any team without a psychic on it. Telepathy and clairvoyance are the natural enemies of Secret Santa.
Gerry: Emma as Secret Santa would be rad. She’d guess what I’d want.
Chip: I don’t know.
AIPT: No worries, Chip. OK, everybody–final question. And this one’s all about you! What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
Jordan: I think A Christmas Carol might be the greatest story ever written, so I enjoy revisiting it in the holidays in its many forms.
Annalise: Being back in the Midwest, freezing to death. And listening to Elvis’ Christmas album.
Matthew: Not exactly holiday specific, but walking through Central Park with a hot cocoa when it snows. The city always slows down in a snowstorm and it feels like a completely different world.
Gerry: Whiskey, fire and family.
Seanan: I celebrate Hogswatch, a holiday created by Terry Pratchett for his Discworld series. Every year, I do 13 days of giveaways, and it’s just nice to spread a little cheer in the darkest time of the year.
Leah: Sitting in front of my S.A.D. lamp all day and blasting myself in the face with several thousand additional lumens. F--k winter. I hate winter.
Lonnie: I’m starting a new one this year. It’s having a few too many eggnogs and watching CATS.
Tim: Festive cocktails with the family. A pleasant blend of sugar, alcohol, warmth and shared genetics always makes my Christmas.
Chip: Re-reading all of my favorite winter holiday X-Men comics!
AIPT: We just got Zdarskied, X-Fans! Seriously, though, thanks to everybody for taking the time to share in the fun! Happy holidays to each of you and your loved ones!
Now, on to that original X-Art I’ve been promising. These may not be the usual X-Men Monday images, teasing things to come… but you never know which of these artists will one day be drawing your favorite X-Book, right?
Art by Karen Charm (Twitter)
Art by Vinícius Almeida (Twitter)
Uncanny efforts all around, wouldn’t you say? If you liked what you saw, be sure to show these talented folks some love! And as always, thanks for reading X-Men Monday at AIPT! No matter what you observe or how you celebrate, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!
Next week, you’ll be getting another present: A GIANT-SIZE X-Men Monday where we look back at 2019 with Jordan and ahead to 2020 in an eXtended, eXclusive interview!
Speaking of… Jordan, why don’t you play us out, sir?