We’re back with our second group of eight Christmas cards that I created. From 1977 through 2000, I did hand-drawn cards; since then it’s been either photo cards (mainly around San Diego and in London) or photo books that documented my travels and/or favorite pics of the previous year. Let’s dive in, shall we? (Click on the images below to see them larger on your screen.)
1985 • CARD #09
This one was meant to unfold vertically (not horizontally as shown) with each hand being a separate fold until you got down to old “Bah Humbug” me. It must have summed up how I was feeling about both the holiday season and life in general in 1985, sorry to say.
1986 • CARD #010
It’s A Wonderful Life celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1986 and someone somewhere (maybe Ted Turner at TBS?) decided to colorize it with new technology. A popular holiday staple on TV for years, there was absolutely no reason to do this, and I took it upon myself to editorialize on this on the inside of the card … another long journey to a lame joke. I was good at that. 2021 is the 75th anniversary of the movie and once again there’s a newly-colorized version. Just show the damn movie, okay?
1987 • CARD #011
Hills was a discount department store chain that made K-Mart seem like one of the great London department stores. Also, this is the first appearance of my cats, Stan and Ollie, who I got as kittens in 1985. This first look foreshadows their comic book counterparts in my self-published series, Innocent Bystander, starting in 1995. (Stan would not be happy with this drawing—he’s the lap cat—but Ollie is spot-on, echoing the eventual logo of my publishing empire.)
1988 • CARD #012
MEH. Another lame joke, with printing that utilized the red cartridge of my work’s Xerox machine. I’m not proud of this one.
1989 • CARD #013
Boy, I really phoned this one in, wrinkly paper and all. My apologies.
1990 • CARD #014
In August of 1990, I bought my very first car, a blue Honda CRX. It was an absolutely stripped down version: The only option I added was a radio. It drove like a little truck but it kept me going—including a cross-country trip when I moved to San Diego—for 16 years until 2006 when I bought yet another blue Honda Civic (which I still have). I am decidedly not a car person. Anyway, hence the mercenary tone of this year’s card. I was feeling the financial pinch of being a car owner for the first time.
1991 • CARD #15
Poor Stan. His brother, Ollie, wouldn’t let me get near him with these antlers, but Stan was a little more forgiving and quite a bit dumber (but nonetheless lovable). The plan was to get both of them wearing them for photos, but if you’ve ever had cats, you know how impossible that is. Dogs? Sure … they’ll wear anything and even act proud about it. (My paper choices seem to not withstand the test of time and the crinkly test.)
1992 • CARD #16
This is one of my favorite cards, and it showed up as a one-page comic strip in Innocent Bystander #1 in 1995. I believe my work upgraded to a color Xerox machine at this point and I took full advantage of its capabilities. I also love the nostalgic aspect of this mini-story and the coloring. This was printed on 8.5 x 11″ paper and folded twice to make a little booklet.
I no longer live at 121 Academy Ave. and haven’t for well over 20 years now.
Come back next Friday (December 17th) for eight more festive Christmas cards by yours truly, all of them guaranteed to contain even lamer jokes!