I learned a lot about Ukrainian culture when I adopted my two eldest kids from Ukraine. I picked up a little Russian, experienced some new cuisine, and developed a newfound appreciation for my home country. Ukraine was a tough place. Beautiful place and wonderful people (for the most part), but life there is incredibly hard. The cities are polluted. Many buildings are in disarray. The whole place appeared desaturated (although that could have been the time of year I visited (November)).
One thing I thought was so cool about Ukraine was their Christmas. Ukrainian Christmas is January 7th. It’s that way here for Ukrainians in North America. So while it’s not anything out of the ordinary to those in Europe, the Ukrainians here get to take advantage of all the post holiday sales. December 26th is like one of the biggest sale days. All of the stuff that people fight over in November gets returned to the stores then marked down. You know who reaps the benefit? Ukrainians. It might be time we start following their traditions instead.
When I was younger, I would race to say and do just about every wacky thing I could think of in order to be the first person to do it in the new year. This crazy mentality took on a new sickness when the millennium happened. I think I can say with confidence that I was the first to yell, “Get me a goddam grapefruit, woman!” So the next time you say that in your household, remember that I was the first to say it in the last 15 years.
Production note: because of the New Year theme, this is a special Thursday release. It takes the place of the normal Friday spot. So, we’ll see you next Tuesday!
As poetic as the line was in Batman Returns, I never really got it. On the one hand you have mistletoe, a leafy plant that can poison you and kill you. On the other you have two people putting dem lips together. How is the latter deadlier than the former? Batman and Catwoman must have been privy to some knowledge of Super-Herpes that was spreading around Gotham. Tim Burton probably should have worked that angle into the plot better, because if you were like me, you were probably just like, “mmmm, no.”
To parents and really-odd Christmas enthusiasts everywhere, the household Elf on a Shelf probably made its first appearance over the weekend. This tradition puts more unnecessary pressure on parents to find a new hiding spot for the elf every night to make it seem that the elf flies to the North Pole and returns. The most pressure comes from actually remembering to do it.
Sure, it’s kind of annoying, but my God is it a wonderful inclusion in your home. This creepy little guy actually keeps children in line. I have 4, 3 of which have mouths that use words. Those words aren’t always so nice. When our family elf, Sprinkles, is in the house, those mouths don’t use as many words. 1 magical month of the year, this little gnome comes around to help us parent. The fear of negative consequences (coal instead of presents) for bad behavior is enough to get the desired effect.
Now we just need some other supernatural beings to help out the rest of the year: Cupid on the shelf, Leprechaun on the shelf, Apostle on the shelf, and don’t forget Little Veteran on the Shelf. With this pattern, we can fill the whole year with creepy spies who keep our kids in check.
Artist note: this is my first non-black-and-white Soopah strip. Does the grayscale color palette take away form the simplicity of the comic?