I like to post Christmas-related stuff this time of year. So here is the cover from Sugar & Spike # 68 from December of 1966. As opposed to getting a clean image from the web, I've scanned my own battered, but sentimental copy. This is not the oldest comic in my collection, but it is the oldest one that I've had since it was new. Anything older was acquired as a back issue. I've had this one since I was two-years-old.
The story is about Sugar's 125-year-old, great-great-great-great Grandpa Plumm, an escapee from the retirement home who takes a job as a department store Santa. All havoc breaks loose when he decides to empty the stock room to give each child what they want for Christmas.
A most clever device in the Sugar & Spike stories is that they spoke their own language--baby talk--which could only be understood by other young children. But in this issue, they are surprised to learn that Grandpa Plumm speaks baby talk. What a neat commentary on the fact that sometimes grandparents understand children better than their parents do.
I love the cover of this issue, which keeps the DC universe cohesive. Notice Batman, Robin, and the Batmobile in Spike's stocking (click on picture for a larger image). This was the year Batman came to TV.
I read this comic multiple times as a child and thoroughly enjoyed it. This series, running from 1956-1971, was written and drawn consistently by Sheldon Mayer. This was his signature piece. Like Grandpa Plumm, Mayer understood children and knew how to write for them without being condescending.
If you're looking for good stories for kids, Sugar & Spike would be a great choice. The unfortunate thing is that they've only been reprinted once to my knowledge. A replica edition in 2002 reprinted the first issue. I hear there may be some digest-sized reprints out there from several years ago.
To see last year's Christmas comics post, click here.