Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a good Look and Learn Santa cover and this one comes from issue 728 in 1975.
With Santa speeding over the snow on a snowmobile it is advertising the Speed and Power article “Skimming Over The Snow When It’s Forty Below” which highlights snowmobiles, Sno-Cat tractors, the unpowered Sno-Bob as well as of course husky powered sleighs. The rest of the issue pretty much ignores Christmas with articles on General Montgomery’s double, Clifton James, how a telephone works and the mud left behind when the Nile floods. The comic strips were the B&W Oliver Twist and of course More Adventures Of The Trigan Empire in full Don Laurence colour.
The following year, for issue 780, it was less 20th Century Santa and more a case of 21st Century Santa as Gerry Wood painted this amusing image of Santa on the surface of Mars. For someone able to visit every child on Earth in one night a quick detour to Mars doesn’t hold many problems such as breathing the thin Martian air without a helmet on or, even more importantly, how he gets that beard into the helmet in the first place.
This advertised the second of a Speed and Power series entitled “Exploring Space” which included an illustration of the same Martian lander with rather more realistic astronauts surrounding it. Trigan Empire had moved into the hands of Oliver Frey by this issue and the B&W strip was Great Expectations.
Let’s hope when Santa visits your house tonight his bag is as full as it is shown in these covers. Our final Christmas cover will appear tomorrow.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.