The Greatest Christmas Stories Ever Told! - #16

The countdown continues with 2006's "Jiminy Christmas" from Fables #56 by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha and Andrey Pepoy.

The issue opens with a cute bit where Jack (of Fables) tries to steal Santa's naughty list so that he could sell the list to various governments (under the theory that anyone who was naughty as a kid would likely grow up to become a naughty adult).

Then we cut to Rose Red and Boy Blue visiting Snow White and Bigby Wolf and their kids for Christmas. Later, the cubs follow an ancient pact where one of them can ask Santa Claus any question they so choose, but in doing so, they must forfeit all of their Christmas presents for that year. Young Ambrose gets picked and confronts Santa Claus in a striking Buckingham panel...

How awesome, by the way, are Buckingham's borders? Always so great.

Ambrose asks one of the great questions involving Santa Claus and Willingham has a great answer for it...

There is a slight detour when Santa visits Flycatcher to set up the next extended arc in the series (the excellent "The Good Prince"), which goes with the earlier scenes in the book between Snow White and Bigby that set up the literal next story in the series (the two-parter involving Bigby's father) and then the book wraps up, along with a great twist involving Santa's naughty list...

A strong job by Willingham of giving the readers a one-off Christmas issue while still setting up future plots. And what can I say about Buckingham and his inkers? Just a tremendous job by them all.

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