So the holiday season is upon us? Anyone about to go off the deep end with all the crowds, craziness and crass consumerism?

Yeah, that’s a jolly holiday greeting.

This is something totally unrelated to the comic, but I was watching A Charlie Brown Christmas last week and it didn’t occur to me until just this year that the center of the piece ALSO has to do with the commercialization of Christmas. Everyone else wants the glitter and the tinsel and ol’ Chuck Brown is still trying to find the true meaning of the season.

I don’t know why it struck me so profound – especially since I’ve seen this cartoon a million times. I guess the fact that people have been dealing with this issue since 1965 was both a relief and concern. A relief to realize it wasn’t a modern affliction. Concern for wondering when it will plateau.

The further I go in life, the more I realize that Peanuts creator Charles Schultz wasn’t just a drippy sentimentalist, but actually quite the subversive little raconteur.

I realize this has nothing to do with today’s comic, but I just had to speak my mind for a minute.

Regarding the comic, it wouldn’t be totally out of bounds for real life Tom to fill in the blanks of the holiday season with scenes from a Chevy Chase movie. That’s not to say my holidays are boring or unmemorable. It’s just that my extended family is pretty small, so we usually avoid the petty conflicts, drunken debauchery and shoddy re-gifting that seems to plague other families this time of year. Friends with larger broods tell me to count my blessings, but I have a distinct feeling I’m missing out on some pretty ripe comedy in those situations.

I predict this week’s blogs will be similarly off-center as we come closer to the big weekend celebration. I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to get Wednesday’s strip up on time.

You see, Tuesday is my birthday and we’re going out with the family to celebrate. Since I work on Wednesday’s strip Tuesday night and I haven’t worked ahead, Wednesday’s strip will probably be a little late. I’m just warning you now in case you’re stuck at work on Wednesday, desperate for entertainment, banging your head against the keyboard when you should be (in fact) filling out those T.P.S. reports. Just a head’s up.

Luckily, unlike my fellow cubicle-jockeys, I’ve taken Wednesday off to recover from Tuesday’s festivity. Once up to speed, I should have the time to work at home and make sure Wednesday’s comic appears at… some point on Wednesday.


Hey! New sponsors! Everyone be sure to check out Still Untitled. They’ve recently updated their look and have a new web site. I met the crew behind SU when I went to the Minneapolis FallCon comic book convention in October of ’03. They’re good guys and need your support.

Also don’t forget our current THorum advertiser Music Television Sucks – an excellent collection of music videos free for you to download. Y’know…. because MTV doesn’t seem to play them anymore.

Just one last note, I’ve received a few panicked e-mails from people asking where are the t-shirts the ordered for the pre-order period that ended December 10th. I want to let all of you know that they are on their way, but that I cannot deliver them in time for the holidays. I made this known back on November 24th when I put the shirts back up for sale.

Please understand that I do not have the up front capitol to buy a bunch of shirts in advance. Nor do I have a place to store them. I am also not in a position to sit on any merchandise that I can’t move. So basically it’s one-in, one-out and that’s why I take pre-orders. You tell me what shirt you want, I tell the printer, he ships them to me and I ship them to you. I wish I had a better system in place, but that’s how things are for the time being.

Those of you expecting shirts will hopefully see them in your mailbox before the end of the year. I sent the artwork to the printer on the 10th. He told me he would probably print them up the following week and send them this week. My turnaround should hopefully get them out the door next week. If anything changes, I will be sure to update you on the situation in this space.

Regardless, I want to thank all of you who have ordered shirts from me in the last two months. Your support of the comic both financially and as FANS who are proud to wear a Theater Hopper design impresses me to no end. Frankly, I’m amazed any of you are interested in what I’m doing. It’s a great validation and I appreciate it. Your patience, support and understanding mean everything to me.

Incidentally, the next pre-order period ends January 7th. It’s a little longer than previous pre-order periods, but I need a little breathing room to get around the holidays before sending another batch.

This blog got a little longer than I anticipated. So I think I’ll just end here.


↓ Transcript
Tom, what's your favorite holiday memory.

Oh, that would probably be the time my Dad's cousin came to visit with his family in their motor home.

In a hilarious misunderstanding, he kidnapped my Dad's boss and brought him home with a huge ribbon on his head!

That didn't happen to you! That was National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!

Don't you think this should be the season to forge memories from things that happen in YOUR life and not in movies?

Aww, do I have to?