Throwback Comic Review: “The Thirteen Days of Christmas- A Tale of the Lost Lunar Bestiary” (Jolly Jinglings Special)

Welcome back to Jolly Jinglings, The Splintering’s month-long celebration of everything frankincense and myrrh. Today we’re going to torture ourselves yet again with another disappointing Christmas comic book: The Thirteen Days of Christmas: A Tale of the Lost Lunar Bestiary.

Published by DOGSTAR Press in 1998, The Thirteen Days of Christmas is written by David Quinn and illustrated by Kristen Perry. It’s more of a 28-page pinup book than anything else. Sure, there is text to be found on the pages, but it’s not a “story” in the slightest. The whole book is a macabre fantasy-themed version of The 12 Days of Christmas song, with a splash illustration for each day (adding the unlucky 13th day for good measure, of course).

“Gooooo tell it on the moun-tain…!”

You know what? Here’s the whole “story”, so you don’t waste your time:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A demon skull stuffed with potpourri! 

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Vampire Barbee!

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Water Elementals!

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Salome’s Buffet!

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Buckets of Blood!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Sinister Sisters!

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A bone xylophone!

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Banshees a’wailin’!

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Voices from the void!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Imported Chocolates!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A kiss from Sister Nil!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Werewolves of London!

On the thirteenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 

The key to his heart!

Yeah, the artwork is pretty dang pretty. And danged.

So there it is.

That leaves Perry’s black-and-white artwork to be the book’s only real selling point, and it’s good. Nah, it’s honestly pretty darn good. There are some awesome, highly detailed illustrations with a creepy veneer, all of which look great in black and white, and all of which would also be more meaningful if you knew how they were tied into other Lost Lunar Bestiary books (which I’d never heard of it prior to snagging this one in hopes of a Christmas-themed story, so take that as you will).

In 1998, The Thirteen Days of Christmas cost $2.95, which is slightly more than $5 in current-year dollars. For me, this was not a worthwhile pickup in any way. Though if you were already keen on the Lost Lunar Bestiary series in 1998, maybe it could have been a fun, Christmas bonus book.

To be honest, though, the only other “Lost Lunar Bestiary” book that I’ve managed to find any evidence for is called Red Flannel Squirrel: A Tale of the Lost Lunar Bestiary, which was published by DOGSTAR in 1997 and was also created by David Quinn and Kristen Perry, so it’s hard to tell if this is tied into any larger “series” or not. That said, I really don’t understand who The Thirteen Days of Christmas was made for, but it was the 90s, I suppose, and it was a lot easier to sell comics back then. And art books posing as comics, I suppose.

Such dapper dogs

Thanks for reading!

To check out more of our Jolly Jinglings content, go here. Otherwise, please consider following The Splintering on social media or bookmarking the site for more independent entertainment news, views, and commentary! Happy holidays!


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