Santa Is Tired of Kids Who Only Want iTunes Gift Cards. And He Has a Plan …

What to eat, drink, buy, and think during that special time of year
Nov. 28 2012 5:00 AM

Santa Writes a Comic Book

St. Nick is tired of kids who only want iTunes gift cards. And he has a plan …

A couple of years ago, I embarked on a quixotic quest: I gave up the Internet. Surfing, emailing, YouTube-watching—it had taken over my life, eating into time I wanted to be spending with my family, my students, and my work. I documented my four-month Internet fast in a series of articles for Slate, describing the pleasures and challenges of disconnecting. I returned to the Web-enabled world to discover, sadly, that I was no better at resisting the Internet’s siren song. On the plus side, however, I felt rested and inspired and knew I could step away again when I needed to (and not be afraid my life would collapse).

The “Offline” project also gave me the idea for my new book, Adventures in Cartooning: Christmas Special!, in which Santa discovers, to his chagrin, that it’s a whole new digital world out there and the only presents children are asking for these days are video games and iTunes gift cards. So Old St. Nick sets out to remind today’s kids about the pleasures of handmade gifts by creating an old-fashioned item—a comic book. He enlists the help of the Magical Cartooning Elf (naturally), and together with a brave knight they search for a story to hold the attention of a generation of Web-addled kids.

Below is an excerpt from the book. (And yes, I am aware of the irony that you’ll be reading it on a screen.) I also realize most kids won’t choose a book over a video game. But what’s Christmastime all about if not hoping for a miracle?

Adventures in Cartooning, Christmas Special.

Old St. Nick sets out to remind today’s kids about the pleasures of handmade gifts by creating an old-fashioned item—a comic book.

Illustration by James Sturn.

James Sturm is the director of The Center of Cartoon Studies, a MFA Degree-Granting College in White River Junction, Vt.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.