As my special Christmas gift to you here's a brand new (single panel - let's not get too carried away) Episode!
I almost let 2016 slip by without doing a Christmas Ep., but I figured that this year was such a shitty year that I had to do something, however small.
The Ep. may be small, but I've crammed a lot into it. Firstly, all 5 Howler Monkeys are present (for this idea I had to leave the Knockouts and Comet out - they must be visiting family for the holidays or something), and you may have noticed that Le sas (since Episode 151) is now permanently in Yeti mode. I figured that as long as he's comfortable being out about his sexuality, then he might as well live out and proud as his Yeti self, too. #MarriageEquality
I brought Xiongmao the Panda back for another appearance (initial appearance in Episode 7/7: Ping Pong Diplomacy), because I'm going to China for Christmas! Well, perhaps more accurately, I'm going to China on Christmas. For the record, the direct translation of Xiongmao's dialogue is not "We'll see, Chubs" but "Okay, Fat Man".
I also made this Ep. a 'Christmas Best-of' of sorts, as I squeezed in minor characters from previous Christmas Episodes, namely Krampus, Baby Jesus and the Triffid Gardens mutants. I felt compelled to depict the mutants as welcome guests of the Howler Monkeys, as I've been criticised in the past for being elitist and snobbish in my depiction of them. Peace and goodwill to all and shit.
Finally, in terms of the Ep. itself, this year I decided to sign off with 'Happy Holidays!' because I want to stick it to the RWNJs and their whole 'war on Christmas' malarkey. HAPPY HOLIDAYS HAPPY HOLIDAYS HAPPY HOLIDAYS MOTHERFUCKERS.
The title of this Ep. is the name of a novelty Christmas duet by Cyndi Lauper and The Hives, which brings me to your extra Christmas present (as promised on twitter and seen by at least one person): My Top 50 Christmas Songs of ALL TIME! I was going to type out the list here, but I went one better and MADE IT FOR YOU ON SPOTIFY!
So if you're in need of last minute Xmas party tunes, or you just wanna crank it in the car for the next two days, have at it HERE.
Mad Dog, Comet and the Fightin' Fairies will soon dip behind the Great Firewall of China, but whatever you do between now and 1 January, be safe and happy.
P.S. I used to regularly dedicate Episodes to influential people who had passed away. This Episode, thanks to 2016, is dedicated, among others, to:
Geez, I didn't want to end on a downer, but seeing all those names together is depressing as hell...