The Twelve Days – Postscript 2 – series from familiar comics

As noted by commenters during the course of the Twelve Days postings, and in the Addenda section of that post itself, sometimes a familiar comics source will touch on the Twelve Days song lyrics, illustrating and hopefully finding a joke in the lists of gifts. Sometimes this has even taken the form of a series of daily appearances for a half-dozen or even a full dozen strips.

Mother Goose and Grimm

“MGG” had the start of a run in 2011, concluding at Five with a kind of recap/roundup:

Then in 2012 they did a full run of twelve!

This didn’t mean they were burnt out on the Twelve Days Song material altogether, but later appearances were not as extensive. Here is a singleton from 2016 touching on first and third day:

Spacer with multicolor segments

Off the Mark

The OTM series or singles referencing the Twelve Days song seem to encompass an almost-full series carried out over two years. The second year had a postscript of an attempt to return many of the canonical gifts at a department store returns window. Then there was a singleton on the twelve drummers, and some later repeats in color.

Here is the kickoff, in 2002:

Then in 2003 they pick up the story with the infamous “apricot sauce” panel for Seventh Day:

Yes, we used those plumbers in our own run-thru!
Here, from 2004, was an OTM singleton but with content based in the Twelve Days gifts:

And the 2002 series included a detached postscript of an attempt at the returns window.

Spacer with multicolor segments

Argyle Sweater

We couldn’t locate an extensive series from the Twelve Days song for the “Argyle Sweater” strip, but they did have some separate panels that relate to it. Both these examples are from this year. We used the “ten lords a-leaking” (sent in by Andréa) in the course of the run of our Twelve Days thread. And after that, a nice example of a single-panel comic taking on multiple gifts from the song; here instead of a department store returns window, it’s a food ordering window.

Spacer with multicolor segments

New Adventures of Queen Victoria

This series, from 2006, proceeds normally (so to speak) thru five, then jumps ahead to twelve to get it over with! (Oh, and do we need a geezer clue for “Prince Albert in a can”?)


  1. There they are! No offense to creative ideas like the Three French Horns picture and the like. Genuinely!
    But this post is chock full of the sort of thing we comic strips fans would even more enjoy for a Twelve Days of Christmas traversal! You could crosscut and do the day-by-day postings that way – all the Partridge jokes, then next time all the Turtle Dove jokes, and so on.

  2. I like those Off The Mark style of puns, and related jokes. The nine maids one is a fun comic vision, with the cat and dogs expressing their alarm at the prospect of being milked! (Though he apparently misses the correct older sense of “maid” as simply “any young woman” and goes with the later idea of “housemaid who does cleaning”.)

  3. So what would you say is the story with this one?

    His guilty grin suggests some special purpose for holding onto those dancers! 🙂

  4. One of the better pun versions of the first day that I saw somewhere was a dead branch stuck in a pot with a bullet hanging from it. That’s a Cartridge in a Bare Tree, of course.

  5. Thanks, Grawlix! So far I’ve only dipped into the text lightly while scrolling for the illustrations, but those drawings are indeed very nicely done, and the text seemed to be an interesting take.

    In the drawing for the ladies dancing, it’s quite noticeable that a couple of them have children in attendance, one of them in fact apparently nursing. When I was looking for a picture to go with the maids-a-milking I spent a little while in a rabbit hole of learning the history of the practice of wet-nursing. But did not find any illustrations that would fit well for “milking”.

  6. Interestingly, the text describes the dance movements are that of women’s domestic activities. So the dance in this case was not that of what we might expect to be literal joyous rhythmic musical dancing but that of metaphorical ancient interpretive dance. Fascinating concept, really, although I have not closely read all the text.

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