Tuesday, May 14, 2013


On paper this issue should be one of my least favorites:  the story is an adaptation of a Gerry Conway story but I'm not really a fan of his run on JLA;  the characters featured are not most of my favorites; , and the theme of Christmas is always a minefield. So perhaps precisely *because* my expectations are lower, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I re-read this story that it holds up so well?

The original version of this story appeared in JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA #152, March 1978. "2,0000 Light-Years To Christmas" is by Gerry Conway, illustrated by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin. This issue is most famous for introducing Traya, who would go on to become Red Tornado's adopted daughter; less famous for featuring Wonder Woman on the cover instead of Hawkwoman. Wonder Woman does not appear in the story!


After doing a Halloween story I really wanted to write a Christmas tale. I originally looked at using  JLA #110 as my Christmas story, but the membership in *that* story didn't match as well as this one did. Also, I liked the idea of introducing Traya to "my" universe. So I swapped out Superman in the original to Martian Manhunter and went ahead with this adaptation. The one real sticking point I had with this story was the title. What the heck does "2,000 Light-Years to Christmas" mean, anyway? Before settling on the simplified "The Christmas Eve Terror" I also considered "The Christmas Eve Aliens" or "The Christmas Eve Incident." (Japanese use the word "incident" on all sorts of things, so that would have been easy to translate.) We can talk more about the other specific changes I made to the story in the AFTERWARD.

By this time my "staff" was working on all cylinders. Yamamura-san would read through my initial translations, making corrections or suggestions. Then I would take what she checked and write it out in ink. She would then go back over it and write the pronunciation over the kanji; this is called furigana; it's the little writing above the larger characters. You can see samples of this below as well. Finally, Saito-san would read it over one last time to make sure I hadn't made any mistakes and to give me one more reader's opinion on the story.

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