The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir
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A satire of traditional Christmas stories and noir, The Fat Man makes the perfect gift for the literary-minded.
A hardboiled elf is framed for murder in a North Pole world that plays reindeer games for keeps, and where favorite holiday characters live complex lives beyond December.
Fired from his longtime job as captain of the Coal Patrol, two-foot-three inch 1,300-year-old elf Gumdrop Coal is angry. He's one of Santa's original elves, inspired by the fat man's vision to bring joy to children on that one special day each year. But somewhere along the way things went sour for Gumdrop. Maybe it was delivering one too many lumps of coal for the Naughty List. Maybe it's the conspiracy against Christmas that he's starting to sense down every chimney. Either way, North Pole disillusionment is nothing new: Some elves brood with a bottle of nog, trying to forget their own wish list. Some get better. Some get bitter. Gumdrop Coal wants revenge. Justice is the only thing he knows, and so he decides to give a serious wakeup call to parents who can't keep their vile offspring from landing on the Naughty List. But when one parent winds up dead, his eye shot out with a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model BB gun, Gumdrop Coal must learn who framed him and why. Along the way he'll escape the life-sucking plants of the Mistletoe Forrest, battle the infamous Tannenbomb Giant, and survive a close encounter with twelve very angry drummers and their violent friends. The horrible truth lurking behind the gingerbread doors of Kringle Town could spell the end of Christmas-and of the fat man himself. Holly Jolly!
single-issue adventure. The limited printing makes the issue even more valuable. Experts estimate that, in mint condition, The Disappearing Rabbit could be worth as much as six hundred sugarplums. Knowing that, Fizz simply quotes his hero, “Hot dog!” If Dingleberry’s comic score was the big news, then the papers had not yet learned of my outlaw ways. I imagine Rosebud was sharpening her poison pen, and a special edition was rolling off the presses, lots of ink and hard words telling of the
any sleep when I tell you that Santa doesn’t eat all of those cookies you leave for him. He just can’t. First, there’s the whole “Naughty Cholesterol” issue. Second, most of your cookies are inedible, merciless, granite globs of sugar and lard, a kind of cookie jerky whipped up at the last minute before bed. Elves use those cookies for roof shingles and patios. Of the thousands and thousands of good cookies, Santa will take a nibble just to be polite, but then brings the rest of the batch back to
curled toes), usually give them away. The elves that happen to make do in your neighborhood are usually starring in freak shows and small-time circuses, and you don’t need me to tell you how tough a carny’s life is. It’s hard work, dangerous. And there’s no dental insurance. The only other path for an elf to pursue is the North Pole, the show. It is the best, too, and it was the only path I had in mind. I arrived at the North Pole in 725 A.D. on a winter morning colder than a snake’s shoulder.
on a very sour cake,” Tim said, turning to me, “was that one of Santa’s own helpers started getting slaphappy with the believers, darkening everyone’s view of Santa. However, since you seemed somewhat reluctant to carry through to the best conclusion—and since your guilt would leave Santa no choice but to forsake you—Zsa Zsa gave Raymond Hall the punishment you could not. Whether you ran to us for safety, or were caught by Santa, Gumdrop Coal, you have advanced our cause considerably.” Not So
the Misfits were hiding somewhere. Waiting. It gave me the creeps. “They’re all gone, Gumdrop,” Santa said. “Seems they had an idea that you were going to spoil their plans. I found this.” Santa handed me a note.Guten tag, my vittle Gumdrop, I heard of your dashing escape. The news thrills me on one hand, and causes me much tears on zee other. To me, you have alvays been my pint-size helping of Manschnitzel, so learning of your bravery against zee birds makes my heart beat schnell. But I am