Christmas 1949… and those Li’l Abner spin-off phenomena the Shmoos (or Shmoon to give their alternative and technically correct plural spelling) were about to enjoy a suitably off-the-wall holidays in Al Capp’s Shmoo Comics #5. At the time of publication these bizarre creatures (who taste delicious, are eager to be eaten by humans, and also lay dairy products as a matter of course) had become something of a national craze, gaining their own comic strips and associated merchandising.
In this issue’s 5-page ‘Santa Shmoo is Comin’ to Town' young Washable Jones is not eagerly looking forward to Christmas like the other children. He’s more concerned that his Shmoo chums have no “Sandy Claws” of their own. Visiting the local “Wishin’ Stump” he finds his request for presents for the Shmoos magically granted (little realising the gifts that land at his feet have actually just been jettisoned from a passing plane). And so the well-meaning Washable starts distributing the goodies on Christmas Eve to the Shmoo herds that live in local chickenhouses.
Shmoos are adaptable critters though, and always keen to please! So perhaps it’s not surprising that, having observed Washable’s Christmas spirit, a group of them merge into one huge “Santa Shmoo” who begins mimicking the Shmoos’ young friend. This Shmoo has “super Shmooman powers” and instead of the usual Shmoo trick of laying dairy products it begins laying Xmas presents instead, ensuring that Washable Jones’s festive generosity is rewarded in kind. With at least five resulting presents for “every boy n’ girl fum h’yar to Skonk Hollow” 1949 proves to be a very “Merry Christmus” indeed for Washable and his Shmoo pals.