Nothing says Christmas like Annie Nocenti, a strip club and Matt Murdock!
TV has A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Christmas Story — reruns that are holiday traditions. At 13th Dimension, we’ve got this piece that we’ve re-presented every December since it was first published in 2014. Here’s one of our favorite folks, Annie Nocenti, with a classic tale of Christmas with the Devil… — Dan
By ANN NOCENTI
Sometimes I do stupid things that turn out OK. One year I broke-up with my boyfriend a few days before Christmas, and when that festive day came, I had nowhere to go. I was living in Chelsea in New York City, not far from Billy’s Topless, a pub known for its strippers and knife fights.
On Christmas Day, I watched the world pass by my window, everyone loaded down with food and presents to bring to Christmas dinners. What an alienating feeling, to have nowhere to go! I was going to hide all day, pretend Christmas never happened that year, but there was no food in the fridge. Or rather, there was the usual dregs of what consisted of my idea of cooking in my early 20s – six packs and cold pizza. So, I took a walk. Nothing was open but Billy’s. What the hell, I thought. Why not go in? They had some pathetic tinsel hung in the window that looked downright festive, as compared to the black lump of coal in my heart that day.
I had one of the best Christmases of my life in that pub. I met other unfortunate souls like myself that had nowhere to go on Christmas. A lovely elegant woman who kept lying to us all, claiming a limo was about to arrive with her gentleman date, like Blanche DuBois. Two brothers that fought bitterly about the implosion of their family. A few blind men from School for the Blind housing around the corner. As I drank rounds with these strangers, I thought of the comic I was currently writing, Daredevil. I was planning a story arc that was going to blow up Matt Murdock’s life. I thought, damn, he could end up here at the end of that arc.
So, in the spirit of the camaraderie of that day, I wrote a little tale for a Daredevil story that came out a year later called, A Beer With the Devil.
Art by Romita Jr., who co-plotted the story, and Williamson.
— Christmas Eve With BATMAN and NEAL ADAMS. Click here.
— THE MEGO BATCAVE AND ME: A Holiday Story. Click here.
December 1, 2014
When Giuliani was shutting down all the topless bars and strip clubs in Manhattan in the late 1990s, Billy’s Topless enjoyed a brief stay of execution by rebranding itself as “Billy Stopless.” I think the cops were confused for almost a full year before it was closed.
December 1, 2014
Really classic story by Ann Nocenti! I did a spotlight on “A Beer With The Devil” on my blog last Christmas Eve…
December 1, 2014
How fitting, Ben!
December 26, 2022
Thanks for the link Ben, I just read your article, really nice, interesting to note that JR JR has gone to be a superstar artist with a very flashy and signature style that polarises fans opinions, personally I have always loved his style, his Daredevil run with Nocenti’s dark stories was a perfect match. Williams is I k with the very muted colour palette was equally perfect. I loved the story, the message. Thanks again, I did read that series as it came out but it was a long time ago and the message was lost to me at the time. Thanks again
December 21, 2015
Fantastic story even better knowing the background story 2 classic tales Thanks for sharing Anne!
May 19, 2017
Great story!! Have things gotten too sanitized??
December 25, 2021