Racing Rudolph

Every Christmas Eve. Including this one, probably.










Confidential to my giftee: I think you’re sweet and surprisingly un-cranky considering the amount of sleep you get.





115 responses to “Racing Rudolph”

  1. Another Perspective Photography Avatar

    hahaha! This is awesome! I always love your artwork- but this one take the cake! That animated red nose is amazing!!!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! This one took an especially long time :)

      1. GiggsMcGill Jill Avatar

        I agree, the red nose blew me away! (Well, you know, the nose didn’t literally blow me away, which is good – cause that’d be gross…)

  2. Janice Cumberlidge Avatar

    Love this post, especially the mist on the car windows and the twinkle in the sky, very clever. The way you create expressions on people’s faces is just spot on, love it!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you :) The fogged up car window panel is one of my favorites.

  3. becomingcliche Avatar

    I needed this today. Thank you! I do miss the hovercards. You have the best hidden stories.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I will bring them back when I have a moment to figure out the new media system… :D

      1. becomingcliche Avatar

        I can’t see any way to put them on, either. I figured they were just gone. If you figure it out, let me know!

        1. sj Avatar

          You can do it if you edit the photo once it’s already uploaded to your post. It’s a PitA, though.

          1. becomingcliche Avatar

            Rather ridiculous that the things that were once so easy are now so difficult.

            1. Ashley Edits Avatar

              You can’t just go to Full HTML and write in the code? [img src=”rudolph.jpg” title=”oh we’re almost home”]

              1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

                You can, but it used to be much simpler. WordPress is in the midst of a lot of changes right now. I think they’ll get everything ironed out soon. (I am an optimist!) :D

  4. Michael Cargill Avatar

    Top, top special effects in this one my dear Nicole!

  5. JackieP Avatar

    haha! I love the big eyes when they are looking out for Rudolf. too funny :-)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      :D Thanks, Jackie! That’s my favorite

  6. This Sydney Life Avatar

    BRILLIANT! Merry Chrissie from down here. :-)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Merry Christmas! :-D

  7. Joy Avatar

    Very funny! How do you get the picture to move with the light and everything? Funny story!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you, Joy! I made a GIF using gimp :)

  8. Michelle Gillies Avatar
    Michelle Gillies

    I love how their eyes are popping out of their heads. It’s nice to remember such innocent times this way.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      It’s fun for me to relive it through the comic :)

  9.  Avatar

    You pegged it again! I hope all the moms and dads out there learn from it:)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Haha… nah! It’s too much fun to tease the kids!

  10. ayoliag Avatar

    Too sweeett ahahahaha

  11. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer Avatar

    Poor Mom and Dad; with the five of you in tow, it must have been difficult to EVER get it right!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Looking back on it, I don’t know how they’ve managed to keep it together so long… :)

  12. Emily Avatar

    That’s awesome–the red, blinking light is my favourite part. :)

  13. Charlotte Avatar

    And of course we’d be driving home from SUCH A FAR AWAY location, freaking out the whole 40 minutes for the ride home. Ahhhhhh, brilliant dad, brilliant.

    I loved the animation of “Rudolph’s Nose”, I laughed so hard :)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I’m not sure it was even 40 minutes from Memere and Pepere’s house! But it definitely felt extremely long.

  14. runoffwriter Avatar

    Brilliant. The little touches make your work so great…Mom’s fuzzy collar, the nostrils of noses pushed up against the car windows….the lighting effects!!

    Top class, definitely. So glad you were able to finish it at last:)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! This one definitely took a long time to finish!

  15. muddledmom Avatar

    How do you manage to top yourself every time? Your work is amazing, every little detail. I love to read other people’s comments and see what I missed. There are so many details to look at, I always miss something.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Aw, thanks :) I never regret spending as much time as I need to to get a panel right. I like to make it fun to look at!

  16. musingsoftheamusingmuse Avatar

    HA! This is great! My parents used to do this to my brother, sister and I, too!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      It’s a grand tradition!

  17.  Avatar

    Laugh out loud funneeeey! Thanks for making my day with a good belly laugh.
    How did you make the red nose go across the page like that? Is it some more of
    your Christmas magic?
    Becky Pinckney

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks, Becky! It’s an animated GIF :)

  18. neutralkiseki Avatar

    Ahahaha! I really love how the eyes are enlarged when Rudolph and his red nose is mentioned! X3

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      :) Thanks! Definitely one of my top favorite panels!

  19. Emily @ The Waiting Avatar

    Oh Nicole! I needed this today! Something about that little blinking nose just warmed me. Thank you and I’ll be sharing this on The Waiting’s FB tomorrow….I know your giftee checks it when she can get around to it in her busy schedule ;)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      I’m glad! Thanks for sharing it :)

  20. whatimeant2say Avatar

    Gosh, you outdo yourself every single time! I love the animated nose, the car lights, the fogged up glass – everything! So, just between you and me, which one of you was the “Honor Student”? ;)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      …Um, I’m pretty sure it was everyone except Chrissy. Chrissy did not work for stickers.

  21. sj Avatar

    WAS IT ME?!

    (and I love this post)

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks, SJ :) And guess again!

  22. apnpublishing Avatar

    This is awesome! Did you cut all this out from construction paper?? AWESOME!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Yup! And scrap paper from junk mail, greeting cards, and paper food packaging. :)

  23. Curly Carly Avatar
    Curly Carly

    I don’t know how you made the blinking red light move across that image, but color me impressed.

  24. Debbie Avatar

    As always you made me smile. I needed that tonight, thank you.

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      You’re welcome, Debbie! I’m glad it made you smile :)

  25. notquiteold Avatar

    Oh Lord… I remember crying thinking we would never get home in time!

  26. jell jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown Avatar

    Love the eyes…and wait, what? Are you talkin’ to me??

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! And that is a SECRET, of course!

  27. iRuniBreathe Avatar

    Lovely images and honesty in those faces. Rudolph’s nose is amazing. Well done Nicole!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! I loved making this one so much

      1. iRuniBreathe Avatar

        I love that you use your talent this way. It’s amazing what you create and share. Merry Holiday time.

  28. Alex Amos Avatar

    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

  29. littlebirdlittlebee Avatar

    Very awesome! Love the red light!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thank you! It was fun to recreate the magic of “Rudolph’s” red nose dancing across the sky :)

  30. hollybernabe Avatar

    That was fabulously funny!

    Out of curiosity, how long does it usually take you to create these paper comics? They’re so creative!

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! They generally take between 6-12 hours, but this one took much longer. I spent 4 hours alone on just the first panel and worked on this one for 3 days.

      1. hollybernabe Avatar

        Amazing! I really laughed at the wide-eyed looks out the window and the wide-eyed fear. That just nailed kids to a T, lol.

  31. Imabong E. Avatar

    lol @ the face palm! That was cute! Nicely done …

    1. Nicole Smeltzer Avatar

      Thanks! Glad you liked it!

  32. Nathan Young Avatar

    Pretty funny! The animated red nose in the sky was perfect!

  33. Go Jules Go Avatar

    But the real question is… who’s the honors student?

    1. Emily Avatar

      From what I gather, all five of the Belanger girls were good students, even though Chrissy was rather mischevious.

  34. MegansBeadedDesigns Avatar


    Brilliant, as usual!

  35. missemmalou Avatar

    how sweet!

  36. unfetteredbs Avatar

    this is awesome!

  37. Barbara Backer-Gray Avatar

    Haha! I love the moving nose.

  38. You Monsters Are People Avatar

    As always, these are the tops. I probably would have followed through and not given out any gifts that year. “Sorry girls, we missed Santa. I guess you’ll have to wait until next year.”

    1. Emily Avatar

      I think that’d be too mean, especially if the kids had no control over what time the family would get home. In this case, I assume Nicki’s family is coming home from Midnight Mass, right? If so, then I’d also assume that the parents initiated that outing, not the kids.

  39. She's a Maineiac Avatar

    Simply fantastic, Nicole! :)

  40. Drew Avatar

    Hahahah the bug eyes are awesome!!!

  41. Le Clown Avatar
    Le Clown

    This deserve an Eric comment: Brilliant… pun intended!
    Happy holidays, to you and your loved ones!

  42. The Hook Avatar

    Fantastic piece of blogging goodness!

  43. weezafish Avatar

    Ha! First timer on your blog so possibly a little over excited. WOW! LOOK AT THAT! Loving your work. I need to suggest a family Christmas Eve drive to hubby. So I can play that one on the kids.

  44. becca3416 Avatar

    Their eyes! Great! How did you do the flashing picture?

  45. pegoleg Avatar

    I love your gingerbread sisters, Nicki!

    And Rudolph’s nose; I missed it the first time. A technical whiz as well as an artist – is there no end to your talents?

  46. Scritch Avatar

    aw neat! the animation was a delicious nugget of mincey xmas goodness

  47. bloggeretterized Avatar

    Fabulous! The expressions on the fogged up windows and mom and dad’s faces in the end are priceless!!!! Love your work!!
    Love the new banner! The cookies are adorable!

  48. skippingstones Avatar

    I know it’s a “small” thing, but I loved the fuzzy collar on Mom’s coat. And those huge eyes and breath fog on the van windows. You’re so talented. I hope your files and everything get recovered from your dead computer.

  49. Anonymous Avatar

    Wow! I loved this so much! Great job.
    I was wondering, what program dd you use to make the GIF?
    ~ Some girl named Mary ~

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