Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King, who is also now the Chicken Pot Pie King. In a tweet from TokyoPop this morning on their official account (@TOKYOPOP), the anime and manga distributor announced plans to bring its “The Nightmare Before Christmas” manga to the racks of “good country cooking” American chain restaurant Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., known simply as the Cracker Barrel.
The chain spans 45 states and has been in operation since founder Dan Evins first opened its doors in 1969. In addition to its savvy strategy of peppering stores just off of nearly every major highway exit in the South, Cracker Barrel is known for its gift shops that take up half of the building, the Old Country Store part of the chain’s lengthy name, selling country-kitsch decor, Willie Nelson CDs, and old-timey candies.
While manga might seem like a funny choice for Cracker Barrel, there is a hefty section of books, movies, and music in the Old Country Store. Head to the Cracker Barrel website right now and you’ll find seasonal items like Christmas books for children.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Henry Selick’s 1993 holiday-straddling family classic, has its star players of Halloweentown appropriating the yuletide holiday from Santa Claus and the nearby Christmastown — with disastrous results. But it turned out well enough for the rest of us because now we have one magical movie that can be played from October to January. Bonus: the movie is currently available to stream on Disney+.
“What’s This? What’s This?! There’s Biscuits Everywhere!”
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is notable not only for its catchy and macabre musical numbers like “Kidnap the Sandy Claws,” but for its groundbreaking stop-motion animation in a story conceived and produced by Tim Burton (“Edward Scissorhands”). Since its 1993 release, the film has gained an exponential following and a wide-reaching merchandising legacy. In 2017, artist Jun Asuka adapted the story of Jack Skellington and Halloweentown for the manga format and the full-color series “Zero’s Journey,” both released by Tokyopop.
Here’s the synopsis of the 2017 softcover manga adaptation, “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”:
Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King, the ruler of Halloween Town and master of all things creepy and spooky. But he’s tired of his life in the shadows and longs for something new. When he accidentally stumbles upon Christmas Town, he decides this is the perfect chance to try his hand at a brand new holiday and is convinced he’ll have the world yelling “Scary Christmas”! With the young patchwork doll Sally trying to dissuade him and the evil Oogie Boogie waiting in the wings to take over Halloween Town in Jack’s absence, he’d better hurry if he wants to get his plan in place by December 25th!