I never properly got the bug for comics and/or graphic novels, but my childhood was definitely enhanced by the mordant brilliance of Raymond Briggs. I think his masterpieces are Fungus the Bogeyman and When the Wind Blows (with the later, heartbreaking Ethel and Ernest coming up behind) but usually when I mention his name I have to explain that he was the man behind The Snowman. It’s a good story but the lack of text means we’re deprived of Briggs’s facility for verbal wit and irony. And although the film is perfectly watchable, I’ve always been pretty ambivalent about the Yuletide add-ons that have made it a seasonal favourite (although they do allow us to point and laugh at dunderheads such as this bloke). It’s not about Christmas; it’s about death and loss and the end of innocence. All the stuff that really matters to kids, in fact. And Briggs himself agrees, it seems.