The first volume of David Lloyd’s ambitious looking Aces Weekly has just wrapped, with all seven issues available for download at the website.
And in a couple of weeks time it all starts again, with Volume 2 launching on December 2nd. Another 7 week, 7 issue volume, again costing just £6.99/$10.
Contributor to this second volume Ben Dickson gets in touch to tell us all about what looks very much like a perfectly silly and very funny thing…. written by Ben Dickson, illustrated by Gavin Mitchell, who won the 2000AD portfolio review at Thought Bubble 2011.
Santa Claus Vs The Nazis.
That, I believe, is what they call a hook… and here’s Ben to continue…..
Here’s the pitch:
What did Santa Claus do during the war?
1941. During the invasion of Russia, many German troops are stationed on the Russian-Finnish border, including in the artctic region of Lapland. Purely by accident, a German soldier discovers a mysterious, Christmas-themed village nestled in the side of Korvatunturi Mountain. His Generals are mystified, but Hitler realises the significance at once. Santa’s village holds the greatest industrial capability in the world. Whoever holds that factory will win the war…
I guess the idea came about from watching Christmas movies one year, and thinking about how, in order to show Santa on screen, film-makers have to really think about the mechanics of how the Santa mythology would work in something approximating the real world. So I just ran with this idea. This collided with me being a bit of a history buff, and realising that Germany genuinely did fortify the Finnish border with Russia early in World War 2, and even had an army division called the AOK Lapland. So simply thinking through the implications of the existence of Santa, you have to conclude that the Germans would have taken an interest in him. After all, if he can deliver a present to every child in the world in one night, what’s to stop Hitler doing the same with a bomb?
The other thing that really interested me was the character of Black Peter, or Zwarte Piet as he’s known in Scandinavia. The character isn’t well known over here and almost unheard of in the US, but is an integral part of the mythology in Northern Europe. In short, he’s a black boy that Santa Claus rescued from slavery. In Sweden he’s the centre of controversy, because the imagery surrounding him is really quite racist. One side wants him banned for this reason, whereas others are saying that he shouldn’t be banned because he’s traditional. I always found this argument bizarre, because to my mind there’s nothing wrong with having a black boy as Santa’s helper. It’s not the concept that’s racist, it’s the imagery. Change the imagery, and you solve the problem. So I decided to put my money where my mouth was, and put Peter front and centre in this story. His existence is central to Santa’s entire motivation. If you want to know more, you’ll have to read the story…
Santa Claus vs The Nazis is certainly a very silly story. But it has a serious heart. Fascism is something that cannot be ignored, because its nature is to either consume or destroy everything in its path. Santa learns to his cost that no man, not even he, can afford to be neutral.