Here’s a little background on ‘Christmas Never Sleeps,’ with thanks to my friend Marc Vargas, who asked! (Pictured above: The master loose leaf volume containing the entire works!)
I‘d had an interest in doing a year-long, Christmas-to-Christmas Santa Claus story for decades. I knew that there was a segment of young-at-hearts to whom Christmas is a year-long passion. I belong to a couple of such groups on Facebook. I’ve long been aware of year-round Santa attractions, such as Castle Noel in Medina, Ohio. There’s also Santa Claus, Indiana, where Santa receives his mail! Just up the tracks from me lies EnterTrainment Junction, which hosts a Christmas in July event that allows kids to conference call with Santa via Zoom.
I never quite got the timing right, so years ‘Christmas Never Sleeps’ remained unfinished (and un-started). In order to launch it on-line commencing on Christmas day, and once a day for 365 days thereafter, I knew I’d have to get several weeks’ worth in the pocket. And there was no editor around to make me do that! Typically, on or around Christmas eve I’d slap my head and realize that once again the ship had sailed. Or, more correctly, the sleigh had launched. This year, however, the right combination of procrastination guilt and break in the workload came together. I finally jumped in!
The trick was to do the drawings in a simplified style so I wouldn’t get bogged down. I wrote and drew the whole thing within two months and I’m currently posting it daily on Facebook and Instagram. There are additional links on Twitter and Tumblr. I also periodically update the CNS archive here on this very site.
The writing process was fairly stream of consciousness. I didn’t have very much scripted out or plotted in advance. I just jumped in and kept drawing. Later I went back and fiddled with the page count so it would line up with the seasons on the calendar (and fit the correct number of pages, since it was to be a page a day for a year).
While these daily posting are continuing,I’ve been redrawing and revising everything in preparation for releasing CNS in print form. I didn’t work from model sheets, so I wanted to bring the characters back into line wherever they strayed, and make them more consistent for people who read it all in one sitting.
I’ve been intending to try a self-publish/print on demand project, and ‘Christmas Never Sleeps’ seems like an ideal candidate for the format. The plan is to get it out there in August so people can find it in time for Christmas. But of course, it’s designed to be a good read all year-round.