Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Koji Steven Sakai.

About Santa vs Zombies:

Meet Santa. He’s having a mid-life crisis. He hates his job and wishes he was doing anything else other than being Santa. He’s just going through the motions and that’s why he doesn’t notice the zombie apocalypse until it’s almost two late. Saved by two kids, he at first tries to get back to the North Pole only to discover that his reindeer have been eaten. On the run and just trying to survive, Santa befriends the kids and falls in love with their recently-divorced mother. Soon Santa rediscovers his Christmas spirit and does everything he can to save Christmas for the kids—even if it means his own death.

Kickstarter Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/327474418/santa-vs-zombies/description

About co-author Koji Steven Sakai:

Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (www.CHOPSO.com), the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one-hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016; his graphic novel, 442, came out in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.

About co-author John Mayer:

John Mayer is a well-published author both in fiction and non-fiction with three previous novels, two screenplays and a performed stage play. With over twenty non-fiction books published. His latest, Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, which was published by Healthy Learning, one of the world’s foremost publishers of instructional materials for health/wellness, fitness, exercise, sports medicine, and camp professionals.

Mayer’s day job as a clinical psychologist specializing in violent behavior has him consulting to law enforcement regularly. His 10,000 Twitter followers (@DrJohnMayer) (@jemayerbooks) look to his daily tweets for advice on psychological issues. He is an associate staff psychologist for Doctor on Demand (doctorondemand.com) as well as a provider (Telemedicine) on DoctoronDemand.

Mayer is also a writer for a cable TV series, The System, that is currently in production with the pilot episode completed.

About Outland Entertainment:

Outland Entertainment was founded as a creative services company in 2008 by Jeremy Mohler. Since then, Outland has worked for a wide variety of clients across the world. Outland specializes in assembling creative teams and managing projects. Contact them via their site form or go to www.outlandentertainment.com. For more information, contact Jeremy Mohler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

GUEST POST: Why Santa? by Koji Steven Sakai

When I teach writing, students always ask me how to come up with good ideas. I try to give them different tips that have worked for me in the past but one of the best ways I have found was to ask myself a “what if” question. That’s how the idea for the Sana Vs. Zombies graphic novel started—my co-writer, John Mayer, and I asked ourselves which mythical—mostly holiday-based—character would be best suited to take on a zombie horde and save humanity.

What do you think? Which mythical character do you think has the best chance to not only survive the zombie apocalypse but to actually beat back the zombie plague?

Here’s a quick rundown of the mythical characters out there that immediately came to mind for us:

  • Tooth Fairy
  • Easter Bunny
  • Leprechaun
  • Cupid
  • Baby New Year
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Jack Frost
  • Punxsutawney Phil
  • Krampus
  • Santa

Right away, we knew for sure that the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Cupid, Baby New Year, and Punxsutawney Phil didn’t stand a chance against the zombies. The Easter Bunny would be a zombie Happy Meal. The Tooth Fairy would get turned into a zombie Tooth Fairy, and I'm pretty sure Cupid would commit suicide because zombies can't fall in love. In other words, we can eliminate these five all together.

Let’s examine the remaining characters and see what kind of chance they may have against the zombies:

The Leprechauns can teleport. So I imagine they could teleport away from the zombies and to someplace safe. And since another one of their powers includes invisibility, they could hide from any horde coming after them. But they seem to have very little that I can think of to actually fight back with. My best guess is that Leprechauns will be able to survive a zombie apocalypse but won't be able to mount any kind of attack against the undead. 

Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer can fly and has horns. So in theory, Rudolph could fly high above any zombies. And if in danger, he could use his horns to gouge a nearby zombie or two. The only issue being that he would only be able to take on a few zombies at a time. And more importantly, what if a zombie gets stuck on his horn? Like the Leprechaun, Rudolph can stay safe. Unlike his Irish counterpart, he has some ability to fight back.

Jack Frost has a fighting chance. Being a snowman, I’m pretty sure he’s immune to any kind of zombie virus or infection. However, from what I can remember from the cartoons about him, he didn’t move very fast. His weapon, a snowball, wouldn't have much of an effect on a zombie horde coming at him. Jack Front would be interesting, but doesn't stand a real chance. 

Krampus would be a formidable zombie enemy. His powers include super strength and the ability to punish sinners. The strength would come in handy against the monsters and I'm not sure if zombies are sinners or not, but they are definitely evil so he'd be able to use his powers against them. 

Last, but not least, is Santa. Let's first review Santa's superpowers: He's super strong (that's what happens when you're forced to carry toys for eternity); he has an elf army that does his bidding; he's lived a long time so he's wise, and of course, he has a good heart. The super strength, the elf army, and the intelligence will go a long way in staying safe from the zombies but also would be very useful in mounting an attack to re-take the Earth from the zombies. Like his cousin Krampus, Santa would also be a formidable zombie hunter. 

Knowing that most of America is more familiar with Santa than Krampus we knew he was the one we wanted to see take on the zombie apocalypse. In our story, Santa is burned out—having a mid-life crisis. He hates his job and wishes he was doing anything else other than being Santa. He’s just going through the motions and that’s why he doesn’t notice the zombie apocalypse until it’s too late. Saved by two kids, he at first tries to get back to the North Pole only to discover that his reindeer have been eaten. On the run and just trying to survive, Santa befriends the kids and falls in love with their recently-divorced mother. Soon, Santa rediscovers his Christmas spirit and does everything he can to save Christmas for the kids.

Please consider supporting our Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/327474418/santa-vs-zombies) to get this graphic novel printed and distributed. My co-writer and I are also working on the film version of it now and will hopefully—fingers crossed—will be shooting the film version later this year! Stay tuned for more information! 

PS: After writing this blog, I think I convinced myself that Krampus has to be in the sequel!

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