Geoff is an average salary man who wants to impress his new step son by getting him a hot new video game system for Christmas. Desperate and without money, he discovers a black market Secret Santa ring, but the gift his Secret Santa wants is more than he bargained for.
Inspired by underground comics and set in the Reagan 80s, Secret Santas is a holiday horror story about the perils of consumer culture.
Written by Ben Grisanti / Illustrated by Lukasz Kowalczuk / Colors & lettering by Lukasz Mazur
28pgs, Full Color
"You'll be surprised by how twisted Secret Santas gets. Writer Ben Grisanti takes us down some dark alleys and into the depraved mind of a desperate parent [...] Like a demented version of Jingle All The Way. " - James Ferguson, horrortalk.com
"I’ve never taken LSD, and now I don’t have to. Secret Santas is a wild morality tale with even wilder art. It’s the weirdest stocking stuffer ever, and I loved every panel of it!” - Mike Phillips, sequart.org
"Ben Grisanti along with Lukasz Kowalczuk and Lukasz Mazur deliver a darkly entertaining story full of weird situations and anything but conventional characters! The originality of the story is flawlessly matched by the bright and exaggerated art that pops with an underground aesthetic that glues your eyeballs to the page!" - Warren E Elliot, Almost Normal Comics
Hi friends! My name is Ben, and I'm very happy to be bringing you this odd comic book for the holidays. You might be wondering why something like an underground Secret Santa ring might exist. Well I'm not going to give that away, but rest assured, there is no good reason.
This is a horror story, and for mature audiences. We were inspired by old EC Comics and Mad Magazine, as well as the counter culture, underground comix of my parent's generation. I set out to make something darker than most Christmas horror stories, and I think we did well. Now we would like to welcome you to join us on this disturbing, yet comedic trip through the absolute worst the holiday season has to offer.
We've been in production since the start of 2018, and finished the book in its entirety last month. We're running our campaign for September, and through the miracle of digital printing, will have these books shipped in time to bother your relatives with them this December. All of the campaign money will go toward printing and shipping, and anything extra will go to the creative team. Neat!
And if you are a member of the comic press and want to check the book out before we go to print, drop us a line and we'll get you a PDF. Thanks!
The Creative Team
Ben Grisanti is an American writer who studied Sociology and Media at DePaul University. He has published academic work on the study of superheroes, and after graduating, moved into self-publishing comic books. His first graphic novel is titled Insurance, and is about an insurance office for magical and haunted artifacts. He is currently working on another graphic novel based on the urban legend of the arcade game Polybius, titled Polybius Dreams. Both of his previous books have had success on Kickstarter in the past.
Lukasz Kowalczuk is a Polish illustrator who takes his artistic inspiration from comic giants Jack Kirby and Robert Crumb. His most notable collaborations are titles such as Vreckless Vrestlers, Samurai Slasher: Late Fees, Strike Team Codename Diamond Force, Slime!, VICE, Pork Magazine, Maximum Rock'n'Roll, World War 3 Illustrated, We Are The Mutants, Aces Weekly, Atomic Elbow, and SCREWJOB."
Lukasz Mazur is a Polish comic book letterer and colorist. When asked about his bio, he responded with "born in 1984 and died in CMYK."
We're keeping this simple. The book is $10, and that includes shipping to the US and Canada. Shipping anywhere else is expensive, but the digital edition is only $2. Digital edition will be available December 1st and will be a PDF. Other formats may also be available. UPDATE: Digital backers will also get my entire catalogue in digital formats. That includes Secret Santas, Volume 1 of Polybius Dreams, the Insurance graphic novel, and my one-shots.
We're offering a special edition of the book for $25. The special edition will include interviews with the creative team, a behind the scenes look at the process art, a discussion of influences, and whatever else we can cram in there. Only 50 of these will be made available UNTIL THE END OF TIME, so pick that up if you want something truly unique. The special edition will ship gift wrapped, and I'll also include random zines, comics, and other small items from my personal collection. Cool beans!
Finally, we're offering the opportunity to buy multiple copies. If you're a retailer and think your degenerate customers might appreciate this book, you are welcome to pledge for 5, 10, or 25 copies of the comic. We recommend selling them for $5, giving them away, or leaving them in empty lockers at the train station. But do whatever you want.
Rourke Zine (updated)
Midway through this campaign, Lukasz created a new pinup featuring our violent, anti-hero, CIA agent, Rourke. In addition to appearing in Secret Santas, he's the narrator of the book, but his story doesn't stop there. This pin up was so cool, we decided to publish a zine featuring short stories starring this mad agent of the United States government, and the first writer we're featuring is our buddy Michael Tanner.
Michael created Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force with Lukasz, and you can also find his work in Junior Braves of the Apocalypse, on store shelves now from Oni Press. In his story Rourke is dispatched to South Africa in search of a secret "4th Reich" enclave, which is surprising because he thought he killed everybody in that base a decade earlier.
Roel Torres, author of Death Face Rocket Crew and Gladisaurs, is bringing us the story of a drug dealer who lives in fear because he believes Rourke is responsible for the brutal murders of his colleagues.
Rob Wolinski, author of AA Squad, shows us Rourke with his family at the dinner table, but nothing is as it seems.
And since I had an idea for something, I'm going to be contributing a story that tells what happened when Rourke found himself adrift on a luxury yacht with 5 wealthy political refugees, after their government was overthrown.
Everybody that pledges to the Secret Santas Kickstarter will get a PDF of the zine, and if you pledge at the $25 level for the special edition, you'll get a physical copy too. Cool!
New Reward - The Collected Insurance
UPDATE: Sold Out!
As I type this, we're in the final hours of the campaign, and we have a ways to go!
The first comic book I ever funded on this site was my book Insurance. Insurance tells the story of Earl Gratz, a claims adjuster for magical and haunted artifacts. Well the artist and I finished that book completely, and it's newly collected into one volume! We only printed a few for some small shows, with the hopes of doing a longer print run later on.
I only have 4 of these, and you can get one for pledge of $30 which includes Secret Santas and the Rourke Zine. $30 includes shipping to the US!
...an occult office comedy in five parts.
When all your clients are insane necromancers, ancient vampires, wizards and occultists, it’s not unusual to feel like your days are numbered. Earl Gratz might be one of the best in the business when it comes to magical and haunted artifacts, now if only he could land a position that doesn’t involve endless layovers and constant fear for one’s own safety.
Unfortunately for Earl, his time is running out. His boss is hatching a plan that could unleash an ancient demon into the world, and he’s going to have to die in order for that to happen. How did the fate of the world come to rest on the shoulders of a claims adjuster?
164 pages, B&W
Written by Ben Grisanti
Illustrated by Mike Alvarez
Cover art by Rob Pawlewski & Nimesh Moraji
New Reward - Polybius Shirt
It so happens that I have some Polybius Shirts left over from the Polybius Dreams campaign!
We made these shirts so they were more generally about the video game than specific to our comics. I only have a few of these shirts! $30 nets you one, with the comic , the Rourke zine, and digital editions of Both Secret Santas and volume 1 of Polybius Dreams. Volume 1 of Polybius Dreams contains chapters 1 and 2, and is 60 pages of comics!
New Reward! Illuminati Arcade Art
Since Lukasz' art work seems to be popular, I'm adding, at the last possible minute, the original art from his Illuminati Arcade pinup! This was produced for the Polybius Dream Kickstarter.
We have two new pledge rewards available for Lukasz' original art! Either the cover art, or the art for the "Animal With Attitude" video game advert can be yours for $150. We're asking for $200 pledge of the original Rourke artwork. Nifty!
Risks and challenges
The book is finished, so there is not much in the way of risk, exactly. We're just proud and want to bring it to people who will would like it. I'm relatively certain that we will hit goal in about 30 days. I don't think it'll be a walk in the park to get there, but I know we have a solid product with plenty of cult appeal. There's always a ton of great projects on Kickstarter, and we appreciate your consideration. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)