The Ninjabot

Jeremy Bernstein Chats with us About his Comic Book Series Santa Claus: Private Eye

Posted on November 30, 2014 at 12:37 am by Justin Cavender

Santa Claus: Private Eye

Last month I had the pleasure of chatting with Jeremy Bernstein about his comic book series Santa Claus: Private Eye, available now on Thrillbent. His other writing credits include the TV series Leverage on TNT and the Dead Space 2 video game. After writing for both a clever TV series and a sci-fi horror video game, exploring the noir genre in a comic book series makes for an interesting endeavor.

Santa Claus: Private Eye saw its first issue arrive on October 13, and you can head over to Thrillbent to read the first four issues for free. Currently, there are seven issues available with a new issue arriving every Monday. Simply subscribe to Thrillbent for $3.99 a month to unlock every issue, as well as all the other content on their site. Those of you that ever wondered what the big man in red is up to during the off season are in for a real treat.

Geek Legacy: So we’ve read the first four issues of Santa Claus: Private Eye and it’s different than anything we’ve ever expected–which is not a bad thing.

Jeremy Bernstein: No, I don’t take it as such. Thank you!

GL: It’s funny, when this idea was brought to my attention the whole time I’m thinking to myself, “but he knows who’s naughty or nice. What is there for him to figure out?” However, you address this in the second issue when Santa says “she’s definitely naughty, but I don’t know the details.” That made me laugh.

JB: Well good because it’s one of the things that attracted me right off the bat. In terms of naughty or nice, if Santa were to take a day job, this would not be a stupid one to take given his skill set.

GL: I’ve never spoken to a real private investigator, but according to the movies they deal with the seedy underbelly often found in cities and of course the criminal element. Now is Santa vulnerable to these elements? For example, can he handle getting shot or is he immortal? Or is that something we don’t know?

JB: That’s something he doesn’t know. That obviously was part of the challenge when I was coming up with it. There HAS to be a threat of danger and physical violence, but he’s Santa Claus, and Santa Claus is immortal. But it will come up in a few chapters down the road. But my take on that is immortality doesn’t mean you can’t die–it just means you haven’t died, yet.

We both laugh.

JB: What if someone shoots him in the face? No one has ever done that before. He has no idea what would happen and he’s not inclined to take that chance.

GL: Jack Frost has made an appearance. He’s sort of this peeping tom/shady sort of fellow and that sounds about right. I had a hard time thinking about other characters in the world of Santa Claus other than Mrs. Claus, the elves, and maybe the little dentist and snow man. Are there going to be other characters making an appearance?

JB: Other mythical creatures or holiday characters could make an appearance, someday. But Jack Frost is the only one to make an appearance in this story arc. The key for me was a little bit less what other magical creatures could I put in there, and more what other magical creatures line up with noir genre conventions. Jack Frost was obvious and I jumped with that.

GL: Right. Throwing in other characters just for the sake of putting them in there would feel forced and wouldn’t work.

JB: Yeah and part of my goal was to do a supernatural detective investigating mundane crimes. As opposed to a supernatural detective looking into supernatural crimes. I wanted it to be more down to earth, which is why we see stuff like affairs. Because, Santa Claus meets the underbelly is too fun as a concept to not embrace.

GL: So Santa is doing this for the money. Am I to believe he’s broke from building all these toys and paying for them out of pocket? Is that why he needs to be involved in this line of work? To pay the bills? Or is he motivated by something else?

JB: There’s a story there, but I don’t want to answer that because it’s a spoiler. I will say it’s not to run the operation. Mrs. Claus knows he not around, but doesn’t know what he’s doing. It will be answered by story’s end.

GL: Perfect. Speaking of which, when I think of Christmas, 12 days of Christmas comes to mind. Is this going to be 12 issues or is that purely coincidental?

JB: Absolutely 12 issues! If you look at a calendar, 12 issues puts the final issue right around Christmas. So it’s not a coincidence.

Have you read Santa Claus: Private Eye? Do you think Santa has what it takes to get the job done? Share your thoughts in the comments below or with Jeremy by tweeting to @fajitas on Twitter.

Follow Justin on Twitter @Edgyarmo for more geek news.

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