Winston Schroeder combines Santa and social issues in his satirical graphic novel, Elf Wars: The Battle for Santa’s Village
Know someone who is a fan of Christmas and politics? Elf Wars: The Battle for Santa’s Village is a graphic novel where the two subjects merge into one hilariously dark story. The novel was written by Tellwell author Winston Schroeder and illustrated by Logan Miller.
The 31-year-old writer grew up in Saskatchewan but has been living in Vancouver for the past 10 years. In 2015, he graduated from the Langara College Film Arts program where he studied screenwriting. While working odd jobs on the West Coast, Schroeder says he has dedicated some of his time attending L.A. pitch fests trying to pitch his screenplays. Although there was some interest in his work, it would ultimately fizzle out. Instead of waiting for others to collaborate with his content, Schroeder teamed up with one of his childhood friends and started their first project together.
“I’ve known [Miller] since the first grade. He’s always been a great artist and he pursued his passion and I kind of pursued my writing,” says Schroeder. “We lost touch for several years honestly but we always knew each other. And then we came back years later and decided to work on a project together.”
Although the political undertone of the graphic novel may reference the current political environment in the United States, Schroeder says he began the writing process during the Obama era but later revised his work to parody current events. “I was pretty influenced by the American political climate and how publicly tumultuous it is,” he says. “Plus, I’ve always enjoyed Christmas and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer from the 1960s. It’s one of my favourite holiday stories and I thought that if I could fuse real world politics with a fantasy world, that would be fun and interesting.”
With the first one published just in time for Christmas, Schroeder says he has already completed the sequel. Although it is not a continuation of the first graphic novel, it continues to highlight American issues using the same characters and festive holiday setting. In addition, readers will be exposed to a new villain and a new obstacle. “I kind of like to do parodies of social issues in America,” he says. “This one deals with a lot of police brutality in America and terrorism but done in a satirical, comedic way. It’s underlining social issues but done in a ridiculous way with Christmas elves and snowmen.” The second installment is titled Elf Wars 2: White Powder, and the author hopes to have it available for comic book lovers by Christmas 2018.
The series doesn’t stop there! Schroeder is already in the process of writing Elf Wars 3, a story that focuses on American immigration policies. “Santa opens up the doors to Santa’s village so the village gets flooded with a bunch of tourists,” he says. “I view America as Santa’s village and everything else is like a parody of what is happening there.”
Schroeder does not just want to limit himself to the holiday and American politics genre so he has also been working on another project called, The Rabbit Hole. This piece is about a rabbit who escapes from a pet store and moves to the forest. Although the piece is still a work-in-progress, Schroeder emphasizes that he is “definitely not trying to be a one-trick-pony” by only focusing on parodying American politics.
With so many projects under his belt, what could possibly be up next for the writer? “I do plan to pitch [the graphic novels] as animated motion pictures That would be amazing,” he says. “I feel like I probably have a stronger chance now that it’s so visual. I would definitely go that route if the opportunity presented itself.”
Now that the book is available this holiday season, Schroeder is excited to hear the response from readers. He hopes this graphic novel will give his audience some laughs. “I mean if it can stop and make them think in anyway then that’s super cool. That’s awesome,” he says. “But honestly, I just want them to take away that it was a fun ride.”
For those that have yet to pick up their copy of Elf Wars: The Battle for Santa’s Village, it is currently available on Amazon (US, UK, and CA), Chapters, and Barnes & Noble. For more information on the graphic novel, visit his website or check out the book’s Facebook and Instagram pages.