James Stimpson talks about the return of the LIST

Sal reruns to Kickstarter for another Christmas season. In the List #2 Sal makes his final preparations for Christmas Eve and then begins his “holly jolly” mission. Sal gets his hands dirty, really dirty. James Stimpson stops by First Comics News to let our readers know what to expect from the second issue of the List.

First Comics News: Catch us up for anyone who may have missed the List #1. Who is Salvador?

James Stimpson: Salvador, or Sal to those that know him, is the Children’s Saviour Santa. It’s his job to save children every Christmas instead of delivering presents. Sal struggles with the fact that he’s only allowed to save children once every year on Christmas Eve, he wants to do more, much more. Due to the things he sees every Christmas and the things he has to do in order to save those children that need help he drinks away most of the year to cope.

1st: What is the Santa Squad?

James: Santa Squad is an elite group of Santas, who perform different duties each Christmas Eve. Most Santas are present Santas but there are others, like Sal, who have different missions to carry out. Santa Squad is run by Jesus Christ, it’s his birthday after all, and it’s his job to keep the Santas, and elves, in line.

1st: Is he an alcoholic?

James: In short, yes. Sal’s a functioning alcoholic for 11 months of the year. From December 1st to Christmas Day he’s sober, he owes it to the children he’s trying to save to be at his best when he’s attempting to save them. Come Christmas Day when his missions are over, he’s back on the sauce.

1st: How is it when he talks to Jesus, Jesus talks back to him?

James: Sal speaks his mind, to everyone. He’s not the most polite person to Jesus but Jesus lets him off because he knows how hard Sal’s Christmas missions are. However, Jesus has a line and when Sal crosses it Jesus will put him back in his place. Jesus has never had to act on any of his threats to Sal, yet…

1st: What is the difficulty between Jesus and Salvador, Santa Clause?

James: Sal wants to do more. He sees horrible things every Christmas and knows there are more children that need saving. Jesus won’t allow Sal to do any more than that as it’s not their place to interfere all the time. Jesus just wants Sal to realize that helping a few children is better than helping none. Jesus is very much a father figure to Sal and tries to keep him on the right track, but like a petulant child, Sal loves to fight back.

1st: Why does Santa need guns?

James: The people Sal goes up against aren’t exactly nice, they’re not just going to hand over any children they’re trafficking or what have you and they tend to be armed quite heavily, so Sal must respond in kind. It’s not just guns though, Sal has all kinds of weaponry, it just depends on the mission and who he’s going up against.

1st: Who is Cedrick?

James: Cedrick is a present-giving Santa and a member of Santa Squad. He and Sal don’t see eye-to-eye. Cedrick is very protective over Santa Squad, especially its secret nature. He believes Sal to be reckless and fears that his behaviour will lead to Santa Squad being discovered and ultimately, disbanded.

1st: Who is Derek?

James: Derek is an elf and he’s in charge of Sal’s support team. It’s Derek’s job, along with Keith and Maggie, to prepare Sal each Christmas through training and the planning of each mission.

1st: Why doesn’t Derek like Sal?

James: There are a few reasons. First off, Sal isn’t exactly warm to other people and he rubs Cedrick up the wrong way. Cedrick’s also jealous of the apparent favouritism that Sal gets from Jesus. Sal’s very popular with the elves and is happy to spend time with them, whereas Cedrick believes that outside of the preparations for Christmas the Santas and elves shouldn’t mix. Ultimately, his biggest fear is that Sal will make a big mistake and Santa Squad will be discovered and Cedrick loves what he does and he doesn’t want to stop bringing joy to children every Christmas.
Derek and Sal are best friends, although it doesn’t always seem that way. Derek is brutally honest with Sal, which is often what he needs.

1st: Doesn’t Derek defer to Jesus’ judgment?

James: Derek trusts Sal and ultimately believes what they are doing is good. Due to Cedrick’s jealousy over the fatherly nature of Jesus and Sal’s relationship, he wonders if Jesus’ judgment is clouded. He’ll do anything to protect Santa Squad, even if it means ignoring Jesus.

1st: Why only stop the people who prey on innocent children once a year?

James: This is a rule Jesus has implemented and also the way he works as a god. He doesn’t believe that interfering with mankind’s business all the time is beneficial to us as a species. He’s a firm believer that if he interferes too much then people will come to rely on him, and Santa Squad, to always fix their problems instead of sorting it out for themselves. He wants to see the world flourish through its own means, not because he made it that way.

1st: How does Jesus condone Salvador’s level of violence?

James: Jesus can be a bit “old testament” sometimes. He’s usually a peaceful god but he’s not stupid, he knows that there’s one thing that these horrible people understand and that’s some good old fashioned fire and brimstone, just in this case it’s in the shape of an angry Santa.

You can find the Kickstarter here

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