Q. What's a Secret Santa?
Back when I was in high school, we did this procedure called a "Secret Santa," where all the students' names were put into a hat. The class then pulled names from a hat. From that day until the final day (usually the class party), we had to put little surprises and whatnot on our chosen person's desk, and on the last day, we gave them a gift. In less materialistc terms, we did nice things for a random person. Usually without telling anyone who you got.
Q. So what's this about then?
The Web Comic Secret Santa is an extension of that high school activity. Web comic artists submit their comics to a list, and on a specific day, a random comic (*not* their own!) is sent to them. That artist must then produce a guest comic, or a piece of fan art, for that comic.
Q. Sounds good. What are the requirements?
There's one big one: You must have a web comic. It must exist now. Otherwise, you're asking people to send you artwork and stuff for nothing. That's not fair to the other people, now is it?
Q. What do I have to do for it?
Once you receive your assigned comic, you have to create AT LEAST ONE OF the following: a guest comic, or a piece of fan art. You can do as many as you wish. You can spam the assigned comic's author with creations. But you have to create at least one item. What you create is up to you.
Q. Does the work I do have to be holiday-themed?
Not if you don't want it to be. Also note that if a holiday-themed piece of artwork doesn't fit in with your assigned comic, you don't have to do one. You're highly encouraged to "think outside the box."
Q. How do I get added to the Secret Santa database?
You can do one of two things:
Q. How many comics can I submit?
One comic per person, please.
Q. What rating should my entry be? Ie, can I do an R rating submission?
My ADVISORY is to create something that would be at most consistent with the assigned comic's style. For example, if you're given the comic Happy Happy Fun Cat, a 100% G-rated comic about a happy and fun cat, you'd do a G-rated entry, unless you know the artist doesn't mind getting fanworks that are PG or higher.
If, on the other hand, you get the comic Killing Nudies Dead, a very violent and graphic R-rated comic, you can go the whole gamut: sex, violence, drug use, Ewan McGregor's wang, etc. If you're not comfortable doing R-rated stuff, though, you don't have to do it. Just do a nice G-or-PG-rated pose or something. (I don't think anyone would turn down fanart.)
If in doubt, do a G-rated piece. It's simpler for all parties involved.
Q. I don't like (a certain type or style of comic). I only want to receive (another type or style of comic). Will you do this?
I COULD do it, but to me, this goes against the entire spirit of the activity. Part of the fun is being exposed to different comics to which you normally wouldn't give the time of day. If you like the comic, that's excellent! It grants exposure, which is nice! If you DON'T like the comic, hey, you're under a commitment to do one (ONE!) piece of work for them... and then you never have to think of it again. You're not being asked to enslave yourself, if I may be so extreme.
If you don't like certain art styles: you don't have to work in those art styles. People LOVE seeing different interpretations of their characters. Fanart is fantastic for that.
If you prefer pages over strips, or strips over pages: Well, now you know why I said you do a guest page or fanart... it allows you that much more creative control over what you get.
Q. Is the Secret Santa rigged?
The distribution code for the Secret Santa is completely randomized: people will not be favored with comics they like (though it's still possible they'll be assigned a favorite, the script can't tell), nor will they be assigned their own comic.
Q. Is the Secret Santa limited to comics listed on Top Web Comics or BuzzComix?
The Web Comic Secret Santa is community independent: Whether you're hosted on Comic Genesis, Drunk Duck, or your own server, whether you're listed on TWC or Buzz, whether you're professional or amateur, the activity is open to you! I invite all webcomic artists (subject to the rules) to participate! It's fun!
Have a question you want answered? Please feel free to contact me and ask!