Tuesday, March 23, 2010

News, Marvels and Miracles

This blog seems mostly defunct. I certainly haven't posted in a very long time.

But it seemed an appropriate place to share this news. The long disputed Marvelman/Miracleman returns to shelves in June (and it looks like he will be going by "Marvelman" again). I'm excited. How about you?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jesus loves Superman

Warning! The following link may not be safe for work, particularly if you work at the Vatican! If images of grown men passionately kissing one another offend you, especially if one of them is Jesus and/or Superman, this link is probably not for you!

...and apparently Superman loves Jesus right back.

Racy stuff. Or is it? Maybe the artist is actually quite traditional and is suggesting that Superman will betray Jesus.

(Via the inimitable and nigh invulnerable Thomas of Say It Backwards.)

PS: Oddly enough, the preceding blog post on Newsarama features Warren Ellis belatedly trying his hand at the whole crucified super-hero thing. The comic is called Supergod and sounds like it has a few things in common with Miracleman and Black Summer.

Subtle faith in Strikeforce: Morituri

Over at SF Gospel, some thoughts on the overlooked '80s series Strikeforce: Morituri:
The Morituri process gives [Adept] the ability to comprehend anything, from mechanical technologies to complex life-forms to abstract scientific concepts, if given enough exposure to them. She's also a Christian, and though the volume of her faith is perhaps a little bit louder than one usually sees in the real world (witness the cross motif on her costume), Gillis handles it with much more subtlety than most other writers would. It's an important aspect of her character, but it's not the only aspect of it, and it never becomes a punchline.

Read more here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Superhero spirituality at Cornerstone

An announcement: I've been invited to speak at this year's Cornerstone Festival (in Bushnell, Illinois, from July 1-3)!

"But I thought that was a Christian music festival, and as far as I know you're not a musician!", you say? Well, you're correct. But part of the festival is the Imaginarium, which houses seminars on a variety of topics. This year's title is "Make. Believe. Heroes"—in other words, the religious aspects of superheroes. I'll be giving three one-hour sessions on the morality and ontology of superhero universes under the title "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." The full summary:

Despite the deconstructed superness of Watchmen et al., the original point of superheroes wasn't to make us wish we had superpowers -- though that certainly would be fun! -- but rather to make us wish for the clear moral discernment that allows superheroes to do the right thing. The creators of the most influential superheroes -- immigrants or children of immigrants like Siegel and Schuster or Jack Kirby -- used their creations to imagine a better world where the powerless had a stronger voice. This seminar explores superheroes as champions of the downtrodden, and notions of superhero morality.

Other sessions in the Imaginarium will cover Watchmen, moral grey zones in postmodern superheroics, and saints as superheroes. Check out the full schedule here, and perhaps I'll see you there!

In tangentially-related news, at Comics Should Be Good, Brian Cronin shares his favorite Mid-90s Badass Jesus Comic (to wit: Glory/Avengelyne II: The Godyssey #1).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spiritual Solicitations Backlog Explosion!

I've been tearing pages out of Previews of things I've wanted to post here for four months or so now, but Assorted Factors have kept me from posting them until now. Some of these have been out for weeks or even months now; some won't be out until May. So now, in the order they are piled up on my desk (which is no order at all), here 's another batch of Spiritual Solicitations!

Solicitation links courtesy of Comixology, from whom Diamond could learn a thing or two about presentation!

Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun 

Bad Karma Productions
Written by Eric Peterson and Ethan Nicolle, art by Ethan Nicolle

Jesus Hates Zombies. Loaded Bible: Jesus vs. Vampires. Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter. And now, Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun. One wonders if the creators of edgy, irreverent comics about a butt-kicking Jesus know about the Christian men's movement, which is basically this minus the "edgy" and "irreverent"? In any event, I blame Garth Ennis. (Garth Ennis has been responsible for a lot of unfortunate things lately...)

Pandora Box Vol. 1: Pride

Written by Alcante, art by Didier Pagot

This is the first volume in a seven-part series about Greek mythology and the seven deadly sins; the "Pride" volume involves mysterious conspiracies, cloning, and the dangers of hubristic technology. I'm intrigued-- but not twelve bucks worth of intrigued, alas.

The Wolverton Bible

Fantagraphics Books
Art by Basil Wolverton; Introduction by Grant Geissman

Now this is exciting. Basil Wolverton, the delightfully deranged mind behind some of the strangest SF comics of the Golden Age and the most grotesque material from the early Mad Magazine, "was also a deeply religious man who over two decades created over 550 drawings illustrating the Old Testament." Awesome. But the real prize here may be 20 images illustrating the Book of Revelation, which must look pretty darned interesting through Wolverton's eyes. (But minus 10 points from Fantagraphics for calling it "Revelations" in their catalog copy!) I never would have guessed Wolverton was a closet Doré, but as someone who's a fan of the weird, the religious, and the weird religious, it's more than welcome news.

Fantagraphics has made the book's introduction available online; you can read it here.

American Jesus Vol. 1: Chosen

Dark Horse Comics
Written by Mark Millar, art by Peter Gross

This is a collection of Millar's 2004 miniseries Chosen, which presents the story of a young messiah as a sort of origin story for a teen superhero. The book was an enormous missed opportunity-- but I can't say why without spoiling the ending. (I will say that "spoil" is an appropriate term when describing this story: the ending completely spoils what should have been a great story. It's still worth reading, but I can only really endorse the first two-thirds.) I've been hoping to write something about it here to expand on what I wrote in The Gospel According to Science Fiction, and now it looks like I may have good reason to-- that "Volume One" in the title makes it virtually certain that Millar will be returning to the young savior soon. I'll hold of saying more for now, but I will have more to say on this soon.

Missing the Boat

Image Comics/Shadowline
Written by Wayne Chinsant and Justin Shady, art by Dwellephant

The subtitle of this cute-looking tale is "The Offered Salvation and Inevitable Demise of the Churamane." The Churamane are a lazy species of animal that are invited aboard Noah's Ark, but arrive too late and are doomed to extinction in the Flood. Sounds fun, right?

Rapture #1

Dark Horse Comics
Written by Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma; art by Michael Avon Oeming

The Rapture is about as overused an idea as butt-kicking Jesus (see above). But I really, really like this take: this series, helmed by Powers artist and all-around cool guy Oeming, takes place in a superhero world from which all the superheroes and villains have vanished. After a century of good and evil battling it out in public, just-plain-folks are left to sort out their confusing world. What happens when the gods no longer walk the earth? Yeah, I'll be reading this one.

Absolute Promethea vol. 1

Written by Alan Moore, art by J.H. Williams III and Mick Gray

Promethea is a darned good series. Not only is it Alan Moore's ultimate statement on magic, religion, art, and the nature of reality, it also features some of the best art ever to sport word balloons. (Have I mentioned lately that I own the original art for the Moebius strip page from #15? Sorry-- I periodically need to brag about that.) So I'm pretty excited about the prospect of this series getting the oversized, super-deluxe Absolute treatment. What I'm not pleased about is doing it in three volumes instead of two-- compare this volume (twelve issues and 328 pages) to the first volume of Absolute Sandman (20 issues and 612 pages)-- both with the same $99 price tag. I'd hope for a slightly higher page count-- but it's hard to complain too much, given how great Promethea is going to look in this format. [See also: Absolute Death. Which sounds like a metal compilation, doesn't it?]

I Did It His Way: Classic B.C. Religious Strips

Thomas Nelson Books
by Johnny Hart

How can I put this diplomatically? I've always... been a non-fan... of Johnny Hart's religious strips. (And his non-religious ones, for that matter.) I'm tempted to read this book, if only to try to decide once and for all if their worst crime is being simplistic, offensive, or just plain unfunny.

Neil Gaiman Presents: Votan

Dark Horse Comics
by John James

Not-actually-comics alert! The "Neil Gaiman Presents" series is "devoted to returning to print long-unavailable works... chosen by Gaiman to represent the origins of his views on classic heroic literature." This one sounds like a pretty good satire; it's the story of a traveling Greek nobleman who is mistaken for a Norse god, and decides to play along.

Sword of My Mouth #1

Written by Jim Munroe, art by Shannon Gerard

Like Oeming's The Rapture above, this might be another exception to the general overdonneness of the (did I mention it's not scriptural, but was invented in the 19th century?) Rapture as a plot device. It's a sequel to Munroe's acclaimed-and-I-haven't-read-it-yet-but-I-want-to story from last year, Therefore, Repent! I've made an interlibrary loan request for the beginning of the story; if it's good I will definitely be checking out this sequel.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Still no Confessor review part two

Hey, remember when I posted the first half of a review of Kurt Busiek's Astro City: Confession? And I said I would "continue with an examination of the character of the Confessor in my next post, later this week"? And remember how that was over a month ago? Yeah, sorry about that. It's still coming.

In the mean time, check out my webcomic: Thpam! I'm clearly still finding my feet, but I have plans, oh good gracious do I have plans.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Hey y'all. I have a review of Watchmen-the-movie, here, which touches on some of the existential/theological stuff from the comic; more, focusing on one very graphic scene, here. Thought it might be of interest....