Category Archives: articles and essays

Sequart on Comics’ Christian Adaptations

Sequart logo

In August, Sequart featured an essay by the University of Calgary’s Tom Miller writing on the “transformation project” of Christian comics. Though he admits to a “small sample,” Miller focuses the essay’s attention on a particular category of Christian comics, namely “the holy works adaption” and its “two sub-categories: the tribute and the telling.”

He differentiates between the two by noting that ‘tellings’…

…eschew the poetry of the source material. Spiritual matter aside, the Bible is a work of beautiful poetry. So perhaps another answer to the question of what these texts bring to the original is a negative answer: they bring a removal of the poetry of the Bible. This removal of poetry is one of the most significant differences between the telling and the tribute adaptations, as we will see.

Miller alludes to two other categories of Christian comics beyond holy works adaptations, so perhaps Sequart will have Miller produce two sequel essays in the not-too-distant-future.

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Islam and Comics: Sensing a Trend?

The Burka Avenger

The Burka Avenger

Part of Rao’s modus operandi is to catch religion and comics stories in the news as they happen and save them to a repository for later re-reading, analysis, and then write up. Of course, while that allows for cautious commentary and limited knee-jerk reaction, it also can cause a back-up of reportable items, sometimes having them fall completely off the radar.

In this case, however, there’s been another intriguing effect to this scheme: The backlog of reportable items is hinting at a trend.

That is, despite coverage over the last several months of, say, the Muslim Superhero Tournament on The Huffington Post or a politician claiming Batman is only for Judeo-Christians, still a massive amount of news concerning Islam and comics has amassed for Rao “backstage.” More than any other religion, Islam seems to have the most constant, news-worthy engagement with the medium, over any other faith or community circa 2013. For instance:

Response to the Burka Avenger is still unfolding, but, unquestionably, it will be met with a steady stream of new news stories on comics engagement with Islam globally, culturally, artistically, and politically. They are everywhere.

Rao wants to know: Does modern Islam have a special relationship with the comics medium?