Category Archives: controversy

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?

Comics at Universities, Protested and Praised

Andrew Tripp

Andrew Tripp

Some further evidence of religion and comics penetrating ever more deeply into academia…in both a negative and positive light:

  • Bleeding Cool and the German magazine Taz reported that a graphic novel exhibition by the German university of Duisburg-Essen was the subject of outrage and vandalism by Muslim protestors. The “What Comics Can Do!” exhibit included art from Craig Thompson’s Habibi and Rutu Modan’s Exit Wounds that the protestors found offense for their use of the Arabic word for Allah and for presumably pro-Israel sentiments.
  • BU Today, a publication of Boston University, highlighted a recent article in its School of Theology Focus magazine, a profile on pastor Andrew Tripp and his appreciation for superheroes and comics in accomplishing his job. They had a foundational influence on him, he admits, ““The superheroes and the comeback characters spoke to something profound about what it meant to be human.”