Category Archives: raowantstoknow

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?

The Hero Worship of Professor Robert M. Price

American theologian Robert M. Price has written, among others, The Case against the Case for Christ, The Reason-Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For?, and Paperback Apocalypse: How the Christian Church Was Left Behind. But what that last title might only hint at is the religion and philosophy professor’s abiding interest in popular culture, namely comics.

Over at his personal website, people can read the full, free collection of Price’s thoughts on religion and comics with the complete archive of his “Hero Worship” columns. The host of The Human Bible and The Bible Geek podcasts also tackles topics like Kingdom Come, Marvel Man, and “The Death of Superman” storyline, all from his religious skeptic perspective.

The Human Bible with Robert M. Price

Certainly, Price has his detractors (e.g. Reverend John Rankin, William Lane Craig, Bart Ehrman), little has been said about his reflections on comics — far little than, say, his writing on H.P. Lovecraft.

Rao Wants to Know:  Is Price a true comics scholar or a scholar who dabbles with comics?