Category Archives: interviews

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?

Alan Moore’s Gift to Religion and Comics Scholar

Seeking the MysteryThe London-based Albion Calling blog recently featured a full-length interview with Dr. Christine Hoff Kraemer, co-editor of Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels. As both an instructor for the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary and the author of Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies, Kraemer was asked, in particular, about the works of Alan Moore and her own personal interaction with the Magus:

I wrote Moore a fan letter, telling him a bit about myself, my religious leanings, and my academic studies. A month

passed, and then a mysterious package from the UK arrived, containing a stack of Moore’s ritual theater CDs, an unpublished article on chaos magick, two copies of Promethea Vol. 2 (one signed for me to keep, one to lend out), and a warm and encouraging note. I was floored!

Kraemer notes, though, that while being a fan of Moore and even a scholar considering his work is quite popular, “many comics scholars either don’t take his spiritual philosophy seriously (preferring instead to focus on his politics) or simply don’t have the background to understand and interpret it.” She offers that this “gap in Moore scholarship” is one she is addressing with her work.

Learn more about Kraemer at Cherry Hill here.