As a few of you are aware, I'm a part of a scholarly group called Sacred & Sequential, intent on exploring the intersection of religion and the comics art form. A. David Lewis brought me onto this project back in the winter with the group of gathering a scholarly community around the medium and its confluence with religious scholarship. At this point I'm pirating words from my LinkedIn profile (there are only so many ways to describe our mission), but our aim is to provide informed analysis and nuanced commentary on the topic of religion as it appears in or in relation to these graphic narratives. As both a cartoonist and academic I've got a unique toolset in this field of study; I can use the comics form as a pedagogical tool to present ideas visually. I see great value in creating a common ground in form between the subject and the critical discourse. Not to harp on a perhaps overused piece of comics theory, but Scott McCloud has used educational comics to great effect in the past. There's a lot of teaching potential in creating a visual accompaniment to textual material, and that's exactly what A. Dave and I are up to right now. He's dsitilled a portion of his dissertation into eight pages of tightly scripted goodness, and I get to put my pens to it and turn into panels and stuff. And now, for...
...some great news! I submitted this project a month back to the Kelowna Art Gallery's Superheroes and Supervillains show, and it's been accepted! So not only will the comic go up on Emory University's culture and religion blog Sacred Matters by summer's end, but come January 2015 you can go see the original page on display in Kelowna, BC among numerous other works of both superheroic and villainous disposition. It's going to be one heck of a show. Bring your capes.
If you'd like to see more of what Sacred & Sequential has done thus far, I suggest you check out Beth Davies-Stofka's article on comics and the Bible, which was recently picked up by the Huffington Post. We've got a variety of different projects in the works; you can follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sacredandsequential, and I shall do my utmost to keep you appraised here as those works come to fruition.
Sacred & Sequential on Twitter:
A. David Lewis
Michael J. Altman (Sacred Matters)
James F. McGrath
...and others, but it's hard to keep track of all of us.