Today is the final Desert Fathers Comic

Today will be the last Desert Fathers comic for a while.  I have many more in various phases of completion, but they are pretty labor intensive, so this is the last one for now.
I’ve always thought that illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages and comics were distant cousins.  Both combine typography and images to convey stories.
I love looking through books about illuminated manuscripts and found an in illustration recently in a book from the Museum of the Bible* that I used as inspiration for the demon. 
Next week, I’ll be back to posting My Life in Records stories again for a few months.
See you bright and early tomorrow for new comic book day

*The museum has seen its share of controversies, such as forgeries of Dead Sea Scrolls and looted artifacts from Iraq, but the book seemed to be just a guidebook of European Illuminated Manuscripts.

The Tale of Agatho

Sayings of the Desert Fathers

As someone who has trouble putting his foot in his mouth, I resonated with Agatho’s quest to silence himself.  Once again, I used the pantoum form to convey the monotony of time passing.  Each frame roughly represents a month in the life of Agatho.

Ethopian Manuscript page

This is one of the manuscript pages I used as inspiration for the page layout.

See you bright and early tomorrow for new comic book day!

Temptation By A Thousand Insect Bites

Demons are usually depicted as serpent-like or goat-like creatures.  However, I chose to make my demon have insect characteristics to show how the demon could persistently pester the hermit like a mosquito in the ear.  In my experience, temptation is rarely a big showdown with the end boss of a video game, but more like the incessant needling that you finally cave too after thousands of little pinches.

One of my favorite depictions of St. Anthony’s temptation is by Albrect Dürer.  First, because I love anything by Albrecht Dürer, but secondly, because of the sheer imaginative diversity of monsters attacking poor St. Anthony.

Temptation of St. Anthony by Albrect Durer

See you bright and early tomorrow for new comic book day!

Visions are coming tomorrow

Tomorrow’s comic is one of the first ones I made based on the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and it was originally publish in black and white in Dodo Comics #1.
Besides being a very visual story (and thus easily lends itself to comics), I love how Arsenius is so chill about being interrupted during a moment of such intense mystical fervency.
I put some visual references to Monastery of Saint Pishoy in Wadi el Natrun, Egypt even though the monastery wasn’t built until long after Arsenius was gone.
 
The image above is probably more like what the Desert Fathers would have lived in.
See you bright and early tomorrow for new comic book day!

Introduction to the Sayings of the Desert Fathers

For the next 5 weeks, I’ll be posting little short stories that I’ve made over the years based on a group of Christian ascetics from the 4th century called the Desert Fathers.

The Desert Fathers were a reaction to the legalization of Christianity in the Roman world.  A lot of them felt that Christianity lost its edge when you didn’t have to hide in tombs for fear of death if you wanted to worship.

Like most reactionary movements, there were some extreme members with some pretty radical (and sometimes unhealthy) ideas, but I resonated with them ten years ago when I first discovered them in my early twenties as I tried to find out what my faith would be for me in my adult life.

I’ve returned to them in the past year or so as I’ve seen most prominent Evangelical Christian leaders choosing to support a  Christian Empire (see Walter Brueggemann) rather than commit themselves to works of caring for those in need.

Anthony of Egypt is the most famous of the Desert Fathers, so I’m starting of the series with him.

See you bright and early tomorrow for new comic book day!