As you all know, it is the Age of the Graphic Novel, a time of peace, harmony and awards being heaped upon the comics. But even among the approbation, there are still a few doubters. It’s always good to remember the few that have resisted conversion to Our Way.

For instance, we saw this recent story from Arizona Central on the Guardian line of Christian comics but didn’t link to it because it seemed like a typical piece on the efforts to get Christian comics into the lucrative religious market. However, it seems we missed this clear cut example of comics dissing:

Not everyone agrees that God and his teachings belong in the same medium occupied by the Hulk. The Rev. Oscar Tillman, president of the Maricopa County branch of the NAACP, said comics can cheapen the message.

Tillman, who had not seen the books but had studied the Guardian Line’s online site, said he was disappointed by the examples he saw. He was particularly distressed by the character of a young boy who is told that God took away his father.

Children, Tillman said, should learn about the Bible in Sunday school, not the comics.

“We have other ways to responsibly address religious and moral values,” he said. “These do not get my stamp of approval.”

CHEAPEN! Oh dear. Regular reader “Birmy” also sent us a quote from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the proposed revitalization of a local shopping strict that contained this gem:

Bob Greenstreet, the city planning director, calls the revised, $50 million plan “a real step forward, using very sound urban strategies.”

If it fails, he says, “I’m afraid we’re dangerously close to check-cashing stores and comic book shops.”

Check cashing shops! What century is this? Pow! Sock!


  1. Ok, as one of the few comic store owners who is also a practicing Christian, I have to point out that True Believers (sorry, couldn’t resist!) understand that any way to get out the gospel is a good way. The people who claim to be Christian that have the mindset that there is only one way to “worship”, “teach”, “evangelize”, “give”, “fellowship”, or “mentor”, will be surprised when they get into heaven. The only requirements laid out in scripture are: repent of your sins (be sorry and try to not do it again), and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. That’s it.

    BTW, the guardian line comics are decent, although not anything really groundbreaking. Code was the best of the three released so far, IMHO.

    And my store is right next door to one of those “payday loans” places, and I was not happy when they opened up, but I have gotten a few customers because of them, so BLEH! to Bob Greenstreet!

  2. Er… but the Hulk also appears on TV and in films, so that’s them out of the question too then. Sorry, Mel.

    Somebody please tell me there’s a Hulk novel or at least novelisation so that the Bible might suddenly have to go out of print and, er, “back to” stone tablets.


    And, yes, I know the Hulk comment was only the journo, not the Reverend.

  3. Urrmm. I’m a pastor’s wife. And a comics fan. And I disagree with that pastor’s remarks. I agree with Dagwan. My local comic shop owner is also a Christian and a youth minister at his church. We’re out here in the world. I’m in the process of re-starting our church’s little library, and I plan to include Christian comics. I think Rev. Tillman is a little mixed up. Guardian does not intend for its comics to replace the Bible – or Sunday School for that matter. But hey, at least he didn’t say comics are the work of the Devil – a comment I have heard from a pastor during a sermon.

  4. It seems among just about every group concerned with promoting a religion, or a cause, there are some who GET IT about comics, and some hide-bound dog-whistles who will go to their graves regarding comics as junk.

  5. I would be happy to send Rev. Tillman a complimentary copy of my husband’s bibilical graphic novel KING DAVID (DC Comics).

    This may be off-subject, but…it is also worth noting that comic books have become powerful learning tools in the classroom. As a teacher of non-native English speakers, I frequently used comics to introduce vocubulary, inspire writing, etc.

    Comics have also become instrumental in teaching students with learning disabilities: the pictures help the reader understand the narrative. Many kids refuse to read books, but they will read a comic book.

    A book or comic book can be cheap; it depends on how it is executed.