I was rereading a short popular article I wrote a few years back on religion and comic books with a view to expanding it into something with a bit more academic depth and focus. Something that moves from simply describing the interaction of religion and comic books (and graphic novels and other forms of narrative sequential art) to something that speaks to the particular challenges and opportunities that portraying religious material using those media throws up.
This is an area that has seen some interesting work develop over the past few years, not in the least because of the plethora of superhero movies derived from their “four-colour” paper and digital sources, as well as some very good storytelling using comicbook media. A quick skim along my office bookshelves finds a few books on this kind of thing:
And perusing further down the shelves we come across:
There are also some relevant blogs and online journals that have arrived on the scene over the past few years:
- www.sacredandsequential.org – “@ the intersection of religion and comics” including
- The Tangled Relationship Between Religion and Comics | Sacred and Sequential
- Martin Lund on the Possibilities of “Pantheonic Bricolage” | Sacred and Sequential
- The Complicated Theology of a Wonder Woman | Sacred and Sequential
- ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies – ImageText is a journal dedicated to the academic study of all comics: comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, comix, and others.
- The Society of Biblical Literature’s collection of articles:
- SBL Publications – The Bible and Graphic Novels: A Review and Interview with the Authors of “Marked” and “Megillat Esther”
- SBL Publications – Transferring Biblical Narrative to Graphic Novel
- SBL Publications – Biblical Graphic Novels: Adaptation, Interpretation, and “Faithful Transfer”
- And a bunch of stuff here
Once I knock out three other writing projects in the new year (theological education and digital technologies; theological ethics and social media; and, spirituality in video games) I’ll be looking to work some more on this. As Julien of Norwich said, “All will be well and all will be well and every kind of thing shall be well.”