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Hello!

New guy here, so forgive me if this topic has been done to death. I'm at a point in my life where I want to become a full time artist. I've always been passionate about comics and want to pursue opportunities in that field, especially mainstream superhero comics. I've always struggled, however, with the question of violence and the use of force by heroes (and villains). More specifically, as a Christian, is it pleasing to God to use my talents to create these kinds of stories?

Chuck

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Hello sir, I was intrigued by your post so here are my thoughts...with respect to the use of violence in your project. Depending on the nature of the story that you are telling, it may be a must. We live in a real world where violence, drugs,guns,greed and even prostitution exist. How can we properly address these kinds of issues with our medium if we avoid them in attempts to avoid "glorifying" them? I take the movie "The Book of Eli" for example. Extremely violent, however the overall message of the movie was not lost due to the graphic nature in which the story was told. Pray, and use your best discretion to address the scenarios which your character faces. The Bible itself also has very violent encounters within it, however anyone who uses those to deter them from continuing in it are probably not reading it for the correct reasons anyway. The Lord will supply you with a target audience who will understand...but the critics will also be there.
Mainstream comics' readership is at such an all-time low that I'd call them underground comics at this point. 

Chuck,

 

   I was in your position close to 20 years ago. I was a new Christian, and I was trying with all my might to push my way into the glamorous, jet-set world of comic book illustration.

 

   Well, I got my wish. My first job was penciling for Vampirella.

 

   Yep. Vampirella.

 

   Now, this is after being unemployed for a good long while. I took the job like a drowning man reaching for a life preserver, but there was no peace it it at all. My editor liked my work, my family cheered my success, but I wrestled from day one with it. And one day I heard God very clearly tell me "you need to quit".

 

   So, one day I received a call from my editor telling me they were planning to fly me out to San Diego, and announce me as the new official Vampirella guy. You can imagine how hard it was to tell her on the same call that I quit.

 

   I later went on to work for other editors, and found myself in serious, serious spiritual conflicts more than once. Sometimes I stood my ground (shouting at a writer on the phone), and sometimes to my shame, I gave in. (After all, rent doesn't pay itself.)

 

   There were restful places tucked in there, thank the Lord- Star Wars was cool, and later Rugrats- but the point is that if you go to the world to work, then you can expect spiritual opposition in many forms, and often times from some very nice people.

 

  Be in prayer over this, and decide your ground now. Where are the lines? Which hills are you willing to die on, and which will you retreat from? It's really between you and the Lord. Let Him speak to you.

 

   The Lord eventually gave me work that I didn't feel ashamed over, but it was mighty bumpy getting there.

 

   All the best.



Steve Crespo said:

Chuck,

 

   I was in your position close to 20 years ago. I was a new Christian, and I was trying with all my might to push my way into the glamorous, jet-set world of comic book illustration.

 

   Well, I got my wish. My first job was penciling for Vampirella.

 

   Yep. Vampirella.

 

   Now, this is after being unemployed for a good long while. I took the job like a drowning man reaching for a life preserver, but there was no peace it it at all. My editor liked my work, my family cheered my success, but I wrestled from day one with it. And one day I heard God very clearly tell me "you need to quit".

 

   So, one day I received a call from my editor telling me they were planning to fly me out to San Diego, and announce me as the new official Vampirella guy. You can imagine how hard it was to tell her on the same call that I quit.

 

   I later went on to work for other editors, and found myself in serious, serious spiritual conflicts more than once. Sometimes I stood my ground (shouting at a writer on the phone), and sometimes to my shame, I gave in. (After all, rent doesn't pay itself.)

 

   There were restful places tucked in there, thank the Lord- Star Wars was cool, and later Rugrats- but the point is that if you go to the world to work, then you can expect spiritual opposition in many forms, and often times from some very nice people.

 

  Be in prayer over this, and decide your ground now. Where are the lines? Which hills are you willing to die on, and which will you retreat from? It's really between you and the Lord. Let Him speak to you.

 

   The Lord eventually gave me work that I didn't feel ashamed over, but it was mighty bumpy getting there.

 

   All the best.

 I am not an expert by any means but I think if what you are drawing conflicts with your faith and makes you feel sick to your stomach or guilty than you aren't doing the right thing. When I get a job with a comic company I will have to lay down certain rules like I won't draw skimpy clothing or draw blood and guts. I think violence can be okay if it isn't bloody or gorey or filed with scantily clothed people. As long as the fighting isn't the main focus.

I hope I am not missing the main focus of the question, but God does not pull any punches when it comes to the content of the Bible.  That is not to say we have to be as graphic as the Bible put things, but here are a few examples of “gory stories”

 

Genesis 34 - The sons of Jacob kill an entire village because the King’s son raped their sister.

1 Samuel 17:51 - David cuts off Goliath’s head not something you see in most children’s stories.

John 18:10 - Peter cut’s off a servants ear (this is in more than one gospel)

 

None of these are sugar coated.  The only thing that causes us to not really dwell on the situation is that the description is usually simple and to the point; nothing more than what is needed.  And maybe that is what you need to focus on, nothing more than what is needed to tell the story.

One more thought.   Because it was written for children, the writer of Treasure Island censored his book from using the more colorful Pirate expletive.  He simply shows the action by referencing … “the pirate swore.”  Your graphic style may lend for a clean crisp implication of “gore” without having to show it vividly.  Hope this helps.

Having a passion for mainstream comics and being a christian comes off as an oxymoron. Seeing that supes is a satanic priest running around w/ an 'S'(for satan) on his chest and ceremonial robe(red cape) on w/ all the abilities of a demon, but is pervious to magic... While Bats is a vampire(vampires turn into bats) hidden from daylight and canoodling(in more ways than one) w/ insane criminals. Caps got teh satan symbol on his chest and the Hulk now the Rulk is a big red demon possessing banner. Sex, violence, and a lot of occultist ideas: keys opening doors and peering thru mirrors into other dimensions; all do harm to plant seeds in young minds of a normalcy to these concepts. You're worried about the gore and scantily clad women, I'd say look out for the symbolism's and actual satanic rituals they're laying out in these panels.

1 Peter 4:11 - 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

"Seeing that supes is a satanic priest running around w/ an 'S'(for satan) on his chest and ceremonial robe(red cape) on w/ all the abilities of a demon, but is pervious to magic..."

   Or maybe, just maybe, the "S" stands for "Superman"? Would he be less "satanic" if he had a "W" on his chest and was called "Wonderman"?

   Or if his cape was blue, would he be less satanic?

   And as for having the abilities of a demon, in your estimation what super-hero doesn't have the abilities of a demon? Is clinging to a wall demonic?

   You are missing the point of both the fantasy genre (comics) and the uses of super-powers in general. ...A world where an alien from another planet gains super-human powers under our sun, and wears primary colored leotards is not to be compared to side-by-side our own world. It is a creation of the writer, and super-powers are simply part of the fabric of that world. Those things are possible THERE, not here, and so our rigid beliefs must- in some way- be suspended if we are to enjoy and be a part of the stories this writer wants to tell.

   It is unfair to judge a character- who morally speaking would be an upright character in ANY world- by his intrinsic physical abilities in his own world, because we see them as demonic on our world. They are not demonic in HIS world, is the point. That is the way HIS world functions.

   Further, the writer uses these super-human abilities as a source of amazement and excitement for the reader, yes, but also to heighten both the level of good and evil in that world, to make a grander illustration, in which to bring the morality, or weight of the situation home more powerfully.

   A dilemma that puts Superman in a place where the fate of the planet or galaxy at stake only makes the tensity of the story that much more powerful. Good MUST prevail or all is lost. And I mean ALL.

   If the symbolism is a stumbling block, then this form of fantasy is not for you, but I would warn against demonizing letters of the alphabet and the limitations of early color printing processes as a practice.

   It only makes Christians look silly.

   

Yeh it's silly to think the devil wants to have influence on little kids..

Why's he flyin around w/ a summoner?

and why's the 'S' on the cape in dried blood now?

I mean even that fire & ice that's a church of satan thing.. What superheroes in mainstream comics? i'm not sure i'll have to look it up. But Simon Peter had some supernatural effects, matter fact all of them at pentecost were pretty superhuman to those around them i'd go with that model of superheroes.

"Why's he flyin around w/ a summoner?"

   Uhmm... because it's a comic book, and that just happens to be the story?

   Individual stories are one thing, but the character as a whole is another. The writers of Superman may or may not write a story involving satanism or whatever, but this does not make the character as a whole demonic. (Which was the point.)

   An imaginary character with super-powers in a world where super-powers exist is about as satanic as a character without super-powers in a world where super-powers exist.

"I mean even that fire & ice that's a church of satan thing..."

   Forgive me, but God created fire and ice, and I shudder to think what would happen to Christian creativity as a whole if every Christian comic artist thought: "Whoa, can't use fire and ice in this story. That belongs to the church of Satan. Hmm... can't use rainbows or triangles either, because that belongs to homosexuals."

   Alika, you may have a point in a very general sense about the entertainment industry as a whole, but you are hacking at the most superficial branches of the wrong tree.

   

Okay so i hadn't done any research on this it was just something that I had noticed and/or the Holy Spirit was revealing, but after ur reply i just googled satanic superman and this came up..

Picture is linked to the article Remember when Superman turned into Satan?

Doesn't matter if this convinces you or whatever just be mindful of the Holy Spirit is all i'm saying.

   Oookay... but clearly this is saying that turning red, growing horns "like a devil", and being weak and evil is a bad thing.

   That, and wearing a helmet of hate and shooting people with rays guns, I mean.

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