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?
I would like to mention one other thing. And that is that God calls his people to be Holy - "to be set apart" from the people of this world. I think Comics can reach people for Jesus Christ, but we need to do it in such a way that shows a clear message - Paul says "I preach the cross."
The story of Snow White is not a Christian story to most people, but could be told as one. Snow white, has hair as black as ebony, lips as red as blood, and skin as white as snow. We have a covering of sin over us, but when we drink of the blood of Jesus Christ (wine/grape juice) we are washed white as snow.
Snow White falls in love with a prince - that she can't see. She finds out that her life is in danger, so she runs from the sin of Pride – the evil step mother/queen – who has vanity written all over her. Snow White is confronted by someone that wants to cut out her heart - the dwelling place of Jesus Christ - but can't do it because she is pure like a bride waiting for her husband.
She finds her way to 7 dwarves/ the 7 spirits of the Holy Spirit. She is then tempted 3 times... and finally falls prey to an apple - sometimes thought to be the "fruit" eaten by Eve. This puts her into a deep sleep - similar to what is described in the New Testament - those in Christ are sleeping – she can’t die because she covered by the blood of Jesus and her sins are forgiven.
Finally, the prince –Jesus - comes looking for her, finds her and kisses her (breaths the breath of life back into her). She awakes, and he takes her to his kingdom. Sounds like the resurrection of bride by the Bridegroom.
Now most main stream people are going to say, “foul!” you can’t ruin a classic by making it a story about Jesus and the church… but that’s what being set apart means. To change something into something that is new, be reborn, and the stories and parables that are in the bible that can be used are endless.
A very interesting take on Snow White. Although I'm one not to Christianize the classics, this was well thought ought.
That being said, if you look into many classic fairy tales you will find a foundational morality that is quite Christian- love and good prevail; evil is defeated.
I am one to believe that a story need not be a Christian story in order to be a Christian story. That is, one can speak of the goodness of God, of the value of humanity, the superiority of christian morality to that of worldly morality- one can hold these things high without ever once mentioning Christ.
Now, I am NOT against mentioning Christ. No, no, no. I am not ashamed of His name, but the simple fact is that many unbelievers will NOT read, say, Peretti's "Piercing The Darkness" because it is a Christian story... but they will read the fictional writings of Tolkein and MacDonald who happen to be Christian writers. There is a difference.
CS Lewis once wrote: The world doesn't need more writers of Christian books, it needs more books written by Christians. (This is a serious paraphrase.)
I agree. Let our imaginations be truly free in Christ. As we are made in the image of the Creator, let us create worlds of our own, and be free to apply whatever rules seem right to us. And let's use that freedom to tell wonderful stories, and not be concerned whether the name "Jesus" appears enough times- a standard that many apply to Christian music and literature, unfortunately- but be free to write those things that glorify God in the way we see as best.
Do you want to write blatantly Christian stories? Great! Do you want to write stories that are not so blatant but still glorify God? Great! I say, be free to write...
...But just be sure you write well! :-)
@Gross you're not quoting scripture correctly or even at all... it's
Psalm 51:7 - 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Not sure where u got the drinking Jesus' blood and the only thing i know of that is washed with blood to make white is
Revelation 7:14 -14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Other He washes is
Revelation 1:5 - 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
WTH are the 7 spirits of the Holy Spirit...? The Holy Spirit is three in one the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not seven...
In the story the kiss wakes her up, not breathing into her. Jesus doesn't breathe into us new life, we crucify our carnal nature and thru his sacrifice we are reborn, made anew.
This snow white story is about problem reaction solution, the queen presents the problem, snowwhite's sleep is the reaction, and the prince represents the solution. The queen and prince are the same family, so in the end the family still reigns(still being the problem). But snowwhite will love the family in charge cause the prince saved her from the problem created by his own family, in the first place!
Now what snow white has to do with mainstream comics i've no idea..
@Crespo better check but i don't think tolkien & c.s.lewis were christians. Pretty sure they were masons and you can't serve two masters.
"She finds her way to 7 dwarves/ the 7 spirits of the Holy Spirit."
...Hmm, good catch, Alika. Missed that. At first I thought it was a typo and the "fruits" of the Spirit were implied... but there are 9 fruits listed. So, the 7 has me baffled.
"...i don't think tolkien & c.s.lewis were christians. Pretty sure they were masons..."
When you venture to say that someone is not a Christian- in spite of them openly professing the name of Christ, in spite of the huge contributions they have made to Christian literature and scholarship, and in spite of the impact on modern Christianity in general- you had better do a heck of a lot better than "I think" and I'm "pretty sure".
Sorry, I was in a rush for work, and had about 10 minutes to write this as a ruff example. My point was not to focus on this story, but to suggest that we are showing people Christ in whatever we do.
I should also make note that I agree with C.S. Lewis. Regardless of where we work, or what we do, we should do our work unto the Lord and not unto man.
It would seem that my example rased several questions, so I will try to give refrence, but I will need to look up the exact scriptures to really show you where I got the info from - again I was getting ready to get to work, so none of this was reseached it was just on the fly writing a story and attempting to suggest comparisons.
- The blood on the lips was going off of Christ handing out the wine as his blood and the bread as his body when taking the first communion - to be one with Christ. I was not trying to be litteral.
As for beathing life into us, he did it at the very begining of creation. Maybe he did not breath into us while he was on the earth, he did breath over the deciples, and told them to receive the holy spirit before his assention. But I see where it would be a stretch to suggest it would happen at resurection as it mainly says - we will be changed - in a twinkling of an eye.
The 7 spirits - or the 7 fold Spirit is in Revelations when Jesus talks to the Angles of the Church. This could be a translation issue, depending on which version you read, so I will look into it.
What does this story have to do with Christian Comic books? Because I am attempting to use it as a example of a story that could be tranlated into a Christian story. Similar to the Parables that Jesus told. The fairytails and fables of old in most cases had a moral/truth behind them. In this case, the truth regardless of what a refined version of this prose would look like. I was suggesting that Comic books can teach truth, which in turn hopefully would plant a seed that could lead someone to Jesus Christ.
Chuck, as a former editor (in my life BC!), I can honestly say that if you want to draw mainstream comics, you're not going to have a choice. "Taking a stand" simply means turning down the work. Turning down the work--as a rookie--means not getting it elsewhere. IF you were a NAME that could sell comics simply BECAUSE of your name, then things could be different. Even still, I know a couple of vocal believers who have been blacklisted at Marvel BECAUSE of that belief (thus they say).
While I wouldn't haven't NOT hired someone because they were a Christian when I was an editor, I would certainly have balked at hiring them when they began to lay out parameters of what they would and wouldn't draw. I'd just have passed on them and hired the next guy willing to draw whatever I wanted.
Plus, someone said on another thread that mainstream comics are selling so low that they are undergrounds. While this is true in the matter of pure NUMBERS, the mainstream guys still PAY more than...well, everyone else.
Having said all that, don't think that "full time artist" means you HAVE to draw for Marvel/DC to make a living. There are plenty of alternate paths for an artist--take storyboarding for instance. Christian film entertainment is steadily growing--now would be the perfect time to get to know up-and-coming filmmakers to show them what you can do.
As with everything: PRAY! God will tell you what He wants you to do.