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Should Christians Comic book creators have a target audience or should the audience always need to be for the all-ages?

Should Believers add blood to their content and I'm not talking about the cross?

Should a Christian Artist develop mature content?

By mature content, I mean mature subject matter in culture or society like human trafficking or the effects of domestic violence.

Personally, I'm not saying I don't have a heart for it. Yet, can see how other believers can.  

 

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I love Calvary Comics & Christipher's responses.
I agree with everyone's views. I said enough. I wrote my book with a vision from God being both Non- Christians ESP in churches and Well seasoned Christian believers communicating God's love in today's world,I also knew Men, singles, & black part of America, educated, & inner city people would benefit from my book. I also knew comic and regular book readers would benefit from it. I'm working on my 2nd book. To me it's Appropiate for my intended audience.

We should be able to pick our audience because our books won't appeal to some. If we write Scifi then we are usually going to attract Star Trek fans. The gospel is cosmic so when we weld it into our stories it becomes a part of it. I would recommend if someone can't write to all that they work on other genres as well. A writer is not limited to one story, Jesus told plenty. Mature content can be done, I believe. We must be true to the message and also our stories. Blood is natural, it would be wrong not to add it if it is necessary. 

Take it case by case.  I personally want an honest story.  Know your target audience.

Dear Mr. Uwabi:

To answer your question about the development of mature content, I believe the answer is 'yes'. I believe so for the following reasons: 1) Such things are a part of daily life in much of the world and are relevant to our daily lives. As such, we need to speak out on such things and hold our faith up against them. 2) Also, as Christians, it is our mandate to speak out on such matters, that they would cease. People would say that our faith is not relevant to today's world. Here is an opportunity to show the world that our faith is relevant and can answer such ills. God Bless you in your efforts Mr Uwabi.

Wow! Some great questions and some really great answers! I am fairly new to CCAS, just joined a couple weeks ago, by Ive known about the group for a couple years. I've recently dusted off some short stories and ideas for stories that I'm revisiting. But a lot of these ideas I came up with 20 years (or more) ago as a teenager with a completely different worldview and then worked on them some more in my early 20's when I was in college and was a self-declared atheist. I was Saved 7 years ago, and almost immediately found these old stories coming back to the front of my mind. What I discovered on many occasions while sitting in church and listening to Pastor Adam teach from the Bible, is that most of the story ideas I've ever had can be suitable for Christian audiences. I have already discarded all of the gratuitous violence, sexuality, and language that my younger immature self came up with from the stories or concepts, but there are some critical elements that I have struggled with. I really feel like God led me to discover this particular post this evening because I've been struggling with how to handle the adult themes (I.e. Horrors of human trafficking and enslavement) that I feel the need to address. I'm also hopeful that since these stories were conceived during a period when I was NOT a Christian that telling them now that I AM a Christian, I wil be able to appeal to both secular and non-secular audiences, and God willing help reach some readers for Jesus.

Should Christians Comic book creators have a target audience or should the audience always need to be for the all-ages?

I think it's smart to find a target audience. Publishers, agents, and studios will ask what the target audience is for any project. 

Still, I've found that one's target audience may change once your work gets an audience.

I think it is OK to have mature content in comics. My web comic is all ages and I don't have any language, nudity, etc... The world is a very dangerous, violent, and evil place and I think it is OK for artists to show it as long as they are showing it as the evil that it is.

This is a difficult question to answer because we're all different parts of the body and we all have different callings.  So for that reason, the answer to each question is no because each question starts with "Should".  You shouldn't do anything that God is not guiding you to do.  All of my artistic failures have happened because I ran forward with something that I shouldn't have done because God didn't want me there.  He had another plan for me. 

That being said, if the intent behind the questions is really to replace "Should" in each question with "Is it ok to", then my response would whole-heartedly be yes.  We shouldn't shy away from difficult, mature themes because the religious mindset says they don't like it.  God's word doesn't shy from it and that's what we're called to proclaim.  Just take the story of David alone.  You've got wars, deception, adultery, lying, murder, and a host of other "mature" situations being dealt with.  If I wanted to make a comic true to the Word of God that depicted David's life, it would be very, very bloody and some of that blood would be on David's hands. 

However, there's more than just blood to mature content and I struggle with this tremendously.  I personally make an effort to accurately portray characters and situations in an honest way. 

Where it's easy for me personally to draw the line is where I feel a totally honest portrayal would compromise the message and actually aid the forces of darkness.  For example, I've included in my stage plays, and would put in my comic, the destructive problems that come with pornography, adultery, and other sexually charged sinful behaviors.  But I would never add a sex scene on stage or on the pages of my comic.  Implied, yes.  Revealed, no.  This is because in doing so I would give lust a chance to overshadow any message I was trying to make against it. 

Where it's difficult for me, is when I feel that I would be doing God's will in showing the honesty of a situation, but I know I would take flak from the religious mindset.  That's when I usually back down and I get angry at myself for it.  For example, you won't find swearing in my plays or comics, but I really, really, really want to add it.  Not because I swear daily, but because unenlightened people always do.  I want to portray good as good, and evil as evil.  How can you show the way God miraculously changed a person's life for the better, if there's no tangible change.  Yes, there are many other ways to show a change in a person, but what's in your heart is what comes out of your mouth.  What people say reveals who they are.  I feel like when I fail to show corrupted people speaking corrupted things, I'm not being truthful to the situation and that really bothers me.  I feel, in those moments, like I'm a manpleaser and not a Godpleaser. 

Sorry, I've droned on a bit.  This topic stirred a fire in me.  I'll shut up now.  But not before I say thank you for the question and thank you all for the good honest answers. 

It's something you really have to get with God on.  This world and our own hearts and eyes can be hopelessly deceptive.  God just showed me today a whole bunch of media I had to throw away that had some dark forces attached. You really have to ask Holy Spirit to help you discern.  I lean heavily on Exodus 35:30--Exodus3:1-7 as relying on God to give us the skill and creativity from Heaven.  We don't have to rely on the fallen things in the world system to make good art. We just have to look into the face of Jesus, the Word who created everything. The Kingdom of Heaven as its own art, culture and economy and he will provide.

It depends on your business model.

If you want to target a broad audience, then you design accordingly and usually more generally.

Smaller niche markets allow you to specialize.

It depends on what you feel you are called to do. Christians are supposed to reach out to all of mankind, not just the ones who make them feel happy and safe....and visa versa.

Those are my 2 cents.

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