My Testimony: (We encourage members to share briefly about how their faith in Christ has impacted their lives.)
From the book Sermons: The Graphic Novel
Bio: The Making of a Sermon
I attended Rosedale Bible College and Grace College and Seminary, but most of my academic background is in visual art. Such training was as diverse as animation major at the Joe Kubert School to a Master of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College of Norwich University. Specific events have informed the creation of Sermons, so this bio will flush out that side of my vitae.
After my confession of faith at a young age I explored visual liturgy. Do remember chalk drawings performed in front of the church? Sketches for Sunday bulletins led to a contract as an illustrator, for Christian Light Publications, while in secondary school. Later I did illustration work for Christian musical groups, the most recognizable being Bride’s “Silence is Madness”.
I explored the critical nature of artistic practice giving a talk at Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, and Indiana Wesleyan University’s Midwest Scholars Conference. But that focus faded away in favor of apologetics and philosophy. In addition to private research I attended live debates with William Lane Craig vs Bishop John Shelby Spong, and the famed atheist Christopher Hitchens vs Dinesh D’Souza. Other than a stint as a youth pastor most of my leadership was in art education. But, in 2015 I started the Theological Think Tank in my home. I live in a historic Chautauqua site and the former center for the evangelical Bible Conference Movement. In Winona Lake, Indiana there is still a plethora of theology experts. Respected scholars and authors such as Brent Sandy, Andrew Knapp, Herb Bateman, Skip Forbes, John Addison Teevan, Scott Barger, etc would talk on book they published or a topic. Some meetings TTT would discuss a preselected topic. My wife, Christy, was also a major stimulus on my world view. Her devotion to personal Bible study, the Bible Study Fellowship program, and her faith commitment was a tremendous resource.
After being contingent faculty at Indiana University Fort Wayne, I slid over to Grace College. Before and while teaching the Visual Storytelling course much of my reading, and apologetics activity began to organically manifest into the sequential artwork for Sermons. My goal was to give readers from any worldview something to consider. Some narratives deliberately leave one suspended.
Blessings to you,
Don M. Swartzentruber, MFA
Dream Job: (If you could have your dream job in the comics industry, what would it be?)
Maybe a weekly comicstrip.
Focus on issues of faith.
Favorite Comic Creators:
Gary Larson, Peter Blegvad (The Book of Leviathan. I enjoyed my teacher's work; Jose Delbo, Mike Chen, Joe Kubert, etc.
Hey Don, Congratulation on sending your firstborn off to Art School; exciting! Pasadena is still 300+ miles south of me, although if you're anywhere in the area come by Monterey for a cup of tea or coffee.
I noticed that we're both in the Grace Fellowship (cool!) although the fellowship of redeemed believers is far more valuable and exciting.
Welcome to the CCAS. Thank you for sharing both your art and your testimony. I pray that you make some great connections. There are some very gifted brothers and sisters on this site. May our gracious Lord and Savior richly bless you in the knowledge of His eternal love.
You have really gone deep into art philosophy and theology. Impressive gallery on your website, particularly some of the surreal pieces. Look forward to exchanging-encouraging and building each other up in our walk with Jesus and our art.
Welcome to the Christian Comic Arts Society (CCAS) Online Network!
Did you know that CCAS has monthly meetings in the Los Angeles area? Contact Eric Jansen for more info!
Also, members of CCAS have produced the APAzine ALPHA-OMEGA for over 25 years! We have about five openings right now! Contact Eric Jansen for more info! (This is a 30-member active-participation-only photocopied magazine for Christian writers and artists who submit a "trib" every other month for fun, fellowship, and critiques by other members. Between postage and your photocopying costs, you might pay anywhere from $5 to $25 per issue.)