Christian Comic Arts Society

A Network of Christian Fellowship for Comics Fans, Pros, and Amateurs

Brien Sparling's Blog (26)

Visually Engaging Comics

Our comics need to be more “Visually engaging,” right?   Cute, horrific, epic, bizarre are like spices that hold your reader page after page. Color helps but plenty of engaging comics are holding their viewers without it. For example:

1) I am not a big fan of “cute” but Robin Dassen’s Twin Dragons, is holding my interest with school-age antics of a pair of young anthro Dragons. Robin does ‘cute’ so well that she mocks it in this 9/9/19 strip:…


Added by Brien Sparling on September 13, 2019 at 10:26am — No Comments

Digital Art programs for the Non-professional cartoonist 2019

   A decade ago I got Photoshop Elements for about $68, and started using it to clean-up, edit and color my toons. Most of what you see on my CCAS gallery is done with a mouse, although pieces done within the last two years are assisted by a Wacom drawing pad ($240). Easy to use and focused I what I wanted to do, these programs gave me multiple years of making multi-layer toon art, and for the hobby artist on a shoestring budget these are still great art tools. Today Photoshop Elements 2019…


Added by Brien Sparling on August 28, 2019 at 12:08pm — 7 Comments

Slithrah Webcomic

Just finished rereading the webcomic Slithrah (Hebrew for "Protector") by Jason Brubaker. Totally inspiring Christ-based Parable/fantasy, awesome artwork...and free on line at     ; Check it out!

Added by Brien Sparling on July 27, 2019 at 11:56pm — No Comments

Quick defense against "New Atheism"

Many of us spend a great deal of time on the net, and are exposed to a great deal of the world and its philosophies because of that.  This morning I came across a laudatory summary of the current thoughts of Sam Harris one of the current spokesmen for the ‘New Atheism.”

  I want to keep this short, so I’m going to dodge taking a jab at the erroneous  ‘New’ in the New Atheism label (Genesis 3).  I’m going to quickly gloss over Sam Harris’s respectable life(Wiki Sam Harris)…


Added by Brien Sparling on February 20, 2019 at 11:00am — No Comments

Worthwhile webcomics

Four ongoing comics that I regularly check on for excellent art and storytelling:

1) Beauty and the Beast - Delightful yet different than Disney's take on this fairy tale. Amazing ink work.

2) Endtown - Post-apocalyptic brutality coupled with over the top character development and artwork.…


Added by Brien Sparling on August 18, 2018 at 9:38am — No Comments


      Gaborgenheit is a word that I want to hold on to.  Its such a lovely concept that it has its own Wiki page but... the word is not "sticky" in the way that some words cling in your memory. Still Gaborgenheit is worth a Deviant Journal entry.
   WingedWarTigers(Deviant Art site) recently did a really sweet gaborgenheit picture :   Misty Birthday  , which…

Added by Brien Sparling on July 31, 2018 at 9:52am — 1 Comment

Effectively animated comicstrip

Effectively animated Comic strip

The Bouletcorp  ( ) is a strip done by a widely published French cartoonist who is slowly translating some of his works into English (One strip every month or so). The strips vary from weird to hilarious, but what caught my eye was Boulet’s 3.28.18 strip (“When I am alone”), in which the the punch of the strip is made by five animated panels . Having never seen…


Added by Brien Sparling on April 28, 2018 at 3:28pm — 2 Comments

Opportunities for the New Year 2018

  I am impressed to make a not so grandiose resolution: to strengthen my friendship to someone.  1Thessalonians2:8 reminds me that the heart of the Gospel is not just in meeting physical or spiritual needs of others but, to the degree that we make opportunities, to befriend a small number of people.

    Technology both makes this easy on a surface level and harder on a deeper level; deepening some connections necessitates cutting off other superficial contacts in order to give us more…


Added by Brien Sparling on December 29, 2017 at 10:47am — 4 Comments

Go see this Movie

   This is a conditional recommendation; you have to really like family values, great story, Pixar animation...and not be put off by a few hundred comedic skeletons. That fit me and I finally got myself to a theater to see Disney-Pixars 3-D animated Movie, CoCo.  In short, this is an awesome story with awesome values and a central dilemma of Family vs. a Personal quest.

    Go see this movie.

Added by Brien Sparling on December 9, 2017 at 4:59pm — 1 Comment

Jesus is calling

“Jesus is calling.”

   I have a deep love-link to Jesus which leads to an emotional jolt every time I hear his name.  I’ve had to control my reactions over the decades of teaching teens in the Latino culture, whose parents have honored their sons with biblical names, including Jesus. It helps me to give Jesus the Spanish pronunciation, ‘Hey-sus’ but over the years these blessed students respond to either pronunciation.  I’ve had to get used to exhorting Jesus to do homework more…


Added by Brien Sparling on September 24, 2017 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

Inspiration through watching others

Make a place in your week for an inspiring biography/autobiography

 As a Christian, I have been a bit reluctant to do so because I want to keep my focus on Christ; however worthwhile lessons, encouragement and exhortation can come from the lives of everyday people living out exemplary commitments.

   I was reminded of this somewhat accidently as I was flying through the internet, looking for knowledge-resources-inspiration to make me better…


Added by Brien Sparling on July 21, 2017 at 3:51pm — No Comments

New sites worth your watch

A couple of websites worth your look-over:

1) Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than; His take on a CS Lewis quote is at GoComics site  and a short bio of his life is here: . Gavin is not a Christian…


Added by Brien Sparling on January 20, 2017 at 8:44pm — 1 Comment

Put some bucks on your belief

Two times to consider making a donation to CCAS:

*When you've got a little $ overage, gotten that bonus for a project well done, or had a large bill that turned out to be a small bill...and you want to give a praise offering: hit the donate button on the left hand side of the  CCAS page.

*When you've got no extra dollars, but giving to a site that is maintained for your benefit; and giving to the work of…


Added by Brien Sparling on October 9, 2016 at 8:55am — 7 Comments

Holiday Season challenge

Holiday Season 2015 and 2Cor9:6-15

All Souls Day, Los Dias de Muertos, Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day and Christmas are among the hundreds of days in a year created by God, and every day should be celebrated. But they are also special  opportunities to worship God and love others, to celebrate the good things in the world and people around us. Rather than grousing at the tawdry commercialism that is once again revving up its tired songs and plastic decor, we can take the…


Added by Brien Sparling on October 27, 2015 at 8:02am — 2 Comments

Wild Graphic Novel storytelling

  Just finished Creature Tech (Top Shelf productions 2005) by Doug TenNapel. Wow, so creative!  The art is fantastic ink-brush cartooning. Incredibly skillful story takes bizarre twists and turns without every losing my heart or brain. I live close enough to California's central valley to vouch for the authentic valley touches and characters. The theological details (Arthropod heaven for a beloved Mantis bodyguard) are extra-scriptural but the heart of this book is…


Added by Brien Sparling on July 31, 2015 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Currently activeArchive Sites for Christian comics

    Part of my ignorance is willful: I don’t Facebook in large part to safeguard what little free time I’ve got.  But an hour of undesignated time plus recent post of a 2011 interview, fired my curiosity up to snoop around the web a little; What other sites are out there archiving Christian…


Added by Brien Sparling on May 2, 2015 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Unexpressed good intentions

    I am looking at an undelivered box, sitting on a shelf next to our dining room table. It was supposed to be mailed out to my son in a foreign country but when we found out the cheapest delivery cost exceeded the box’s contents by many times, the project stalled. We’re a really busy family and time passed, and now months later I’m looking at this undelivered box, weighing the value of the contents, both literally and…


Added by Brien Sparling on November 8, 2014 at 10:00am — 11 Comments

Check out a noteworthy WebComic

    My son introduced me to a great web comic: Stand still. Stay Silent.  by Minna Sundberg . The humor is quirky and charming, the theme is definitely new to me: Post-apocalypse epic journey from a Scandinavian point of view. The human values are insightful; but the art is what's really, really awesome. Wow.

     Minna's productivity is equally amazing:…


Added by Brien Sparling on July 31, 2014 at 11:02pm — 2 Comments

A great Online Comic!

   I'm about halfway through the archive of Megan Kearney's Beauty and the Beast, and it is a really, really quality read!

Megan is a Toronto based animator who has a deep love and knowledge of Old European stories and culture, and a definite gift for character development and dialogue. You can find the strip at Comic Fury:

    Beauty and the Beast less of a…


Added by Brien Sparling on March 16, 2014 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Story pacing and Webcomic design


When does it pay off to slow …down… the reader, or speed them up?

    I’m fascinated by comic format and page design.  Like every newbie, I’m always gawking at the work of other online comics and asking myself why the artist chose a particular page design, and if there was a better format for telling their story.  I am not an expert cartoonist; however I am an expert cartoon fan and this is what I’m seeing.

Webcomics in traditional…


Added by Brien Sparling on August 19, 2013 at 10:33pm — 3 Comments

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.)

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