Christian Comic Arts Society

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

A Lament for the Comic book - and suggestions for you:

Comics are dead. Long live comics.

I can barely look at a comic book anymore. Blood, guts, gore, anger,vitriol, spatter, evil, malevolence. Piss poor coloring - pink, purple, green and mud. Unhappy people, doing unhappy things. Lack of hope. It's all gone.

Heroes aren't good. The baddies are more evil than evil, but they're just misunderstood. And the ends always justify the means.

Knock-offs, rip-offs, re-cycled, regurgitated, and shovels digging ever deeper towards the pit of hell. 

Dear comics: I'm done.

I now appreciate the off the beaten path, and things that have heart and soul...so...

Some advice for you would be creators that are "Christian":

1. Keep it short and sweet. There is no longer any time for you to create giant universes, ongoing lengthy series, or to baby your projects to perfection. Being succinct, and cutting out all the chaff in your story is key.

Do one-shots. 24 or 48 pages should suffice.
Do single page or short stories 3-8 pages
Use digital as your starting point
Create immediate and achievable goals

2. DO IT NOW:
If you haven't been watching the times - if you want to get something out there - do it now. If you are dying to get a project out there do it. Do it now. Soon, this will be something that you won't care one whit about. Surviving will be more important.

3. Make your project something you'd be proud to show Yeshua. Do as He directs.

4: Also, be relevant, and if possible, timeless. An maybe choose or include topics that are informative and useful:
a. Like how do you dig a well?

b. If you were out in the woods how would you build  shelter?
c. If people needed to learn how to do x, y or z can you incorporate that into your story somehow?
d. Perhaps find fantastic missionary stories
e. Other life skills that could be useful etc.


4. If you are aware of your talent level and know you aren't the best artist or colorist or writer in the world -but you have an idea "that must get out there" see suggestion #1 above and then do one of the following:

a: Hire the right people to make your project work. And pay appropriately.

b: Do it yourself - BUT KEEP IT SIMPLE - and don't try to do things that are beyond your skill set. I would rather read a comic that has very simple and believable shapes and objects, than one that tries to fudge "excess details" trying to be "realistic" with hatching etc. Make the object look like the object, and usually that's enough.

c:If some of your skills aren't there - such as perspective or foreshortening, come up with a style that is clear and consistent - so long as your telling the story with clarity and consistency, it should be passable. 

d: If there is something in the process you can't do - find the person who can help you. COLORING IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES.

e: FIND A PROOF READER. Period. No ands. If's. Or buts. Do this. Even if you decide to go with art that's questionable, coloring that's problematic - have a real proof-reader read your book. There is nothing worse than reading badly written dialog or having typo's spread throughout a book.

f: IF you must do it your self, go look up or buy professional fonts and read up on how to do proper word balloons. (There are free ones out there for the indy creator).

f: MAKE YOUR STORIES ABOUT:

1. Hope/Joy/Heaven/Beauty/Jesus/Salvation/Grace/The Bible etc.

2. Life

3. Fun/Funny (of course be relevant to the nature of your tale, so if is serious, then so be it - but I miss the joy.)

4. Use bright joyful colors. (or be color appropriate to the mood and setting - but lean to the brights as opposed to the muds).

5. Possibly lean to true stories as opposed to "fantastic" or "fantasy". Or at least ground them in the true.

6. Bring nature back! Trees, animals, outdoors.

g: Make sure comics are not your god/idol. If you realize that comics have taken over God's position in your life, then consider what that means and what you may need to do to rectify that situation.

I'm sick of the sick. Let's breathe life back into comics. The true life. The abundant life. AND DO IT SOON.

Martin

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Comment by Tom Montgomery on August 1, 2017 at 6:24pm

I like the overall sentiment here Martin; although I do enjoy the fantastic, and have no problem with world building; but bring back the JOY, the COLOR, the KINDNESS, and the HUMOR.

Yes, yes, and yes!

Comment by Angelic Empyress on December 6, 2013 at 12:14pm

This is a nice post and I get the jest of what you are saying, but personally I feel that whatever passion God have put on someone that is what they should do. Not just rush and put some short and quick thing out there just to say they did something. That's how you get some of the quick mess we have today. Personally I have a full universe that I have worked on for 13 years now, and I've watched God Himself mature it as I've went along. I'm not going to give it up just to say I can do some crazy short story and call myself accomplished and done. I understand that a person shouldn't wait to focus on their calling, and right now I know God is telling me to do the things I've been called to do. But I feel that if someone is hard working on what God has placed on their heart, God will make the way for it to hit its target. So what if people wont BUY it, its not about making profit but about spreading a message... If I were in it or money lol I wouldn't be in it. So what if they use it to start a fire, they could read it beforehand and still have their life changed and end up being warm for a night anyway.

And saying that you wont care about something is silly, if it is a passion it will always be a passion. People are struggling NOW to survive, and if you live turns into just surviving then you've lost faith in what God can do.

Sorry just somethings really rubbed me the wrong way and I had to post my opinion...

Comment by D.L. Maffett on September 29, 2012 at 5:08pm

keep faith and hope. There is a great project being birthed as we speak...

Comment by Matt Baker on September 29, 2012 at 4:59pm
Hey Martin, really interesting post. I couldn't agree more about the state of secular comics, it's appalling. I've all but quit reading secular comics, except for the odd gem here and there. Yeah, time to stop reading crappy comics and start making good ones ourselves (with the zero spare time on my hands, ha ha). Anyway thanks for the interesting post.
Comment by Martin Murtonen on September 21, 2012 at 12:17pm

Oh hey Nathan - I was commenting on the entire secular comic book market. And I'm super glad you are doing what you are doing. Keep it up.

Comment by Nathan Lucas on September 21, 2012 at 11:19am
liked this post. was not aware of any christian comics before doing a google search a few days ago and finding this site. So I certainly was not aware of the state of chriatian comics. I think God can use all types of style and subject matter to speak to different people. I personally have the desire to do something light hearted and optomestic in tone. Tha doesnt mean the characters wont go through stuggle. Thats important part of good story structure, conflict. And I feel led to share Christs love through parables. This is how Jesus himself tought. As of now I have Zero plans to use the words Jesus, Cross, God, Christian or anything of that matter in my stories. Instead outside of the story share the gospel by explaining the meanings behind the story. Like "see how the character failed when she relied on her own strength? she needed to rely on the one who gave her the strength. In the same way our strength comes from the lord". Anyways that is my two cents. I hope to produce work that does not get shot down at first glance for being Too Christian. But to always produce work eddifying to the father anf points to Truth and wisdom. (sorry for spelling errors this is written on phone and theres no spell correction in this mode)
Comment by Martin Murtonen on September 20, 2012 at 11:16pm

A perfect example of what I've been looking for in comics (and right here on the boards!):

http://www.christiancomicarts.com/photo/page1-3/next?context=user

Comment by Martin Murtonen on September 12, 2012 at 12:27am

Actually, in Canada, Christians have it good - and right now we are being blessed abundantly since we're friends with Israel.


I'm less concerned about rapture (if it happens it happens) than the economic crunch that's coming. If peeps are out trying to get food, comix or any other entertainment items will be the last thing on people's minds. I can see the crunch coming - it's not rocket science. I'm just saying if you have the means now, and you really want it done, get to it. And that goes for me too.

Comment by Melchizedek Todd on September 12, 2012 at 12:15am

IS THE APOCALYPSE COMING!!!!!! NO! NO! I HAVEN'T FINISHED  THE ENTIRE SERIES OF WALKER TEXAS RANGER!!! :) Dude, Martin, have you been listening to some pessimistic prophecy or something? Though I know some of the negative things towards Christianity in Canada is really bad.

But we're Christians! We're the Victors! Let the world end, because that means we can step up and show the world who God is. Who else will people turn to when everything is falling apart? --Cats and Dogs getting married and such.

But I feel this way, if I can't finish a project due to the Rapture or a bomb that place us in Planet of the Apes, it's cool. God says run the race. Run the race. As long as I'm preaching the word and using my gift to reach the lost and heal the sick, if it's cut short, it's cut short as long as i have done all i could do until  the radiation fallout mutate me into a three headed mindless brute name Bubba T.

Comment by D.L. Maffett on September 11, 2012 at 10:13pm

Big brother will be contacting you for editorial services, Because I truly need them.

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