Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bible Stories 002

I did this one (and the next two) on the same day as the first. Easy enough when you're just "drawing" dots in a field of black.

The punchline is a very slight allusion to a Bill Maher joke. He's making fun of the Christian concept of God having a son and he says, "What is this, Bonanza?" I didn't count on anyone catching the allusion (especially since it's barely an allusion at all, and since it's maybe even better if they didn't), and I also set up a rule for myself that allusions are allowed but not if it is required that the audience know them in order for it to be funny. I don't like allusion or parody for the sake of parody. (Family Guy, for example, will just have characters do an entire scene from a movie, with no comment or further reason other than "Hey, remember this? Hey, look, we're doing this.") For this particular strip, the joke works by itself. You don't even necessarily have to know about Bonanza (though I'm willing to hear arguments to the contrary).

Make what you want of the use of the word abracadabra.

This will be the last time that the clunky identifying arrow is used. I originally had it again for the following strip, but my wife said it was beginning to look like one of those MTV reality shows where names pop up every time someone appears on the screen.

Now for the theological stuff. I said in the previous commentary that I was taking the Bible more or less literally for these strips. However, you'll notice, a "Son of God" doesn't appear in Genesis. But I had a few reasons for introducing this character. For one, Genesis does imply that there were multiple gods involved in the creation of the world (or at least some non-humans). I also knew that eventually the Jesus story would appear in the narrative (though I'll never get to it in my lifetime), so I wanted to go ahead and set that up. In certain traditions (including Jehovah's Witnesses), God creates his son and his son creates everything else, so that the son is the creator god, not the father. Most of all, I wanted to create two characters who could talk to each other (as opposed to a lonely god talking to himself), so it was handy to have two. This allowed me to set up characters with specific characteristics and dynamics, which begin to appear soon.

I already had plans for using the color yellow for the new dot, which you'll see many strips from now.

Every now and then, I regret straying from the literalness of Genesis, but -- in this case -- I'm ultimately glad I decided to jump testaments and introduce this Christian character.

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