Friday, July 8, 2011

Bible Stories 016

The first human (and penis!) in the strip. The design of the characters is similar to those in my "Carrie" comic, maybe even more basic and less stylized here. They're slightly fancy stick figures, which I wanted to be easy to manipulate.

I knew Adam and Eve would be naked, but I chose to just draw clothes-less sticks rather than accentuating naughty bits--unless, of course, those bits are needed, as in this case.

Adam is black, naturally, so he gets the appropriate skin color and hair. Throughout the strip, the skin color is different for every character. (Very few are identical.) Most of the time, the color is meaningless, but sometimes it has a purpose. I do try to mirror actual human skin colors.

Although Adam is human, I wanted him to have some pre-human features, too (the Son is calling him a "cave man"), mostly in the arms.

I considered using translations of the names of the characters throughout the strip rather than the proper names themselves, since most Hebrew names can be translated into words. Adam can be translated to both "man/mankind" or "earth/ground." Eve is "life." Though I still think it would be a good idea for a translation of the Bible, since it would make the stories make more sense and -- in this case -- would demonstrate the allegorical nature of the Eden (which translates to "delight" or "plain") story more apparent, in the end I decided to stick with the names themselves, which is how we know these characters. When spellings varied, I used the ones given by the New Revised Standard Version (my translation of choice, though the KJV is my artistic favorite).

Adam here, of course, isn't created from scratch by God. He is chosen from among existing humans who have evolved over long periods of time, all happening in this short amount of "days." (Notice that the sky is slightly darker now than in previous strips.) I don't think this idea goes against either account of creation (Genesis 1 or 2), since mankind was described as being formed out of the dust of the ground, which is still true here (and in science). The "breath of life" is the important thing, the "inspiration" of God, and the second panel lists some of the things used to distinguish men from beasts: anything that goes beyond mere survival and propagation of the species, what might be called "spiritual" things. Adam's first question seems to be a nice mix of both godly and beastly (though some would disagree).

So here we have him: the first "man."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bible Stories 015

I still wonder if this particular strip was a wise move, the reference to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the monolith. I do allusions in the comic, yes, but I never make a reader's knowledge of them necessary to understand the strip. But, with this one, you have to know the movie and the idea that the monolith promotes evolution (and use of tools).

The reference to Lucy the Australopithecus is fine, since it's not an allusion, just information that I assume everyone knows. In the end, I think I determined that 2001 is known enough to be used, but I still think maybe it crosses my art and Kubrick's art in too direct a way. (I use an actual still from the movie, after all.)

Besides my personal agonies, the strip introduces more frustration with the "laissez-faire" of the Son, more interference with the Father (this time unsolicited), and the concept of the "breath of life" that appears in Genesis, which I use as the thing that separates man from beast, the thing that makes man an animal with a little god inside of him.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bible Stories 014

Holy cow! Well, almost. Here is proof that cows were designated by God to be eaten. I put a lot of God's words to (eventually) humans here, which seems to work. The way the cow manure is drawn in the last panel is a reference to the DUSKBUSTERS!, but you already knew that.