Monday, June 27, 2011

Bible Stories 013



Day six is when the land animals (including, eventually, humans) appear. This particular strip should give you an idea of how long a "day" is. The Bible, of course, doesn't have dinosaurs, but my strip does, since I felt they were important enough to be represented.

God "revealing" himself to a creature is just another way of saying that the creature is achieving a higher consciousness. According to this story, dinosaurs almost achieved it, but then went "extinct." I tend to side with those scientists who say that many kinds of dinosaurs evolved into birds (though some types became extinct in the usual sense of the word), and I figured an ostrich would be the closest visual approximation to get that idea across (whether the connection shown is scientifically accurate or not).

The fact that the Tyrannosaurus Rex evolves into an ostrich during the gods' conversation demonstrates not only the speediness of time (from God's point of view) but the slowness of God (from ours). So if it seems that 2,000 years between Jesus and now (for example) is a long time, it's not--not compared to the difference between panel three and panel four of this comic.

As far as technical matters go, I had to make the choice between whether to draw the animals myself (on the computer or by hand) or just use images from the internet. I went with the latter, obviously, figuring if this comic ever got picked up, I'd do the difficult work later (whether that meant replacing the images or getting permission).

Story-wise, the narrative seems to be following the Son trying his best to impress his dad and failing. But something tells me it will all work out for him.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bible Stories 012



We finally leave outer space and enter earth, which means the backgrounds become less dazzling (and less black) and more mundane: the flat green grass and blue sky that will dominate lots of the strip from now on. This is day five, which is when the creatures of water and sky are created. I go ahead and hint at day six as well, when land animals appear. Of course, Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are two different stories, in which these things are all out of order and different things happen, so (like so many before me), I quietly ignored these things and pretended they were one story, trying to maintain as much of both as possible.

I also wanted to incorporate current science, so -- like the big bang before this -- we're introduced to the slow process of evolution. The Son would like to show off all these new creatures he has in mind to his dad, but instead there are only single-celled organisms. But you have to give him credit: at least one out of the three pictured here eventually did exist.

You'll notice that these "days" are incredibly long. I'm not following the "one day is as a thousand years to God" bullshit (where people ignore the word "as" and forget how to read simile): that's way too little time for what's going on here. But I am, in these early strips, following "God time" where things are moving along at what we'd call a rapid pace.

I have a warm place in my heart for Phil, the father (and mother) of us all.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bible Stories 011



After doing the last one, with the gods are spherical and planet-shaped, I figured I'd do a dumb, image-based joke. No theology.

Are the gods planet-sized? Not necessarily. You'll see them soon interacting with people, being about the size of their heads. Here, though, they're a little smaller than Mercury. They're gods: they're whatever size they wanna be.

Funny, of course, that they're talking about something named "Mercury," another god. Since the premise of this comic is that everything is translated into contemporary English, the planets get called what we call them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bible Stories 010



Day four and the creation of "the lights" and stars. Since planets are more or less spherical, I decided they were "in God's image" since my version of God is also spherical. In 2-D, he might just look like a flat disc, but he's meant to be a sphere.

I went with nine planets, which means that God, too, doesn't like to admit that Pluto isn't a planet (not that he calls it one here). No one would have known about Uranus and Neptune during the time the Bible was written, and the Earth would have been in the middle of the universe, the Sun revolving around it, and the planets would have been attached to a dome-like covering of a flat earth, but -- hey -- God wasn't as ignorant of the writers of the Bible, so I went with the more recent model of the solar system.

I based the temperaments of the planets (and, hence, of God) on the gods they're named after: God being a combo of all these gods into one. (I'll let you look those things up if you need to. I don't feel like going through all the Roman gods' personalities and stories.) My friend Lori thought I was poking fun at those multi-colored faith bracelets or whatever they're called, but I wasn't (though I see the similarity).

The summer home joke is funny to me, cause -- you know -- I mean, it's pretty hot there. Since the gods live in "heaven," I pretty much have them hanging around in outer space all the time, which is a lot further away from the Biblical conception of heaven (that dome idea again), but we gotta mix ancient with contempo.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bible Stories 009



Day three is the "dry land" day, and once again I turn to reality for part of the joke, in this case Pangaea, the land mass that eventually broke apart. The image of the globe is one someone made during the Pangaea days, which may not be too obvious at first glance.

I also set up the idea that the Son of God would be "laissez-faire" by nature. Not only would he allow the expansion of the universe and evolution to do their things, but he would try to let people do their own things as well, interfering as little as possible, but nudging them in the right direction when he felt he needed to. His father, however, would become more impatient and hot-headed.

The punchline here is just a dumb "your mama" joke, of which I allowed myself just this one. More generally, this is a non sequitur joke, which are funny in small doses, but they're very easy to write, and I didn't want my strip to be riddled with them. In August of the year I created Bible Stories, I created The Insightfulness of Itduz Nutfellow, which is a comic about non sequiturs. With many of the Bible Stories, I am initially more concerned with the plots, characters, theories, etc. and not as much with the punchline, which explains the temptation for something like this.

Oh, but the punchline is also a good joke and bit of character weirdness too, since the suggestion is that God has a mother. In fact, mothers don't exist at all yet (as far as we know).