Friday, September 30, 2011

Daily Batman

Hey, AFB. I've got a question for you. Remember that unnecessarily sentimental post I did yesterday (now here!) that I rewarded you with at the end with an awesome picture of Batman?  Would any of you be interested in more of that? And by more of that I mean more awesome pictures of Batman.

I think I might try to throw up an awesome picture of Batman on a daily basis and call it the Daily Batman. Clever, I know.  My main worry is that I might be limiting myself by making it just Batman. What if I run out of awesome pictures of Batman? Impossible! Haha. More likely, what if I come across other awesome comics pictures that I might want to share with the lovely Avid Fan Base?

Simple. Not only does Batman mean "Batman," but it also means "Awesome." So I'm covered either way.  Excellent.

Oh, and I know some of you might be asking, "What do daily pictures of Batman have to do with theology?" And I see what you're saying. But it's Batman. So your argument is invalid.

So here it is, your first true Daily Batman.

Cover to Batman: The Dark Knight #1. Art by David Finch.

Graphic Literature and the Point of Interface of Multiple Dimensions

Why do comics enthrall you so much?
Magic. It was always really fascinating to me that Superman was so much older than me and yet I could come along and write adventures with Superman in them and add to his life story. Then I could die and Superman would keep going, with other people writing stories to keep him alive. He's more real than I am because he has a longer lifespan and more influence, so this notion of the 'real' 2-dimensional world of the comics and what it had to say to the 'real' 3-dimensional world of non-fictional people. That really connected with me in a big way and helped me grapple with big ideas about the universe and life and death. I wanted to really 'make contact' with that world and bargain with its inhabitants. I saw it as the lynchpin of my magic. The comic universes are living breathing alternate worlds we can visit. And, if we're lucky enough to be comic book writers we get to play directly with the inhabitants and environments of the 2nd dimension. I wanted to travel in those worlds. By the time I was doing The Invisibles I had gotten past the idea of just putting a drawing of myself in a comic, as I did in Animal Man. I wanted to treat the story like a real continuum. I wanted to really get involved with the comic, in the two dimensional surface of the comic itself and at the point of interface where 2-d becomes 3-d and then touches 4-d. I wanted to see if I could exchange places with a comic book character, so I made myself look like King Mob, and started to have adventures so I would have stuff to write about.
- Grant Morrison

Thursday, September 29, 2011

CFP: On the Scholarship of Religion and Comic Books

I'm taking this straight from A. David Lewis' website.

Call for Papers: On the Scholarship of Religion and Comic Books

Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association

April 11-14, 2012
Boston, MA

Area: Religion & Culture, Comics & Comic Art (joint session)
Moderator: A. David Lewis (Boston University)

Overview:  The last half-dozen years have seen an explosion in U.S. publications addressing the intersection of religion and comics, but little has been said on the body of work taken as a whole. Outside of individual reviews, rarely are these works discussed in terms of their applications, their intertextuality, their audiences, their shortcomings, or the new questions they raise. This panel is to act as a forum addressing either portions of these works, entire books, their shared space, or the next steps to which they may all lead. In addition to the print publications recommended below, this panel also invites reflections on some of the websites and blogs conducting similar work, also listed:

Books: Superheroes: Religion and Popular Culture (2005), Up, Up, and Oy Vey (2006), Our Gods Wear Spandex (2007), Superheroes and Gods: A Comparative Study from Babylonia to Batman (2007), Disguised as Clark Kent (2007), Holy Superheroes! Revised and Expanded Edition (2008), From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books (2008), The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches (2008), Jews and American Comics (2008), India’s Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings, and Other Heroes (2009), Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels (2010), Supergods (2011), The Seven Spiritual Laws of the Superhero (2011), Do the Gods Wear Capes? (2011)

Online: “Comics Are My Religion” columns, “Religion and Comics” columns, By Rao! Religion and Religion site, Jewish Comics blog, Faith in Four Colors site

Other English-language, U.S. market pieces of scholarship may be considered, but the focus should remain on already-produced analysis, not on works-in-progress nor on the comics themselves. Submissions should be thoughtful reflections on how these pieces function, what opportunities they present, where they may fail, and what has been overlooked.

Abstracts of 100-250 words, a C.V., and brief bio are due by December 1 to ADL at bu dot edu for consideration.


See? I'm not alone in my crazy obsession with this topic!  There are others out there.  You should be afraid.

The First Truth of Batman

Warning: this is going to get rather sentimental.  But it's okay.  It's also going to contain a lot of Batman.

Maybe the most powerful aspect of stories is how we can relate to them.  A story can be absolutely outlandish, absurd and impossible, but still be good, if the reader can connect to it.  It doesn't even have to be a big connection.  Sometimes the smallest correlation between the story and the reader's life can make the biggest impact.

And sometimes that impact doesn't occur until long after we have finished with the story.  Narratives are meant to stick with us.  They linger in the recesses of the mind, ready to pop right back into our recollection whenever needed.  Many times when we first read a story we can find some aspect that reminds us of experiences we've had in life.  Sometimes, though, it is life that reminds us of a story.

This is one of those times.

Sacrilegious Comics

I don’t think there’s a built-in conflict or controversial element between comics and religion. But, like film, it’s a visual medium, and it invites spectacle. Unlike film, though, it’s far less policed and less corporately involved, so more extreme — and, yes, more sacrilegious — works can make it through to the market. Frankly, being sacrilegious isn’t a bad thing in and of itself; there can still be a great and entertaining story there. There can even be a useful message to or between religious communities. It’s when a work sets out to insult or persecute another group when the line must be drawn. Personally, I don’t think either Preacher or Chosen crosses that line.
- A. David Lewis

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In the Name of God

They do this in the name of God?
How could they think their God would approve of this?
But how could that same God take my mother and father from me?
- Red Robin #22
by Fabian Nicieza and Freddie Williams II

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Made-Up Story, You Idiot!

"People say kids can't understand the difference between fact and fiction, but that's bulls--t," he says. "Kids understand that real crabs don't sing like the ones in The Little Mermaid. But you give an adult fiction, and the adult starts asking really f--king dumb questions like 'How does Superman fly? How do those eyebeams work? Who pumps the Batmobile's tires?' It's a f--king made-up story, you idiot! Nobody pumps the tires!"
- Rolling Stone interview with Grant Morrison

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Poisoned Story

Savoy: So what's special about Jud Suss?
Lizzie: Goebbels turned it inside out. Turned it into its own opposite. Tommy! Tommy where are you?
Savoy: Don't evade the question, lady.
Lizzie: I"m not. It was a novel written by a Jew from a Jewish perspective. It became the most successful anti-Semitic movie of all time. Think about it.
Savoy: I'm thinking. Nothing is happening.
Lizzie: It's a canker. If you torture a story, it turns into a canker. This whole place formed around it--that's how powerful it is.
Lizzie: It--Wilson calls it a canker. It happens when a story gets corrupted or complicated too much. When the energy inside it gets poisoned.
Tom: So this is because of Goebbels? Because of the movie?
Lizzie: It's because of the contradictions. In the novel, Suss sins, but finds salvation through his religion. In the movie, he's just a monster. When enough people had seen the movie--there was a crisis. An imbalance.
 - The Unwritten #11
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Deal with Stories

So I was eating at Taco Bell the other day with a member of the AFB (Avid Fan Base).  All right, all right, you got me.  There is no AFB outside of the stories I tell about the AFB.  Well, this is one of those stories about the AFB.  Anyway, while I'm starting to munch on my delicious gordita that came with my $2 Meal Deal, the AFB asks me a question.  And, for simplicity's sake, I'm just going to refer to this one particular member of the imaginary AFB as a personification of the entire AFB.  Wait, how is that simple?'re interrupting the story.

The Song of Roland

Tom: It was a long time ago, Savoy. Twelve hundred years or so. The emperor Charlemagne had been campaigning in Spain, which was in Saracen hands. He won a lot of big victories. But on the way home, his rear guard was attacked at Roncevaux Pass and wiped out to a man. Someone wrote a song about it, and it hit the top of the charts. That's why this place was on the map. Not because of the battle, but because someone told the story of the battle.
- The Unwritten #6
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Tom: If it even happened.
Savoy: Wikipedia doesn't lie, Tom.
Tom: The point is, nobody knows. They only know what's in the poem. The Song of Roland. The song was like medieval viral marketing. It spread across Europe, and stirred up anti-Muslim feeling wherever it was sung. French kings led army after army into Spain to make it Christian again. Partly because that song kept the old wounds open and hurting.
- The Unwritten #7
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Tom: Savoy, just listen, okay? There never was any young, heroic Sir Roland. There was a fat, middle-aged baron named Hruodland who got shot off his horse in some stupid border skirmish. The rest is just the usual patriotic bulls--t. Great poetry, but still--bulls--t.
- The Unwritten #9
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Heard Only Silence

My Mom was a little religious, my Dad not at all.
So when she was killed--and my Dad was left in a coma--I didn't have a strong foundation of faith to turn to.
By the time my father was killed--then so many of my friends--all I had left to turn to was anger. It was easier than believing in a God who had let that happen.
But anger solved little and when the world was in crisis--
--I prayed.
I heard only silence.
So I confessed my sins...and realized I had none.
How could someone who tried so hard to be good--did so much for so many people--be asked to endure so much?
...God works in mysterious ways...
- Red Robin #22
by Fabian Nicieza and Freddie Williams II

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You're a Character in a Book

Tom: Look, you're not real. You can't be.
Frankenstein's Monster: You said the same thing to the cat. It seems a foolish thing to say, in the face of such compelling evidence.
Tom: You're a character in a book. A really old book that nobody reads. You standing there--talking--it's like a bad joke. If you're real, then Br'er Rabbit is real. And Dracula. And the Tooth Fairy.
Frankenstein's Monster: And--Christ, perhaps.
Tom: Yeah. Him, too.
- The Unwritten #7
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Superman, Canon, and Gospels

Greetings, AFB!  That's Avid Fan Base, to those of you not in the know.  And if you are a part of the Avid Fan Base, then you absolutely know what I call you because the Avid Fan Base exists totally in my head.  It's all imaginary.  But just because it's imaginary doesn't mean it isn't real.  I mean, here I am, writing about the AFB.  And there you are, reading about the AFB.

Anyway, let's talk about stories about Superman.  And let's talk about stories about Jesus.  And then let's talk about how Superman can teach us to value stories about Jesus that were not written down by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

This may get a tad heretical.  Consider yourself warned.

As True As Any Other

C-3PO: ...Freedom attracts oppressors and power corrupts. But good won over evil and hope was restored. A hope that started with a young boy on a desolate world. There...see? I told you I wasn't very good at telling stories.
Remoh: Is the story true?
C-3PO: As true as any other.
- "Storyteller" in Star Wars Tales #19
by Jason Hall and Paul Lee

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Greek Translation

Sarge: Probably, but, I mean, that wasn't even his real name...his name was Joshua...She's all in my face about a Greek translation.
Stacy: His name was Josh Christ?
Sarge: Naw, he was like Josh Lipshitz or something, some Jewish name...Christ just means Messiah...
Stacy: do you know all this, Sergeant Davies?
Sarge: Because I'm a detective, I investigate things.  It's my nature.
- Gotham Central #4
by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark

Monday, September 19, 2011

Window Into Another Universe

The comics medium is a very specialized area of the Arts, home to many rare and talented blooms and flowering imaginations and it breaks my heart to see so many of our best and brightest bowing down to the same market pressures which drive lowest-common-denominator blockbuster movies and television cop shows. Let's see if we can call time on this trend by demanding and creating big, wild comics which stretch our imaginations. Let's make living breathing, sprawling adventures filled with mind-blowing images of things unseen on Earth. Let's make artefacts that are not faux-games or movies but something other, something so rare and strange it might as well be a window into another universe because that's what it is.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Only Thing Worth Dying For

Tom: It's--It's a story. It's just a story, man. It's not worth dying for!
Count: Just a story? Tell that to the Greeks who fought at Troy, Tommy.
Tom: Wh-What?
Count: Tell the women burned as witches. The Rosenbergs. Sacco and Vanzetti. Tell the martyrs of all the religions and the millions who fell in all the wars since time began. Stories are the only thing worth dying for!
- The Unwritten # 1
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aren't they all?

This is an IMAGINARY STORY...         Aren't they all?
- Superman: Whatever Happened 
to the Man of Tomorrow?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wednesday Theology. Wait. What?

Okay, okay.  I've been getting asked by a lot of people lately exactly what Wednesday Theology is.  Actually, that's not true at all.  No one's been asking me that.  But sometimes I like to pretend that I have an avid fan base.  And in my imagination, said fan base would be so intrigued by the notion of this Wednesday Theology that they would incessantly ask me about it to the point where I thought it would just be best to talk about it here for the benefit for everyone.  Everyone being, in this case, an imaginary fan base.  Hey, they may be imaginary, but at least they're avid.

Excuse me while I google "avid" to make sure I'm using that right.

Yup, we're golden.

All right, so I went to seminary to get my Master of Arts in Bible and Theology.  My thesis is about comic books and is entitled Wednesday Theology: Theology and Language in Graphic Literature.  Yeah, I went to a seminary where they let me write a thesis about comic books.  That's how I roll.

So where did I get Wednesday Theology from?  Well, for most Christians, they acquire the majority of their theological views from weekly church services.  As is tradition, such services are usually held on Sunday mornings.  This can be considered Sunday Theology.  Now, it's probably not too deep or sophisticated theology.  I don't imagine many preachers are breaking out Karl Barth from behind the pulpit.  But what the attendees hear still shape their theological views.  Simple theology is still theology.  Even outright bad theology is still theology.

But what if one were to look to comic books, or graphic novels, or graphic literature, for some theological insight?  Well, that can be done pretty much any day.  However, the current market tradition is that new comic books are usually released on Wednesday each week.  If we go to church for theology, it's Sunday Theology.  If we go to the local comic book store for theology, it's Wednesday Theology.  Make sense?

Fine then.  Be that way.

But I thought it was clever.

And that is pretty much it.  New comics come out on Wednesday, so I get new theology from comics on Wednesday.  And then I wait for the inevitable question: "What on earth do comic books have to do with theology?"

Quite a bit, it turns out.  But that's pretty much true for any pop culture medium.  Film, television, and literature are all game to have their theology examined.  Graphic literature, though, tends to be neglected in this area.  Graphic literature tends to be neglected in a whole lot of areas.  But that's slowly changing.  Because there are crazy people out there talking at length about absurd topics like theology and comic books.

For this, I could simply explore theological issues raised by certain comics.  And that is a fruitful venture.  But Wednesday Theology isn't limited to that.  The very structure and mechanics of the format can lead to some very fun ideas.  I talked before about Animal Man and meta fiction, and I think there's something very unique about the comic book format that allows for such unusual tales.  Animal Man is but one example.

And then there's the gutter -- that space between two panels -- that leads to so much academic fun.  The panels, the pictures that make up the comic, are mere moments in time.  The gutter separates them with an eternal void that we, the readers, must fill.  On a single page we can be presented with past, present, future, and all the time in-between all at once.  It's almost...sacramental.  

But that's getting a little ahead of myself there.  I still don't have everything worked out, but who does?  These are the ideas going through my head constantly.  So if I seem a little weird, that's one of the reasons why.  But hopefully now you all have a little better understanding of just what I mean when I throw around the phrase Wednesday Theology.

And by "you all" I mean my imaginary avid fan base.  And, of course, the few real people of you out there that I bug enough until you reluctantly agree to read this.

Or I could just write a story about the imaginary avid fan base until it becomes more "real" than the real people actually reading this.  Hmm, I may be on to something here.

Or maybe I just need to stop reading meta fiction.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comics, Metafiction, Theology. The Things I Normally Think About

So I finished Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man today.  Did I tell you this already?  Oh well.  I knew it got trippy at the end, but I didn't know just how much.  Especially since it started out so mundane and, well, mostly normal.  It didn't seem like anything to special.  Until the end of the run of 26 issues when it began folding back to things happening in the very first few issues.  The dude had it all planned out.  Or at least tied it all back together.

It was a wonderful piece of meta fiction.  Animal Man eventually begins to realize he is in a comic book, and the last issue is him and Morrison talking about that fact.  Yeah, and it also deals with a lot of the Crisis On Infinite Earth maxi-series in the 80's where DC tried to reconjigger their continuities so it all kinda made sense.  This inevitably led to many old and obscure characters being completely wiped from the existence/history on the in-story continuity of the DC Universe.  Except in Animal Man there's one crazy guy that remembers it all, and his memories start to bring them back to life.
It actually covers some of the same ground that the three-part South Park episode "Imaginationland" addresses.  I don't know if you ever saw that.  But it deals with stories, and characters, and the notion of "real."  In South Park, a character points to Santa Clause, I think, and opines that of course Santa is real.  Santa's been around long before I was ever born, and he'll be around long after I'm dead.  If anything, Santa is more real than I am.

Morrison addresses the issue in a similar manner.  His run on Animal Man was during the end of the 1980s.  But Animal Man was originally (and still kinda is) an old and rather obscure character that first appeared in 1965.  In his final issue, Morrison tells Animal Man that he was only a boy when Animal Man was first created.  But because of these stories, Animal Man will be around long after Morrison is gone.  In a way, the character becomes more real than the creator that writes his stories.  This is only compounded the more people read and remember these stories and characters.

You know me.  I'm flesh and blood.  I'm real.  Harry Potter is not.  He's just a fictional character.  But millions and millions of people have read, watched, and experienced in some way the life of Harry Potter.  There may be a couple hundred, maybe a couple thousand or so, people that are aware of my existence.  But millions of people are aware of Harry Potter.  Millions of people know him intimately.  And that collective unconscious breathes much more life into Harry Potter than I'll ever have.  Especially because his stories are likely to always live on.  At least for a long long time after I'm gone.

So who's more "real?"

This is what I think about when I read comics.  And I'm starting to think like this when I read the Bible.  And part of me is starting to wonder, at least hypothetically, if the Bible could also be a form of meta fiction.  Well, maybe meta fiction isn't quite the right label for this idea.  But what if it, or any other story, isn't so much an account of people or history or ideas, but an intentional tool to tap into our collective unconsciousness and shape it and form it.  Instead of reality shaping the story, the story shapes reality.  Think about it.  How much of the past 2000 years -- culture, politics, history, society -- has been shaped by the story of a man dying on a cross?

This is a little bit of something The Unwritten by Mike Carey and Peter Gross is also getting into.  The last issue seemed to note that Jewish people, in particular, tend to tell stories that change the world.  Moses.  Jesus.  Superman.

Oh, the new issue of The Unwritten comes out today.  I'll definitely have to pick that up.  There may be some Wednesday Theology in it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Theology? Comic Books? Absolutely!

I saw into another world and it was worse than this one.  It was like I glimpsed Heaven and...and it wasn't paradise.  It was more like Hell.
What if God, or whoever it is, created us to be better than himself?  What if God's reality...Heaven, if you like...what if it's so bad that he had to imagine us to help make his life bearable? 
- Animal Man #19
by Grant Morrison

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Continuing Adventures of Angle the Angel

"This is getting stupid!" shouted Pastor.

"Just keep shooting!" Angle hollered back.

Angle was an Angel.  In many languages his name and form of being was not humorous.  In English it was rather humorous.  Angle did not find this fact very humorous at all.

Now, the natural form of an angel is utterly terrifying to most people.  Witnesses to such a sight are immediately overcome with uncontrollable fear, panic, and involuntary bowel movements.  For this reason an angel will spend most of his time visiting Earth in the assumed guise of a human, unless he's heralding a divine decree and needs the audience to unquestionably know just what sort of being is before them.

Angle spent a lot of time on Earth.  But he had never settled on a particular human appearance that he fancied.  He constantly tweaked his form by growing, shrinking, thinning, fattening, and outright changing his entire look on occasion.  Currently his form closely resembled Tom Selleck.  Tom Selleck without a mustache, anyway.  Except Tom Selleck without a mustache doesn't really look anything like Tom Selleck at all.

And this is exactly what Angle looked like.

Pastor, on the other hand, looked exactly like a pastor.  If one were to picture a pastor, Pastor would come awfully close to fitting that image.  Pastor had the build, height, and even hair of a pastor.  He looked exactly like one.  Except that he was sitting next to an angel who looked like Tom Selleck without a mustache (which doesn't look anything like Tom Selleck), speeding down a twisting, mountain highway in a Jeep with its top down, all the while shooting a heavenly weapon at a pack of demons that was chasing them.

"I am shooting the Compys," replied Pastor in agitated frustration.  "It's not working!"

The demons chasing their Jeep were not really called Compys.  Their actual name was far too long and unpronounceable to be used in daily conversation.  The hosts of Heaven began referring to them as Compys in 1997 when two bored angels went to a showing of The Lost World: Jurassic Park.  That was the Jurassic Park movie without Sam Neil.  During the film, one of the angels joked that the Compsognathus dinosaur, which was as small as a chicken and hunted in packs, humorously resembled those demons with a name far too long and unpronounceable to be used in daily conversation.  His companion agreed with such uproarious laughter that an usher was required to escort them out of the theater.

Two consequences resulted from this incident.  First, all the angels and anyone that associates with angels now refer to these demons simply as Compys.  Second, those two angels still have never seen any of The Lost World past the part where the Russian cosmonaut from Armageddon is attacked and killed by Compys.  They insist to one day see the rest of the movie, but so far haven't found the time.

The Jeep swerved sharply as Angle found himself driving a little too close to the edge of the winding road.  He had to do a better job of keeping his eyes on the road while arguing with Pastor about the best way to kill Compys.

"Use the Wind Gun!" he continued shouting.

"I am using the Wind Gun!  Nothing it shoots out is working!"

"Just keep firing," Angle insisted, his grip tightening over the steering wheel as they approached another sharp turn that they were traveling at way too fast a speed to navigate safely.

Pastor continued to point the bulky, bulbous gun behind him.  The midday sun gleamed off the weapon's shiny surface which was composed of some manner of shimmering heavenly steel.  It was quite heavy, but in a way that was light and easy to hold.  It was wholly unwieldy, but in a way that made it accurate and easy to aim.  And on occasion, when Pastor pulled the trigger, it did shoot out wind from the long barrel.  But it wasn't really a wind gun.

The Hebrew word sometimes translated as "wind" (approximately ruach) actually has a variety of meanings, including breath, spirit, soul, and perhaps even odor or smell.  It also had another rare meaning that had long been lost to the scribes.  This obscure meaning roughly translates to "gelatinous, foul smelling fish soaked in lye."

Through pure happenstance, and unusual monk named Hank rediscovered this definition during the Crusades.  Most people never listened to Hank.  Everyone stopped listening to him completely as soon as he began expounding the theological merits of eating fish soaked in lye.

For reasons unknown, Hank migrated north to Scandinavia to spread his new found gospel of the foul fish.  For reasons even more unknown, many people in Scandinavia actually accepted it.  They dubbed it lutefisk and ate it as a sacramental meal revering the concentrated power of divine creation.  As previously, though, this meaning was once again lost and today nobody really knows why anybody eats lutefisk.

But they do eat it.  Many Lutheran churches in the American Midwest still hold lutefisk dinners periodically.  Mostly this is done in an odd attempt to acknowledge and honor their Scandinavian heritage.  "My great-grand daddy ate this, so I'm going to eat it!" said a Minnesotan Lutheran once before spending the next forty-five minutes in the bathroom.

Unbeknownst to these lutefisk eaters, they're actually partaking in a long lost sacrament, participating with God and the world in experiencing the grand power of creation.

So, while the gun Pastor frantically fired was commonly known, at least to those sorts of beings that commonly know these sorts of things, as the Wind Gun, it actually operated on the premise of the word's many meanings.  It would cycle through shooting out blasts of wind, spirit, breath, and even smell.  These emissions were hard for Pastor to differentiate, but eventually he began to notice another, more unique, projectile shooting out from the gun's barrel.

About every seventh time he pulled the trigger, a translucent, quivering, fishy substance of questionable odor shot into the air towards the Compys.  And when this substance hit a Compy the results were devastating for it was being hit with the concentrated power of divine creation.  The same devastation happens inside the stomachs of all who partake in church lutefisk dinners.

Once Pastor realized this effect (on the Compys, not Lutheran digestive systems) he timed his shots carefully so every seventh shot, the lutefisk shot, would be a direct hit and obliterate a Compy.  He cheered and hollered with excitement as the ravenous pack of demons was reduced to slime on the pavement.  Satisfied, he set the gun down, turned around in his seat and relaxed as Angle slowed down to a less hazardous speed.

"So, where are we going again?"

"To see a guy," Angle calmly replied.

Pastor was skeptical.  "Is he actually a guy or, you know, something else?"

"No, no, he's actually human.  His wife, however," Angle smiled wryly, "is actually a 12 foot tall spider."

"Evil spider?"

"Mmhmm, aren't they all?"

"Right," Pastor leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes.  "Save the man, kill the giant spider."  Before long he was napping as Angle the Angel drove them to yet another adventure.