Thursday, September 13, 2012

Job 7

A Contract With God
Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No Love In Revenge

Superman: What if I was just a man, who came to you and said that his wife was taken away from him, and he wanted the world to pay for that?
Father Leone: I'd say that there is no love in revenge.
- Superman #206
by Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It Ain't Easy

Father Leone: Hi, John.
John: Hey, Father Leone, what can I get for you? The peaches -- out of this world.
Father Leone: How's Randy?
John: Ah! Y'know... kids.
Father Leone: He's not sick is he?
John: No...
Listen, Father, Me 'r the missus should have called... but Randy, y'know, kids -- they hear things, they get confused, they don' know what to think...
Their friends... the abuse, the names...
It ain't easy.
Father Leone: No, it's not.
John: We just think it's better for him, if maybe for a while...
Father Leone: You're probably right.
Y'know, kids.
Tell him he's always welcome back.
John: I will father. Thanks for understanding.
Enjoy the peaches.
- Superman #205
by Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee

Sunday, September 2, 2012


 *Other People Are Crazy, Too.
This is where I'm just going to dump random links that don't really have anything in common except for dealing with theology and graphic literature. Or theology and pop culture. Or just theology. Or just graphic literature. Or just pop culture.

Or just because I think it's cool.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MitchWords: Part Nine

 What do I do on my birthday? I tell Death to screw off for another year.

That mentality seems especially poignant this year. I won't soften it: the past year has been full of disappointment, pain, heartbreak, and misery. Anyone that has been following MitchWords knows my story, so I won't recount the details here. Instead I want to declare, on this day of my birth, that in the midst of this personal storm...

Wednesday Theology is rising.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Update: Ailment Drama

Hey there, AFB (that's Avid Fan Base to those in the know. To those not in the know, the Avid Fan Base is the fictional readership that reads this blog). So those 66 Days of Preacher, huh? Good fun, right? And they sort of just stopped without any warning. Yeah, about that...

It's still happening. They will continue. There will just need to be a delay. Time restraints demand that I breeze ahead through the rest of the issues with great swiftness, meaning I must postpone taking the time to write up a summary and musing of the theological implications of each issue. But when this other project I'm tackling (more about that soon) is more under control, I'll get back to where I left off and the insanity of the tale of Jesse Custer and crew can continue.

Oh, and the ailment drama. Yeah, I have succumbed to a cold. And anyone that knows me is well aware that my immune system sucks (and may actually hate me). What will be a simple 24 hour bug for most people tends to knock me out for a solid two weeks. All this means is that I'm falling even more behind. With everything!

But that's life, don't you know? Only make plans if you want said plans to be ruined.

So the plan is (see what I did there?) that within the next few days Preacher will return, as will a series of Daily Quotes that I have lined up. Even if I'm not writing and posting, I'm always reading and always thinking. I'm always doing Wednesday Theology.

Can't shut it off.

Won't shut it off.

- Mitch.
Bitter. Sarcastic. Handsome.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

66 Days of Preacher: Day 6

The adventure in New York continues! Detectives Tool and Bridges investigate further into the Reaver-Cleaver murders! Tulip and Jesse argue! Cassidy swears a lot! And Jesse continues to literally look for God...

Standard Preacher NSFW protocols apply.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

66 Days of Preacher: Day 5

The next three issues act as a bit of an interlude. Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy visit New York, escaping all the madness of Texas. No angels. No demons. No Saint of All Killers. Just sight seeing, looking for God, and a serial killer...

Standard Preacher NSFW protocols apply. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

66 Days of Preacher: Day 4

Well, here it is. Issue four of Preacher and it is great. Plenty of crazy stuff happens in these pages and the main MacGuffin, or plot, for the series is explained to us. By the end of this issue Jesse Custer will be on a mission.

And all of Heaven will be dead set on stopping him.

Standard Preacher NSFW protocols apply.

Monday, July 16, 2012

66 Days of Preacher: Day 3

Angels! Demons! Vampires! Saint of All Killers! Genesis! This issue brings us closer to the main plot line of the series and its theological thrust that compels me to write about Preacher.

Standard Preacher NSFW protocols apply.

Friday, July 13, 2012

66 Days of Preacher: Day 2

When we last left our exciting tale, our three protagonists were on the run from the police as well as the menacing Saint of All Killers. Bad things were about to happen. Well, more bad things. Let's get right to it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

66 Days of Preacher: Day 1

Okay, here we go. Whenever I pondered the possibility of exploring theology in graphic literature the first title that came to mind was Preacher. This series exists as 66 issues (as well as some one shots and spinoffs, but we'll leave them be for now) and is one of my favorite series I've ever read. It's right up there with Y: The Last Man and The Walking Dead. Written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Steve Dillon, Preacher is an awesome joyride of a story filled with some of the most insane scenarios I have seen in any storytelling medium.

It's also incredibly blasphemous, heretical, offensive, irreverent, and brilliant. I read through the series years ago, before the concept of Wednesday Theology ever occurred to me. So it's well past time I read through it again and write down some thoughts.

One issue at a time.

Since this is Preacher, be advised that everything that follows should be considered relatively to extremely Not Safe For Work. So, if you're faint of heart, easily offended, or, you know, my mother, you might not want to read on.

Repay the Debt

Bird: Sounds to me like you're lookin' a gift horse in the mouse.
Dancy: Looking a gift horse in the mouth, bird. Not Mouse.
Maisie: You don't say.
All boils down to whether or not she's grateful, whether or not she's willin' to repay the debt.
Dancy: Debt? Christian folk, they don't do good and then expect--
- Alabaster: Wolves #3
by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Steve Lieber

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hope Against Hope

Wonder Woman: This is madness, Kal-El!
It was called The Vanishing, a hopeful name in the face of hopelessness.
For all we know, those people could be gone forever, and our only hope is that they didn't suffer.
Superman: For all I believe...
...they're alive.
Wonder Woman: You have no proof!
Superman: Diana... I don't need proof.
I have something stronger.
I have faith.
- Superman #211
by Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Live Up To His Myth

Asmodel: Yield!
Superman: Never!
Flash: This is the guy who said he couldn't live up to his myth.
He's wrestling an angel...
- JLA #7
by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Bird: You ain't listening to me. You don't want to be here. Where you think you're headin'?
Dancy: Like I said, a church.
Guardian angel or not, I still have it in my head a house of the Lord means sanctuary.
- Alabaster Wolves #2
by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Steve Lieber

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Succeed Where Lucifer Failed

Asmodel: You have chosen to stand at the traitor's side.
Zauriel: He's going to rebel, see? He's waited a million years.
And he thinks he can succeed where Lucifer failed.
Asmodel: Accursed of Heaven!
- JLA #7
by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter

Monday, June 11, 2012

The God Who Dies

WILSON TAYLOR saw the real world, and he wrote about it. It's a world where magic works and where the greatest of all wizards, Tommy Taylor, died and was resurrected to bring us a message of peace and love.
If that sounds familiar, we're not supprised. The story of the god who dies and then is returned to life was so powerful that it created echoes through all the other worlds and all through time and all through the traditions of other religions. The first ever resurrected god long, long before Jesus Christ - was the Sumerian god TAMMUZ. Yeah, that name sounds familiar, too, doesn't it?
The real world of Tommy retroactively creates worlds in which Tommy is just a story. But it's OUR world that's fictional, and now the cracks are starting to show. When you stop believing in the fiction, you'll wake into the reality. Tommy is already here, to show you it's possable to show you the way.
- The Unwritten #37
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MitchWords: Part Eight

Sometimes I don't really feel like a Christian. No, not in that "I'm not morally or behaviorally correct enough to be considered a Christian" kind of way. I always feel that way. I'm incredibly self-analytical and always judging myself as harshly as possible. Someone once questioned if I'm a good enough person, or Christian, to be writing a blog about Christian theology. Of course I'm not! I am well aware of my sins and faults which I will always struggle with. In my own mind, I am the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 11:15). But if we waited until a pastor or preacher was 100% perfect and sinless before we let them get behind the pulpit, a sermon would never be preached on this earth again.

No, that's not what I mean when I say I sometimes don't feel like a Christian. What I mean is I don't always feel like I'm the stereotypical Christian I'm supposed to be when I claim to be a Christian. Spirituality has never been my strong suit. Devoted prayer and worship has never come easy to me. This can make one feel rather out of place when they grow up in a Pentecostal tradition. Now, I'm not critiquing expressive worship. Indeed, I rather enjoy attending enthusiastic worship meetings. I'm just usually the reserved guy standing at the side, hands in his pockets, taking it all in.

What usually gets me excited about God, though, are the details, intricacies, and problematic quandaries of Christianity. There is a certain feeling of joy when I ponder the absurdities of the faith. In general I am admittedly a nerd. I know more about the Star Wars universe that takes place beyond the movies than most people probably do about the stories contained within the 6 main films. It only makes sense that I would apply this same obsessive fascination with obscure minutia to my faith. If I feel like I don't fulfill the role of a Christian particularly well, maybe I better embody the notion of a Christ-nerd.

Monday, May 21, 2012

This is Relevant to My Thesis

Captain America: There's only one God, ma'am. And I'm pretty sure he doesn't dress like that. 
As of this writing, The Avengers has made $457 million. Domestically. Worldwide, the film's total gross is $1.18 billion, according to Box Office Mojo. You may never have read a comic about the Avengers in your life, but it looks like there's a good chance you saw the movie.

Yeah, my thesis is relevant. It is very relevant.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Power to Make the Dead Live Again

It would be tempting, wouldn't it?
All it would take, really, is the will. Oh, certainly every last vestige of willpower that could be summoned.
But it would be tempting.
Think of it.
The power to resurrect that which no longer exists...or create that which only exists in the mind's eye. All of it perfect in every detail.
The power to make the dead live again...
...To redress any wrong...
...To rewrite history with a happy ending.
The power to be God.
 - Green Lantern #48
by Ron Marz and Bill Willingham

Friday, May 11, 2012

Previously Legitimized Environments

Entertainment theology is simply ideas about God that emerge outside of previously legitimized environments and structures of mediation.
- Entertainment Theology: New-Edge
Spirituality in a Digital Democracy
by Barry Taylor

Friday, May 4, 2012


What you did learn, repeatedly, was that it doesn't matter one bit how much good you do in this lifetime.
No matter how much you give, or for how long, or how hard you try...
...All it takes is one mistake to make you irredeemable.
- Irredeemable #24
by Make Waid, Peter Krause, and Diego Barreto

Thursday, May 3, 2012

MitchWords: Part Seven

One of the issues I encounter with examining theology in graphic literature is that the theology usually isn't very good. I've found ways it can make me pause, explore related issues, and come up with a (hopefully) thoughtful analysis. But the problem still stands that, on the surface, most of it just isn't sound, correct, or orthodox theology. I've opined before that this might be due to pop culture allowing for an avenue to critique matters of religion that you'll never hear in a church.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Church that Hunted Them

Maybe it's a survival adaptation?
Mice have evolved so they panic and run away from the smell of cat urine...
...Because mice who avoid cats are more likely to live and pass on their genes.
Maybe it's the same for vampires who ran from symbols of the church that hunted them?
- Witch Doctor #0
by Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner

Monday, April 30, 2012

Showed a Temper

We all want to believe that Tony has no darkness in him, Qubit, but the thing we can never talk about is how long that can possibly last.
All the pressure he's under, all the expectations the world puts on him...he'll break. Anyone would. Qubit, even Jesus showed a temper.
 - Irredeemable #18
by Make Waid and Peter Krause

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's A Good Life

There's this old Twilight Zone episode called "It's A Good Life." It's about a farm town ruled by an omnipotent little boy who can change reality just by thinking about it.
People live and die depending upon what mood he's in. Every second of every day, all these poor, scared people can do if they want to survive is tell him what a good boy he is.
They live on eggshells. They can't even whisper to each other how afraid they are because they're terrified he'll hear them.
That's their world. Every morning, they wake up wondering if this is the day they do something to anger God.
- Irredeemable #18
by Make Waid and Peter Krause

Monday, April 23, 2012

God Cares

Talwart, Iowa.
Post-Plutonian Population: 612.
Plutonian -- Tony -- came through here not long after he went berserk. Lord knows why...
....But I rather have my doubts that God cares.
- Irredeemable #17
by Mark Waid and Peter Krause

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Go Out to the Field

And Cain said to his brother...
Let's go out to the field...
And when they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
- The Book of Genesis
by R. Crumb

Monday, April 16, 2012

From the Beginning

Murder is natural.
Murder was there from the beginning.
Murder is our first instinct.
Murder, for lack of a better term... good.
It makes us strong.
It makes us wise.
It makes us powerful.
 - The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #4
by Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Powers of Seduction

Mark Millar, author of Chosen, Wanted, Ultimates, and the new Secret Service, approves of my skills with the ladies. Girls like it when you talk to them about comics, right? Good, because that's the narrative I'm choosing to believe.

Follow Millar at @mrmarkmillar and follow me at @TheSmitch. Millar's twitter feed is far more entertaining than mine, though.

Buy Secret Service #1 at your local comic book shop or online at TFAW!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spider-Man Money

We announced last year that we were forming Millarworld Productions and would make 'American Jesus' as our first big theatrical feature, and I've been gradually getting the money together for that outside the US system. All my other books were getting bought and made, but this one, which I had huge affection for, was just never going to happen. Everyone was just too nervous about doing a Jesus movie, and I was like 'Are you kidding me?!?' Mel Gibson made a Jesus movie, and it made $650 million dollars. What's your concern? It made 'Spider-Man' money!
- Mark Millar

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Like Other Men

I doubt the Israelites had chamberpots, anyway.
Or that our savior was required to relieve himself like other men.
 - Locke & Key: Clockworks #1 
by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What God? What God?

Benjamin: I will not be silenced like a child speaking out of turn at the dinner table! Joshua - Joshua died and mother died and father died and these men - and Joshua, Joshua -
Miranda: Hush, Ben.
If you say one more stupid word I will go mad. Now is the time to lament, not to rage.
Benjamin: Not Joshua. Not Joshua, too. It isn't right. What God? What God?
Miranda: Shh. Do not blaspheme. God honors us with our suffering. Remember Job and all he was asked to give? Let that be a comfort to us both.
Benjamin: Damn the book of Job.
- Locke & Key: Clockworks #1
by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday and The Gutter

And Pontius Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?"
And the chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."
And finally he delivered Jesus to them to be crucified.
- Glory/Avengelyne II: The Godyssey #1
by Robert Napton and Ed Benes

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pleased With Our Sacrifice

Abel: The Sky-Father speaks! He is pleased with our sacrifice.
But my brother's, he rejects.
Cain: What are you talking about? I didn't offer a sacrifice.
Abel: Brother, he takes what he wishes. Who are you, or I, to stay him?
Cain: Guy was a piece of work, all right. But he was a showman.
Always gave the people what they wanted.
A little sex and violence. A little drama.
- The Unwritten #35
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Him? Her? It.

Adam: And you're square with him?
Deacon: Her?
Adam: It. Whatever. You're square with God?
- American Virgin #9
by Steven T. Seagle and Becky Cloonan

Monday, April 2, 2012

Safe In God's Pocket

Pullman: Okay, my turn.
Tom: Pullman! Nobody gets hurt!
Pullman: Relax, boy. The vampire's as safe as if he was in God's pocket.
But then, considering what a bastard God is --
-- I guess that's not saying very much.
- The Unwritten #35 
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Power Greater Than Bombs

With the arrival of the first real-life global supervillain, the stage was set for the Free World's response. When the retort came, it was from the ranks of the underdogs; two shy, bespectacled, and imaginative young science fiction fans from Cleveland, who were revving up typewriter and bristol board to unleash a power greater than bombs, giving form to an ideal that would effortlessly outlast Hitler and his dreams of a Thousand Year Reich.
- Supergods
by Grant Morrison

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Is Our Protest

Some will say the following story should not be told... There will be those who argue that such events have no place in an entertainment magazine -- perhaps they are right! But we don't think so -- because we've seen these noble creatures, human beings, wrecked... Made less than animals... Plunged into hells of agonies! We've seen it -- we're angry... And this is our protest!
Green Lantern #85
by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams

Friday, March 16, 2012

Real Human Compassion

Alex: I don't like your type.
Adam: What do you mean?
Alex: Holier than thou. "God's my friend not yours."
And so it makes me very --
-- troubled to see that you have some kind of real human compassion.
- American Virgin #6
by Steven T. Seagle and Becky Cloonan

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On The Same Path

Alex and I are on the same path, and it's not for those of us who've made it farther to put down those who are a few steps, many steps, or even miles behind us.
Because Alex reminds us, reminds me, that while my walk may be shorter than his...
We all have a walk to make --
-- Before we become the person we will be when we meet God.
- American Virgin #6
by Steven T. Seagle and Becky Cloonan

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trivial, Simplified Matter

Art Spiegelman: What happened in Maus was the absolute shock of an oxymoron: the Holocaust is absolutely the plast lace one would look for something to be made in the form of comics, which one associates with essentially trivial, simplified matter.
Boy: Hey! You got your comics in my Holocaust!
Girl: You got your Holocaust into my comics!
Comic Book Comics #6
by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Intellectually Subnormal People

Alan Moore: I think there were a surprising number of people out there who secretly longed to keep up with the adventures of Green Lantern but who felt they would have been socially ostracized if they had been seen reading a comic book in a public place.
With the advent of books like Watchmen, I think these people were given license by the term graphic novel. Everybody knew that comics were for children and for intellectually subnormal people, whereas graphic novel sounds like a much more sophisticated proposition.
Comic Book Comics #5
by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Page Layout as Narrative Tool!

Winsor McCay[...]
...He began to vary panel sizes to give visual emphasis to his narrative!
Little panels to focus in on small, intimate actions...
...Big panels for dramatic actions or epic reveals!
Artists learned they could pace cartoon stories to their own internal rate just as writers could use different phrase and sentence length to set an internal cadence for their prose!
 - Comic Book Comics #1
by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey

Monday, March 5, 2012

MitchWords: Part Six

The other week I had a thought. It was one of those thoughts that brought forth questions and possibly a revelation. It was one of those thoughts that, after I was initially dumbfounded by it, I wondered why I had not had that thought before. It seemed like something I should have thought about quite a while ago. Instead, it never occurred to me until it randomly popped into my head on that day.

I didn't share that thought with anyone else for a couple of days. Then I met a good and dear friend for some good tea (Darjeeling tea is quite delicious, it turns out). During our meeting and friendly, open conversation, I mentioned to him this thought that I had.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pacifist Charade

Judas: Don't you see, God has given us the task of rallying the people behind Jesus and that cannot be done while he maintains this pacifist charade.
We must convince him to publicly declare his true nature.
Zealot: But how? I don't understand?
Judas: When the Sanhedrin arrests Jesus under false charges, it will force him to reveal his true identity as the messiah.
This will incite the people to rise up in his defense and lead to the very thing the nobles and Pilate fear the most...a city-wide riot!
- Eye Witness: A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth #1
by Robert James Luedke

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Derrida problematized Saussere by coining this term, which is indistinguishable from the real French word "Difference" except in writing (they sound exactly the same).
After all: the only way to resolve differences in dialect and other variations in pronunciation is to go to the visual standard of writing! How then is speech superior?
- Action Philosophers #11
by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey

Monday, February 27, 2012

Anything More Than Legend?

'Cause for me, there's a difference between proving the historical and geographical record...
...and declaring belief in something that I have yet to find the evidence to support the existence of.
Was there a Jesus? Yes. Are his deeds anything more than legend? Can't say.
You know me...I've got to see the proof!
- Eye Witness: A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth #1
by Robert James Luedke