God Went Bowling

There’s a little song called God Went Bowling by a band called the Swirling Eddies. It was on their 1994 album Zoom Daddy, and it features an oompah beat driven by accordion. Over it all is the snide vocal of Terry Scott Taylor, the songwriter whose mad genius has found outlet via at least three [Read More…]

Dig Here Said the Angel

“I sell records worldwide now that I’ve died,” boasts the singer in one of the tracks on the new Daniel Amos album, Dig Here Said the Angel.  The character is a musician, obviously, but postmortem, and somehow (As a ghost? In a dream?) he’s assuring his still-living spouse that everything’s great for him since his [Read More…]

Spiders, Comics, and Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is widely recognized as the greatest theologian America has yet produced. He wrote epochal books and preached sermons that still echo in our cultural memory from the Great Awakening. One of the least important things he ever wrote is a fun bit of juvenilia known as “Of Insects,” a descriptive essay about [Read More…]

St. Patrick Comics & Stories!

The cartoon adventures of St. Patrick, from a 1947 comic book called Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact. This four-page adventure by George F. Foley tells the saint’s story in a way designed to hold the interest of a young Roman Catholic audience in the USA at midcentury. Treasure Chest is on my list of Top [Read More…]

Pictographic Catechism from the Andes

It’s not exactly a comic book, but there is an old catechism that certainly makes an interesting use of sequential images for the purposes of teaching Christian doctrine. The Huntington Free Library in the Bronx published a facsimile edition of a “pictographic Quechua catechism” that is a wonderful and engaging little booklet. Here is the page [Read More…]

A Statue You Can’t See. Also, Upside Down.

What good is a statue nobody can see? In a courtyard in Cambridge, England (just beside the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences) is a pair of iron footprints. Over the last few summers, I’ve seen these footprints dozens of times. I’ve wondered what they were pointing toward or away from, I’ve joked with my kids [Read More…]

Summertime in England: It Ain’t Why (It Just Is)

Probably just because I’m spending the summertime in England, I’ve been listening to Van Morrison’s song by that name lately. This is not the song I’d send somebody to if they wanted to understand what some people find so fascinating about Van Morrison; there are too many problems with it. But if it catches you, [Read More…]

Stick Figure Theology: Annie Vallotton

Imagine being an artist commissioned to illustrate the entire Bible. From the epic stories to the pithy proverbs, from psalms of praise to prophets of doom, from the life of Jesus to his parables, you were supposed to produce pictures for everything. Now imagine that you were limited to the most minimal of visual means [Read More…]