Graphic Canon and Chronology

Graphic Canon and Chronology December 13, 2019

I enjoyed talking with A. David Lewis at ΘeoCon about comic books, graphic novels, and Canon: The Card Game. After I got back from that conference/convention, a book I put on hold at the public library: The Graphic Canon Volume 1. I think there are a variety of ways these seemingly disparate areas are intertwined, ranging from comparisons to the dynamics of canon definition and defense, to the provision of multimodal ways of interacting with texts as well as course content more broadly defined.

When I guest spoke at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana a while back, one question that came up was whether it is taking the Bible or your favorite franchise more seriously to find creative ways to harmonize contradictions, or to live honestly with them. We also talked about the canonical status or otherwise of that larger narrative framework crafted to fit the pieces actually in the canon together. In my experience, this is an easier conversation to have when one has it comparatively between the Bible and pop culture fandoms.

Of related interest:

Pax Romana & The Tithe (Vol. 3) – Comics, Religion, Power, and Empire

Death – DC Showcase

The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity

Depictions of Jesus in comics

Religion, Spirituality, and Comics sampler Part 1

Canonizing the Bible: Historical Simulation (live tweeted!)

Randal Rauser on whether young-earth creationists are the most faithful Bible readers

Jonathan Bernier on being fascinated by chronology in Star Trek and ancient Christianity

James Frain, who plays Sarek (Spock’s father) on Star Trek: Discovery, spoke about canon in a recent interview:

AVC: So you knew the whole canon and the other Star Trek shows as well?

JF: Well, it turns out there’s, like, millions of hours of Star Trek shows. There’s a lot of Star Trek shows. I know this because they had what they called “The Canon”—they had, like, a bible on set. Because we were doing a prequel, all our story lines had to feed into existing canon. So if you hadn’t seen all of it, by the time that you shot a season you pretty much knew all the story lines. We were constantly talking about what would work and what wouldn’t work.

4,000 year-old Egyptian graphic novel found

Also with a hint of intersection between comics and religion: DC’s The Last God, remixing myths in Hamilton and Star Wars, and . Also relevant:

That YouTube video series has now concluded, and so here is the final episode and retrospective:

Finally, let me mention the I Am Jesus Christ video game, even if I (like everyone else) am not sure what to make of it…

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