A Child's Catechism

Child's Catechism click to enlarge

Drawing Board

Background So this one has been sitting on the back burner for at least 5 years and maybe closer to 10 (yikes). Laziness and uncertainty about how to do it made me keep putting it off.

Concept I'm honestly not sure how I want people to read this comic. It's not meant to be funny per se, but more absurd. The thing is, I didn't make this up. I was actually told this "information" by adults (the first two) and kids on the playground (the last one). And it seems to be a fairly common set of learned "knowledge," which is why I went with the title "A Child's Catechism" rather than my original title "Rudimentary Theology."

The thing is, this "theology" is not only horribly simplistic (and some might say, "mind-warping"), but the third idea is fairly horrific. Even as a kid, I found the whole concept pretty bizarre. And I wonder what it says about us as human beings. Obviously that's a lot to try and take away from a stupid comic, but there it is...

Layout The final layout was very close to the original. I knew that I wanted childlike drawings for the first "column" and then more realistic (whatever that means) for the second column, with the final image being particularly intense.

Kid Pictures I had originally planned to put this all on a single bristol page, but after sketching it all out and inking the 2nd column, I found that I had no crayons. So I wound up doing the first column in photoshop. The upside is that drawing with the tablet is still a little difficult, so the images do look more childish. The downside is that I couldn't find a photoshop brush that created a crayon effect (I'm sure there is one).

I actually changed my original sketches after I looked at some actual kids' artwork. Mine were too sophisticated---with depth of field and such. It turns out that drawing a flat horizon that everything sits on is actually identifiable as a stage of childhood development. Pretty cool.

God and the Devil I wanted to keep God looking pretty much like the classical version of Him, although He still looks pretty cartoonish. I have no idea why he changes clothes when He cries.

As to the devil, this was the panel that was the hardest to figure out. I wanted it to be intense and evil; but the older I get, the more I'm turned off by violence in arts and entertainment. I'm particulary troubled by images of violence against women---and our country's new love affair with torture. So I didn't want to feed into that. Obviously, it's debateable as to how successful I was, but I'm hoping that by having the violence take place "off panel" that the reader can fill in the details, and make them as horrible as s/he needs to in order to get the point.

Colors After spending hours on coloring, I'm still not very happy with how things look, especially panel 4. I wonder if this wouldn't have been just fine in black and white.