In my last post I quoted a great comment from one of my readers and I’ll quote it again here:
I’m really interested in seeing where this comic goes, knowing that it’s so faith-based. I’m an atheist, I always have been and it’s always been really important to me, and I’ve been trying not to be afraid of letting that shine through in my stories as well. To me it’s not a matter of trying to persuade other people or work some agenda as much as express how I see the world, and it sounds like Sithrah is the same kind of thing? I really hope so. Either way, thanks for being brave enough to discuss your faith in a shameless way, I really look forward to seeing things from your perspective through the storytelling. Good luck!
Again, I think this is an excellent example of being able to have tough conversations in a super respectful way. It also really got me thinking about what I was doing with Sithrah and agendas in comics and stories as a whole. So I’m going to try to answer these questions as honestly as I can. Here they are:
- Do I Have an Agenda with Sithrah?
- Am I trying to persuade people somehow?
- Or am I just trying to express how I see the world?
After thinking on this for a while I came to some conclusions which I’ll try to answer one at a time. So first of all–
Do I have an Agenda with Sithrah?
The simple answer is yes. My agenda is to write and draw a beautiful story that inspires people to think about God and the invisible spiritual battle that is happening all around us for our souls. My agenda is to expose the deceptions of the Devil in the form of a story. Jesus himself told many stories that we call parables. They were intended to be heard by the masses but only understood by those who searched for the answers. My agenda is to say, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.” – John 4:29 (Sorry, this will only make sense if you know the story)
So, is this wrong to have an agenda in what we do? In my opinion, I think it’s clear that EVERYTHING we do has an agenda. Every movie, comic, tv show, Youtube video or whatever it is has an agenda whether we see it or not.
Am I trying to persuade people somehow?
Honestly, I don’t think I can change anyone’s mind for them but I believe I must share what I’ve learned. So I will try to present my case to anyone who wants to listen in the best way I know how. But at the end of the day, each individual has to make up their own mind. In the words of Ravi Zacharias, “Changing someone’s mind is a supernatural thing.”
Am I just trying to express how I see the world?
No. I have an agenda.
Hi all! I just wanted to let you know I’ll be exhibiting at Phoenix Comicon on June 5-8, 2014. I have lots of freebies as usual including posters of reMIND and Sithrah. I’m in booth 446 and listed under “Jason Brubaker” this year. I’ll also be on all three Kickstarter panels this year. Here’s a little map of where you can find me. Hopefully I’ll see you there!
Something strange happened when I was working on reMIND. I always had a smile and always talked about positive things to my audience but as I was getting millions of page views and loads of fan support, I personally felt… alone.
The bigger reMIND got the more I was concerned that someone would find out something about me that they didn’t like and it would all come crashing down. So I subconsciously devised a plan (quite early in fact) to hide everything that people might not like about me. As an example, I knew I had many atheist fans of reMIND and I worried that if I said anything about God they would all run away and never come back.
This whole idea that one needs to hide things from people in order to feel loved by them is pretty mainstream from what I can tell. But the thing is, it’s totally false. In fact I now believe, to NOT feel alone, I need to let people know who I REALLY AM whether I’m afraid they will disown me or not. The more secrets I would hide from people, and loved ones, the more worried I got about being found out. If found out, I worried I wouldn’t be loved anymore which ended up making me feel even more isolated and alone. How pathetic! Am I the only one here?
On the other hand, if I am honest with people and they still choose to hang out with me then it’s not because of some mask I’m wearing to make them comfortable. They are hanging out with me because they choose to do so even after knowing the real me. I also experienced this with close friends and especially in my marriage. I have a loving wife who supported what I was doing but even so, I felt alone. This was my big lesson in 2013.
I don’t know the full extent of what my audience thinks about me talking about my faith on this blog but you know what? I don’t feel alone anymore. Even though I know many of my readers don’t agree with me, I have gotten wonderful emails from longtime fans who support and love what I’m doing. And remember me worrying about what my atheist fans would do if they knew I was a Christian? Well, let me just highlight a super encouraging comment by R:
I’m really interested in seeing where this comic goes, knowing that it’s so faith-based. I’m an atheist, I always have been and it’s always been really important to me, and I’ve been trying not to be afraid of letting that shine through in my stories as well. To me it’s not a matter of trying to persuade other people or work some agenda as much as express how I see the world, and it sounds like Sithrah is the same kind of thing? I really hope so. Either way, thanks for being brave enough to discuss your faith in a shameless way, I really look forward to seeing things from your perspective through the storytelling.
Whoever you are, R, Thank you!
I think R has brought up an interesting subject that I’d love to dive into in my next post. Until then, what are you hiding and is it making you feel alone even though you’re surrounded by people?
I’m going to be at ECCC on March 28-30th at booth 802. Come by and say hi and grab a free poster of reMIND and Sithrah! I will have copies of Unnatural Talent, reMIND Vol.1 and Vol.2 as well as some collectors boxsets. T-shirts, prints, postcards, original art from my books and some old dumb comic too. Hopefully I will see you there!
Hi Ya’ll. This weekend (Saturday) I will be on a panel to discuss making money with webcomics at Gallery Nucleus. At this point it will be Ethan Nicolle of Axe Cop and myself and we are trying to lock in the third guest still. It is a $80 cover charge and lasts from 1PM to 5PM. Plus, both Ethan and I have each agreed to give away a free signed book to anyone who buys a ticket.
There will be a free signing for the public after the panel is finished too.
Here is the details: http://www.gallerynucleus.com/event/419
Please help us spread the word! Hopefully I will see you there.