David J. Wilkie, A Second Shot of Coffee with Jesus. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-8308-3693-2.
Genre: graphic novels and comics
Subgenre: religion, treatises, humor, Christianity, spirituality
Format: trade paperback
Source: Berea branch of the Madison County (KY) Public Library.
The comic started on the author's blog, and apparently did well enough to get put into a book. According to the introduction in the first volume, the character images are "old advertising clip art for the main characters and Sunday clip art for the person of Jesus" (13). That may partially explain why Jesus seems to look like the "Republican Jesus" stereotype. The idea then was for Jesus to refute the characters' "claims of how he might vote on any particular issue, to convince them that they cannot confuse their flag with their God-- to set them straight as it were" (13). This has very mixed results in the comic.
Jesus in the comic combines some serious sass with some serious authority. Jesus has some humorous moments, but he can still be just as judgmental and authoritarian at times as he has always been. If you were expecting a liberal, hippie Jesus, he ain't here. The comic does have a Biblical grounding, so it has enough for Christians, but it still shows a slight conservative bias. It can be controversial for some readers I suppose, but it should not be if you've read your Bible and actually paid attention. There are a few zingers and humorous moments, but you also get the preaching and occasional Christian heavy handedness. Let me highlight some examples from the first volume:
- Carl tells Jesus how he appreciates his friendship with Jesus. Jesus naturally has to remind him that he is Lord, the guy in charge, and for Carl not to forget it (29).
- At one point in discussing conflict, the author says Jesus would sum up the Old Testament as "Put yourself in the other person's shoes" (49). Given how many people God killed or had killed, tortured, raped, etc. in the Old Testament, being in those shoes is probably not in theirs not ours best interest. Because contrary to what the author may peddle, his religion is often a source of conflict.
- At least Jesus and I agree that Fifty Shades of Gray belongs in the trash (55). Where we part company is where I think you ought to read better erotica.
- The author quotes a pastor as saying "the church may stink, but it's the best thing afloat" (81). Actually no. If the best thing floaing is a stinking turd, time to flush and clean out that bowl. Plenty of people, including heathens like me, live happy and healthy lives just fine without the stench. You might not be able to flush, but I have no problem flushing and even getting the plunger if need be. Again, it's the Christian arrogance of our way is best, good or bad.