John Hendrix is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator. His books include The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler, named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, and Drawing Is Magic: Discovering Yourself in a Sketchbook. His award-winning illustrations have appeared on book jackets and in newspapers and magazines. He is chair of the MFA Illustration and Visual Culture program in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Hendrix lives in Webster Groves, Missouri.
Abram C. Van Engen is associate professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is also associate professor (by courtesy) at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics.
About Holy Ghost: A Spirited Comic
From the New York Times bestselling and award-winning artist John Hendrix comes this charming, funny, and thought-provoking collection of spiritual comics
Does God exist? Is there a heaven? What's the point of it all? Do we even matter?
This collection of thought-provoking, humorous comic strips is a series of conversations between a squirrel, a badger, and a friendly blue ghost who may or may not be one third of the Holy Trinity. Charming, witty, and at times poignant, yet never holier-than-thou, New York Times bestselling and award-winning illustrator John Hendrix tackles some of life's greatest questions. Whether you consider yourself faithful or a nonbeliever, these delightfully off-kilter comics deliver laughter, comfort, and philosophical musings with humble, honest spirit--and just the right dose of playful irreverence.
Publishers Weekly (02/28/2022):
Cartoonist Hendrix's first collection is an amusing and sensitive exploration of Christian belief. In single-page comics, the Holy Ghost collects prayers, ponders beauty, and thwarts evil spirits. The majority, though, are conversations between the Ghost and an unnamed squirrel who vacillates between yearning to find meaning in pain and refusing to accept that God exists, with the periodic appearance of a fundamentalist badger. In a masterful avoidance of treacle, Hendrix probes tender ideas like seeing God in emptiness and ugliness, the challenge of loving the outsider, and cosmic insignificance. There are niche Christian theology jokes (Ghost gives the squirrel the ability to speak French on Pentecost and claims God made farts to remind humans of their inner state of decay) alongside more universal laughs (Ghost's reflection on beauty is undercut by bird poop). Hendrix portrays a surprising range of emotions with his simple character drawings. The Ghost plays across a range with only empty eyes and a mouth, and squirrel's tight lines play into his tensions. The handwritten text adds a charming earnestness. Hendrix sidesteps the try-hard "cool pastor" problem and also the schmaltz of Precious Moments. It's a delightful trove that'll provoke reflection and grins. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Apr.)
Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
For the in person event, the presentation and conversation will start at 7:15pm at the High Low, 3301 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103. Vaccination and masks are required for in person attendees.
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