Monday, December 26, 2022

It’s Iimi! St. Mary’s Outside the Malls

The girls were just looking to redeem their Christmas gift cards. But a chance encounter with Saul—on a date with Tasha—turned it into an apologetics battle as they they debate… St. Mary’s Outside the Malls

Pre-comic notes: The basic influence for this comic comes from St. Jerome’s Against Helvidius. Note that the objections modern Protestants use to deny the Perpetual Virginity of Mary were refuted over 1100 years before the Reformation even began.


St. Mary’s Outside the Malls is a wordplay on the Church, “St. Paul’s Outside the Walls.” It’s also a pun on the dual meaning of the apostrophe S. It can indicate possession (or dedication in the sense of a Church name) or a shorthand for “is.” Kismetta is seeing a graffiti image of Our Lady outside of the Mall, and is the topic of conversation in the comic.

Post-Comic Notes: And thus, ends Season 3. Season 4 begins on January 2, 2023 with Dam it All!


2022 was interesting. I began January looking to bring two stories to fulfillment (I had been laying seeds for them since 2021): Paula’s adoption and Kismetta’s conversion. 


I knew I was going to do Paula’s story since the “Paula’s abortion” story arc (Issues 44-52). But I also knew I would need to wait to complete it until 2022 to avoid a rushed story. 


Kismetta’s conversion was a story I wanted to tell since 2020, but I didn’t want to even begin until I felt I could represent Islam fairly and without stereotypes. Because Kismetta was established as a sincere Muslim, I needed to establish how her beliefs could be plausibly challenged. That meant studying both Muslim apologetic attempts to discredit Christianity, and the reasons/struggles Muslims had who did convert to Christianity.


In portraying the Muslim reaction to Kismetta, I started with the assumption that it would be similar to how a Catholic might react to a teenager making anti-Catholic points in a youth group. Nobody devoted to their beliefs (and I include myself) likes their beliefs being rejected. Some would take a “shut up” attitude. Others might try to talk patiently with the teen. From there, I looked for Muslim responses to the question “What would you do if your child left Islam?” while avoiding extremist responses. 


One thing I did not want to do is play the “Islamic extremist” card. Unless (God forbid) an act of Muslim motivated terrorism happens in the real world that they discuss, you won’t see that portrayed in my comic. 


Of course, the rest of the Dhumzur family haven’t vanished. They’ll show up in 2023. 

And, we’ll begin 2023 learning something about Iimi…

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