Monday, July 31, 2023

It’s Iimi! Throwing A Lugh-Wrench into the Works

 While hanging out in the Riverside District, Lilavati and Iimi came across some Neo-pagans from Babylon in the process of handing out flyers for one of their festivals and hoping to form alliances among the non-Christians of the town. Will they succeed? Or will Iimi wind up … Throwing a Lugh-Wrench into the Works

 Pre-Comic Notes:

Apparently, some neo-pagans do see animist and polytheist religions as “like them.” These religions do not reciprocate that view. Lilavati’s hostile attitudes towards neo-paganism and coolness towards Christianity have been expressed by real Hindus.


Post-Comic Notes:

Credits: The old book cover overlay on the title page by Figu-Design.

The name “Lugh” in the title pun is a Celtic deity combined with “Lug wrench” (used to change a tire). Okay, it’s a stupid pun meant to show Iimi has thrown a wrench into the neo-pagan worldview.

 While “Lughnasadh” is an official Irish holiday, it’s also been repurposed as one of the neo-pagan festivals that practitioners celebrate in their attempts to reenact historic druidic beliefs.

 In fact, very little is known about historic paganism’s actual beliefs and practices (Celtic, Norse Hellenic, etc.). For example, the historical druids passed down their rites and knowledge orally. So, when the Celts abandoned Druidism for Christianity, the converts who held that knowledge stopped passing it on, and converts who might have otherwise sought to become bards, ollaves, and druids stopped seeking to learn it.

 The movement to recreate these religions began with the Enlightenment and the 19th-century Romantic movement. Much of it was born in the 1960s, though followers claim they are "ancient." Claims to be passing on "ancient wisdom" are risible as it is based on imagination reinterpreting old legends, folk practices, and the Catholic monks who wrote histories and copied the ancient written works… while labeling anything in those works that contradict them as "corruption."

 Some argue Insular Christianity did turn pagan myths and festivals into legends about the saints. But this is disputed, and the Catholic Church did seek to remove the actual cases of syncretism. Yes, there are legends associated with the saints. But the saints are not celebrated on account of these myths, but for the holy lives, they led.

 The agathodaimon (sometimes spelled agathodæmon) invoked by Coach Ally comes from the Greek ἀγαθοδαίμων: the word means “noble spirit”) that was believed to bring about material success. Coach Ally invoking it is a misattribution (a common phenomenon among practitioners of these reinvented religions). It sounds more “mysterious” than “daimon.”

 The daimon (δαίμων), in general, was seen as a “companion spirit” or supernatural instinct that guided the individual to good or to evil. In the reinvention of “Hellenism,” this became distorted into a sort of “spirit guide.” (There’s a lot of appropriation of the Native American “spirit animals.")

 Of course, Christians should NOT dabble in any of this, even for “fun.” As Iimi pointed out, people seeking to be guided by “daimons” may wind up under the influence of actual demons. 

Monday, July 24, 2023

It's Iimi! Pawn!

 The Dhumzur family returns to visit Kismetta and says they want to find a place where they can all live together. Kismetta wonders if this is the case or if she is only a… Pawn



Post-Comic Notes:

Credits: Overview of San Francisco (in the background on page 3) by Brion VIBBER. Used under Creative Commons License.

 In real life, it would probably take Nila (Indian passport) and Zara (UAE) at least a month to arrange a tourist visa to the US. Only 40 countries have visa-free travel to the United States. Neither India nor the UAE are on this list.

 When I began planning this in 2022, the Dhumzur family had many more options for Citizenship by Investment and visa-free travel to the United States. But, in the last year, many countries removed that option or made it much harder to get citizenship by investment. In the last few months, countries with easy access to citizenship have been bumped from the Visa-Free list and now require Electronic Travel Authorization (ESTA) submitted 72 hours before arriving in the US. The US considers countries that issue citizenship by investment to be a security issue.

Meanwhile, adding to the reduction in free travel, the EU announced they’ll have their own system in place  

Monday, July 17, 2023


 It's a lazy Saturday youth group. The girls go, hoping for a quiet session. Little do they realize they are about to participate in… CATHOLIC AMERICA: CIVIL WAR!

Pre-Comic Notes:
The arguments from Daryl and Sean are ones I've personally experienced from these factions on Social media.

 Post-Comic Notes:
Obedience to the Pope and bishops in communion with him is a key ingredient in being Catholic. It doesn’t matter whether or not we agree with the politics of the dissenter. Obedience to the Church, with the Pope being the arbiter of what interpretation is correct is mandatory. If we don’t have that, we’re blind guides.

What can I say about the cover? I've always been a fan of the Silver Age comics…

 I originally had "Rad Skull" with the emblem of the SSPX. But I decided not to use it because the comic might inspire factional comments that it was supposed to be acting against. However, I do not apologize for portraying Daryl and Sean's decisions as morally wrong.

 The Parish response to the SSPX setting up in Babylon was loosely based on a different group, Iglesia ni Cristo, setting up a storefront church and aggressively targeting Hispanic Catholics in our (real life) parish. They didn't last. But it was a concern at the time.