Monday, February 6, 2023

It’s Iimi! Playing Against a Dead Man’s Hand!

On the heels of the recent deaths of beloved Church figures come media reports of writings that claim to prove these men believed Pope Francis’s pontificate was harmful to the Church. When faced with these documents, how can Iimi defend the Church when in order to do so, she’s… Playing Against a Dead Man’s Hand! (Part 1 of a 2 part story).


Pre-Comic Notes:

As of the time this comic was scripted, there was no scheduled English release for Archbishop Ganswein’s Nothing But Truth. But that didn’t stop the anti-Francis Catholics from using the quotes as if they were proof of deliberate wrongdoing by the Pope. The revelation that Cardinal Pell authored an anonymous memorandum attacking the Pope and publishing his article against the current Synod shortly after his death added fuel to that fire. Both of the Cardinal’s documents are available in English. I’ve read them… and could not reconcile them with the obligation to give religious submission of intellect and will to the authoritative teaching of the Pope.

Post-Comic Notes:

“Dead Man’s Hand” is traditionally Black aces and black eights. Legend is, it was the Poker hand Wild Bill Hickock was playing when he was murdered. But “Hand” can also be used to say “writing” or “action.” So, the title and cover give us a double meaning.


Now, on to the documents discussed in this comic. 


I wasn’t bothered by the quotes attributed to Benedict XVI in Nothing But Truth. Even if quoted in context, all we have is a case of the Pope emeritus privately expressing his concerns on whether some policies were the best way to handle things… but fully acknowledging Pope Francis’ authority. We don’t even know if Benedict wanted his views published. We know he wanted his private papers destroyed upon his death.


As for Cardinal Pell, that struck me as being more serious. When it came to the pseudonymous memorandum, aside from Fr. Fessio (who questioned the authorship claims), it was generally accepted that Sandro Magister’s revelation was true. As for the article, it was openly submitted by the late Cardinal, and the authorship is undisputed. 


And there’s the problem. I can’t get around that these writings were attacks on the Pope and the policies he has the authority to enact. But, unfortunately, people like Daryl in the real world see this as justifying their hostility to the Pope. That hostility must be opposed. And this is why I| needed to write this story.

If you’re interested in the song Iimi is angrily playing on page 13, panel 1, it can be found here:

Monday, January 30, 2023

It’s Iimi! I am Ovulating-Chestfeeding-Person-Who-Currently-Identifies-as-Cisgender-Female—Whose-Pronouns are-She/Her! Hear Me Roar!

When Lilavati brings up the question of transgenderism to the “Socratic Club,” their discussion becomes more complicated with the appearance of two teachers and a hostile student. Will Iimi and her friends be able to thread the needle by explaining their views without getting attacked?

Preliminary Notes:

The story of the rapist who declared he was transgender after being tried for rape and was (briefly) moved to a women’s prison came out after this comic was finished. This person doesn’t mean all people who claim to be transgendered are sexual predators. But it shows another reason why women might feel unsafe with the demands to allow whoever claims to be female access to women only areas.


Post Comic Notes: In the past few issues, I’ve been experimenting with some different fonts to see if they looked more readable. Beginning in this issue, I began reverting some “failed experiments” back to the fonts I used to use. 

The “third gender” Lilavati refers to is complex. “Hijra” is the basic term used, but there are debates over whether the term is offensive. Not knowing enough about the situation in South Asia, I’ve opted against using the term in the comic. From my reading, it seems their situation is more complex than the transgender issues in America. It’s practically it’s own culture if I understand it correctly… and as an outsider, I recognize I might not. 

Lilavati doesn’t have much knowledge about this group outside of the fact that they exist. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

It’s Iimi! Better Call Paul

Iimi tries to find the proper balance between when to speak out and when to draw boundaries. While Fr. Gabe’s talk at Youth Group seems to offer solace, it will be tested when Najiyah asks questions aimed at “reverting” Kismetta to Islam. 


Will Iimi be able to defend Kismetta’s newfound beliefs while avoiding being overloaded?


Preliminary notes:

While not planned (I work about a month in advance in writing these comics), the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul falls on January 25th, so things lined up nicely for this comic.


Outside of a brief mention in Issue 107, I never really dealt with the Muslim objections to St. Paul. The reason was that the arguments used were so weak I assumed they were strawmen arguments. But further research showed that they are indeed seen as “refutations” of Christianity. 


The general assumption among Muslims in these arguments is that because our Scriptures do not say the same thing as the Quran, they must have been corrupted. Paul is a common suspect. The Council of Nicaea is another.


Since Kismetta is in the process of converting, it made sense to have Najiyah raise these points in hopes of “saving” Kismetta.


The Exhortation (Christus Vivit) that Fr. Gabe read can be found HERE.

Post-Comic Notes:

Dhu alshier al’azraq is Arabic and roughly translates as “blue-haired one.”


For those unfamiliar with the Pop culture reference, the title and the cover are a parody of the TV series, “Better Call Saul.”