Monday, October 30, 2023

It's Iimi! The Taint of Samhain…

On the eve of All Saints Day, dark and false claims abound… parroted by those deceived by the Father of Lies. In this case, Iimi and her friends get dragged into the false claims of Halloween as Saul accuses Catholics of having…  The Taint of Samhain

Pre-Comic Notes:

Saul and Tasha's accusations against Catholics are real ones. I've encountered them frequently on the internet and social media. 

Post-Comic Notes:

It's important to remember there are two different conversations here. The first is the defense of the Church from anti-Catholic slanders. The second is talking to would-be witches about the danger their experimentation puts them in. Iimi is certainly not denying the danger in her conversation with Saul and Tasha. She is denying that his accusations against Catholics are true.

In case it's not obvious, the woman with the hood and gold headdress leading the coven is Coach Ally.

For those unfamiliar with Sailor Moon, the interplay between Della and her mother on page 8 is based on the famous catchphrase, "In the name of the Moon, I will punish you!" (Tsuki ni kawatte, Oshioki yo!").

Art Credits:

The background art on pages 8, 12, and 14 are AI-generated.


The Celtic Cross Panel (Iimi is praying the Lorica of St. Patrick) is by Bree Orlock and Stardust Publications and used under license.


All other wallpapers in the comic are by Figu Design and used under license.

Monday, October 23, 2023

It's Iimi! Doomed to Fail?

In logic class, Iimi finds herself the center of attention as they focus on the war in the Gaza Strip. Can she convince the class to look beyond assumptions towards what must be done in a just war? Or will the class falsely assume she is "pro-Hamas" and leave her mission… Doomed to Fail?

Pre-Comic Notes:

This comic concerns the Catholic moral teaching of war and peace. This is not always easy to see in the face of heinous evil. Yes, Hamas must be condemned. Terrorism is never justified. But it is easy to fall into the temptations of "If you're not 100% on my side, you're 100% on theirs!" and "They deserve what happens to them!" But not all Palestinians are guilty, and not all responses are morally acceptable under the teaching of Just War.

So, if anyone thinks I have equated the crimes of Hamas with the morally questionable acts of Israel, they have misunderstood my point entirely.

I began scripting the comic roughly the third day (10/10) after the terrorist attacks and finished the comic on 10/15. Netanyahu had announced Israel was at war. Reservists were called up, and Gaza was encircled and cut off. Hamas and Israel were exchanging rocket and artillery fire. Israel told the Palestinians living in North Gaza to evacuate. But there were no significant ground conflicts yet. Since the comic was finalized, the bombing of the Gaza hospital happened. It would have been discussed with the changing perspectives of what happened and the assumptions made. Certainly Pope Francis calling for a day of fasting and prayer would have been discussed. The issues of refugees and aid convoys could have been added as well.

I was surprised that, as of the night before this comic was to be published, the invasion had not happened yet. May God guide those involved to seek a just peace.

Post-Comic Notes:

The reference to the male witnesses at the detective agency comes from the Islamic rules on the testimony of female witnesses having half the value of male witnesses. While Abu Dhabi has decreed that the testimony of men and women have equal weight, lawyers in the Emirates still advise that if the case involves Muslims, there should be a minimum of two male or one male and two female witnesses.

The price Sumeja was quoted was based on the websites I found belonging to Private Investigators in Dubai. Believe it or not, you can buy gold in certain ATMs in the UAE.

Art Credits:

This comic was a bit of an experiment. To reflect the dangerous mood of the real world, I used dark and menacing wallpapers behind the comic pages.

The Cover is AI. I had an additional reason this time. Given the loss of life in this conflict, I did not want to use an actual picture of the destruction. Doing so would seem disrespectful to the innocent among the people killed in the terrorist attacks and response.

The cover is framed by a page design by Figu-Design.

The street scenes of Sharjah on pages 13 and 16 and the house scenes on pages 17 and 18 are done by AI.

Page 3, 5, 7, 18 Wallpaper Backgrounds: Publisher's Choice Quality Stock Art © Rick Hershey/Fat Goblin Games.

Page 8: The chains wallpaper © John Buckley, used with permission. The additional top and bottom decoration by Figu-Design

Page 16: The gold frame frame is © John Buckley, used with permission.

 All other page wallpapers are by Figu-Design.

Monday, October 16, 2023

It's Iimi! The Battle of C.S. Lewis' Bridge!

 When Ms. Celarent decided to open class discussions on the issues of book bans and the accusations of censorship, she asked Iimi if she had any thoughts that went against conventional wisdom. When she did so, she never imagined she would be opening up a Socratic Dialogue and that the class would soon be in the midst of… The Battle of C.S. Lewis' Bridge!

Pre-Comic Notes:

CS Lewis' Bridge was first introduced in Issue 97 and explained to Lilavati in Issue 129 if you want to review the concept in other contexts. 

Post-Comic Notes:

The background on the cover is done with AI.

The news stories Anne references can be found HERE and HERE. Whether they ultimately affect Eris Street High in the comic will depend on what happens in the real world.

Some of my Catholic readers might be surprised—even shocked—by my position on the Mortara case. But as I pointed out in the comic, the case involved the laws of the Papal States in the 1850s. There was no doctrine requiring other Catholic countries to do the same. While I don't doubt Pius IX thought he was morally obligated to do this, we are not obliged to defend him for his actions. It was not a teaching of the ordinary or extraordinary magisterium.

For my non-Catholic readers, the main reason there was a debate on the topic is that we believe baptism leaves an indelible mark on the soul. So, the question was: What do we do with a baptized child with parents who will (obviously) not raise the child as Catholic? Pius IX had decided that removing the child from its parents was the only choice. But I believe that with the deeper understanding and development of doctrine on religious freedom and the rights of the family, his decision in 1858 would not have been made today.