In today's comic pages, Luke asks God's help with his addiction and later on joins a group to work on de-platforming vice in his life. I was raised in a God-fearing family and I did avoid some of the more obvious snares like hard drugs and Communism but I did end up with my share of bad habits. But before I make my big reveal, I must say my faults aren't my fault. Honestly, they're genetic.
So many of my siblings got a double dose of the gene to be annoying. In a way I envy them. I got saddled with the laziness gene. I took every effort-shortcut I could. Personal hygiene went by the wayside early. One of my earliest memories was of my grade one teacher, Mrs. Cronin. She was so ancient she probably had taught Genghis Khan, and she was definitely old-school. Anyways, we were being called up sequentially to the front of the room to count to 100. It was going to be a long afternoon. When I was called up I made it to 30 and then the laziness overtook me. One of my predecessor counters had got stalled out at 25 and had been allowed to sit down with a compliment for effort. So I lied and said I had forgotten what number comes next. I received a good stiff ruler swat on the palm of my hand. Still in the cost benefit analysis my six year-old brain thought I had won out in the exchange. After a verbal and physical reprimand I was allowed to take my seat and resume my role as a passive participant of the afternoon's educational opportunities.
As an adult, I continued to have difficulty with sloth. I always put off till tomorrow the heavy lifting and gradually more and more unfinished tasks accumulated. My brain became like a hoarder's house of tasks I had promised myself I would do.
About three years ago I joined Exodus 90, a kind of spiritual boot camp experience with ramped up prayer, scriptural reading, digital fasting, weekly accountability meetings and other practices. It worked, I was able to finish up some comic books I had abandoned for decades and start some new ones, but gradually the enthusiasm of the group has slackened and I can feel my doom-scrolling/internet addiction coming back. One thing I learned is that while each of the guys in my Exodus 90 fraternity had their own struggles and problems, there was surprising commonality in our journeys. We were all in the same fight. Even though we fought in very different theaters, we were warring against the same enemy.
The idea for this comic book, the NROP Glasses has been in my brain in an unfinished form for over a decade. From time to time I have tried to farm it out to talented student artists that have entered my classroom, but it never really took. Recently I offered it to Sam Mercier, a former student and twice published author (twice so far). Sam brought his unique style and the ability of inking and coloring cartoons at a pace that rivaled video scribing. Sam polished off the last five pages of this comic book in about 2 hours on a Friday afternoon. To me though, Sam's greatest artistic strength is re-interpreting photographs in a more simple but essential form.. In the 2019 Canadian election, his cartoons of campaign literature photos were scooped up by the CBC. They employed them sort of like avatars or icons for their internet news. Here are some of the re-interpreted photos. He did these images for the other political leaders also, but I haven't included them as political parties in Canada tend to change party leaders as often as they change their underwear.
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