I have been drawing as long as I can remember. I was introduced to comic books as a young boy when my uncle gave me an old G.I. Joe comic as a birthday present. I was immediately fascinated with the art and form of comic book storytelling. My mom soon gave me the book “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way.” I devoured its contents and spent countless hours sitting at the kitchen table working through each chapter. After I graduated high school in 1994, I was accepted to study at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I majored in Communication and Design with an illustration emphasis. I graduated from OCAD in 1998.
In 1996, my dad died. This event radically affected my life. Up to that point in my life, I was not a religious person, but I began wrestling with many profound questions about belief, God, and philosophy. I began to see a direct connection between our spiritual and philosophical beliefs and everything else about who we are and what we do. These issues directly affected who I was as a person, especially how I approached art. In 2000, I became a Christian and soon after entered seminary to formally study the relationship between spirituality and culture. In 2012, I completed the Master of Divinity degree. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in theology with a focus on the relationship between aesthetics and religious belief.
“The Silence” has developed over many years of wrestling with these issues of spirituality, culture, and belief. In high school, I created a group of characters called “the Silent Knights.” This original work was modeled after the traditional super hero format. The main group consisted of three characters: Whisper, a blind female character with telekinetic powers; Brindol, the leader of the group gifted with strength; and Railrun, a man struck by lightening who traveled using the electricity from the city’s subway rails. Over time, this group developed and changed. Whisper became Naomi. She remained blind, but instead of telekinetic power she was endowed with holobiotics, an imaginary medical treatment enabling her to see and make holographic weapons become real objects. Brindol became Lazarus. He retained his unusual strength, but was given an abusive background which left him crippled. This abuse intensified his anger, but his disablement impaired his ability to express it to full measure. Finally, Railrun was replaced with the Guards. The Guards are artificial intelligence robots assigned to watch and eventually protect Lazarus and Naomi.
The storyline of “The Silence” became more sophisticated over time as well, especially with the influence of religious studies. Every story, song, poem, movie, artwork, etc. expresses a particular worldview whether from a religious or secular background. “The Silence” is produced intentionally with this reality in mind. “The Silence” is not a Christian comic book. Rather, “The Silence” is a comic book written and produced by a Christian. The storyline explores various cultural, religious, and philosophical issues, exploring the merits and inconsistencies of various perspectives and worldviews. In the end, “The Silence” attempts to present a metanarrative, particularly a Christian metanarrative, that ties everything together in a way consistent with our experience of reality. My hope for “The Silence” is not only to entertain or produce a high quality product, but to challenge our assumptions about life, reality, and belief in God.
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