CHRISTIAN COMIC ARTS SOCIETY :: A NETWORK OF CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP FOR COMICS FANS, PROS, AND AMATEURS

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school time!!

what a busy time, my son goes into the seventh grade monday.my daughter started kindergarten last week. now i start college next week.

since this will hamper my art time for comics, i'm trying to finish up several short projects. a couple pages for the megezeen sci-fi issue an a story for panel comics.

my goal is to do a whole book before next summer's conventions roll in. a large task by any means, but who knows what our lord has planned for us , eh? "hey god, can you drop some clues?"

until then i have to put down the pencil an grab a math book, bbbrrrr....math. maybe my son will tutor me.

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Shelter of Wings

Lisa Hutchinson has a new site totally dedicated to her excellent manga series, Shelter of Wings.

Head on over to www.ShelterOfWings.com and check it out.

Here's a sample of Lisa'a beautiful artwork:

Shelter of Wings (c) 2007 Brethren Entertainment

Artwork (c) 2007 Lisa Hutchinson

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Just a week to Dragon*Con in Atlanta. If you're going, be sure to look me up at the table in the comics area, OR taking part in quite a few panels.

IDWhas come through for me, and I'll have copies of Gene SimmonsDominatrix and Gene Simmons House of Horrors for sale at the table, butnot an unlimited quantity, so they'll be first come, first sold. Also,I'll have several copies of the Nick Simmons Skullduggery book for saleas well.

Of course, for all the long-term fans I'll havecopies of the Fishnet Angel: Jane Doe comic miniseries as well, and afew remaining copies of the Shooting Star Comics Anthology for thereally die-hard fans.

And when you've finished spending allyou cash at the table, please drop by one of these panels that I'll betaking part in as either a panelist or moderator.

Friday

Lights! Camera! Pencils!
4:00 pm

Sex and the Single Superhero
7:00 pm

Saturday

Redemption - The Flawed Hero
1:00 pm

Sunday

The Write Approach – Scripting Comics for Different Styles
1:00 pm

Monday

The Tools for Ghouls
11:30 am

Once More with Multiple Printings
4:00 pm

So get your costumes ready and pay me a visit. I'd love to meet you.

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News from Harry Miller

For those of you who have been praying for Harry Miller I received a letter from him today Posted Marked 20 Aug 2007

Here are a few excerpts.

Dear Don,

“I already called Felix after I got home to let her know I’m “still alive.”

“Besides meeting all the wonderful people and staff during my month in rehab, I was surprised to receive a card from Diane Dudoit-Raiche, the director of the national Catholic Educational Association (She’s from my hometown, Lake Charles, La., and the NCEA will get my Christian comic book collection). Anyway Diane arranged for a Mass to be said at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, as well as the related shrine in Belleville, Ill. for my healing. Interestingly, I regained the ability to move my right leg which I lost use of over 25 years ago when I broke my neck in May of 1980.”

“Besides getting a card and drawing from Felix, I also got good wishes and prayers from John Pierce, you, Chris & Erica Well, Kevin Yong, Robert Marsh, Don Kelly and friends at Holy Spirit Catholic Church without whose help and praise I could never had made it this far.”

God’s blessings on you and AO

Harry M.

Don: Harry was one of the charter members to Alpha-Omega and was on the CCAS Board for a number of years.
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Formless Ramblings is back!

What's Formless Ramblings, you ask. Well, it's my blog of religious and philosophical thought. Okay, more like ramblings or quotes or my thoughts about magazine articles I've read. And some interviews with cool folks about their faith life. Oh, and my own ponderings about what this life of faith means in the real world.

A few years ago (okay lots of years ago -- I keep forgetting how old I am), I used to maintain a website for spiritual equal footing for people of any faith or no faith to at least examine the life of Christian faith. The site was called Form and Matter, and I kept it up for quite a few years before I completely lost time to devote to it. But it's spirit will live on in the blog that used to coincide with it -- Formless Ramblings.

Anyway, just check it out for yourself.

The link is: http://form-and-matter.blogspot.com/

See ya there.
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Wizard World 2007

I went to Wizard World in Chicago with my friend and mentor Pat Gleason last weekend. Wizard sprang for a hotel room and convention badge and allowed him to add me as a guest, so all I had to pay for was food and gas. If you have the means, I highly recommend it.

The con was good for me. As always, it was invigorating to see other people's work and thus be re-energized to work on my own material. I attended a couple of panels on creating comics and the comics industry, and had the opportunity to show my portfolio to a few editors. The responses were positive - invitations to send JPEGs of more of my work, and talk of the possibility of future projects. I got to see some old friends again, I met George Macas for the first time, had dinner with Ben Avery, and met a few other Christians for the first time (hi, Kim!).

I also rode on the Elevator of Celebrity with Ben. The first time we waited for the elevator to arrive, Lou Ferrigno stepped out. One of the guys who were there waiting yelled, "Lou Ferrigno!" He grinned and said, "Why don't you say that a little louder, guys?" The next time we walked aboard, Michael Madsen ("Reservoir Dogs") and his wife (?) were there. He said he had been wondering whether that theory about jumping at the last moment before the elevator crashes would work. Fortunately, we didn't have to test it, but there was a lot of fanboy weight in there.

And lots of fun was had by all.
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Bible stories and saints assume comic book form

I just read about two new Bible-related comic book projects that are coming out soon. Both sound really interesting. I hope they do well.

"Dust," a series of 36-page comic books published in Grand Rapids, dramatizes scenes from the Bible.
And you can find Dust at its website:
http://www.store-dust.com/



"Stories of the Saints," a series of 112-page comic books produced in Springfield, Mo., specializes in the amazing tales of Catholic saints.
You can find the Stories of The Saints at:
http://www.arcadiuspress.com


The review I read can be found here.
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Hello everybody!

I just wanted to pop on and comment how great it is to see something like this from the CCAS.

I first got started with the CCAS around 1992 or so - that's when I first heard about their APAzine, Alpha-Omega. I joined up as quickly as I could. I was privileged to be able to serve on the CCAS Board of Directors throughout the 90s and witnessed the growth of the convention outreach at the San Diego Convention through Ralph Miley and Don Ensign, as well as the outreach into other conventions by George Macas. It was also great to participate in some of their collaborative projects such as The A-O Challenge, Proverbs and Parables and New Visions.

The CCAS and Alpha-Omega served as an invaluable training ground form my later work in comics.

Several years ago, Ben Avery, Sherwin Schwartzrock, Darren Brady and I formed our virtual studio, Community Comics ( www.CommunityComics.com ). Through Community Comics we self-published a couple of titles (HeroTV, Chosen Mortals, and Handel’s Messiah) and produced several other titles such as ArmorQuest, David’s Mighty Men, David: The Shepherd’s Song and Tempest for Alias Enterprises (these are available at our website).

I’m currently working as the managing editor for Zondervan’s line of graphic novels ( www.ZGraphicNovels.com ) as well as organizing a couple of other projects for Community Comics and doing a bit of freelance artwork here and there.

All this is my round about way of saying thank you to the CCAS. I may not be able to pitch in directly as much as I’d like to, but I continue to carry on the CCAS mission with everything I do.

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Philosophical Gumbo a la Sean

I've long held that I'm a creature of opposites, a self-professed postmodern existentialist christian mystic believer in absolute truth.Now, if you've studied philosophy at all, you'll know immediately thatthose are the kind of ingredients that make one strange and confusingsoup in which the flavors don't actually complement each other.

Postmodern:
If Descartes is seen as the father of modernism, then postmodernism is a variety of cultural positions which reject major features ... modern(the philosophical concept of modern, not the chronologicalnecessarily) thought. Hence, views which, for example, stress thepriority of the social to the individual; which reject theuniversalizing tendencies of philosophy; which prize irony overknowledge; and which give the irrational equal footing with therational in our decision procedures all fall under the postmodernumbrella.

Existentialism:
A philosophy that emphasizesthe uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostileor indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, andstresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences ofone's acts.

Christian Mysticism:
Mysticism is thephilosophy and practice of a direct experience of God. In the Christiancontext this is usually practiced through prayer, meditation andcontemplation. Christian mysticism aspires to apprehend spiritualtruths inaccessible through intellectual means, typically by emulationof Christ. "If you're a Christian, you're on a tightrope. If yousee yourself more as a "Christian mystic" you're on the tightrope butjuggling bowling balls." -- from http://www.christianmystics.com/

Absolute Truth:
Ingeneral, absolute truth is whatever is always valid, regardless ofparameters or context. The absolute in the term connotes one or moreof: a quality of truth that cannot be exceeded; complete truth;unvarying and permanent truth. It can be contrasted to relative truthor truth in a more ordinary sense in which a degree of relativity isimplied.


How can I believe and hold to all these conflicting tenets? Well, I guess it's that struggle that helps to makeme who I am. All I know is that the postmodern in me rejects easyanswers and attempts to deconstruct everything to find the "truth"beneath the composition (even though typically postmoderns reject thenotion of truth with a capital "T." The existentialist in meacknowledges the isolation of the individuals and places greatimportance on living well in a world that seems to ignore us (at best)or downright antagonistic toward us (at worst). The living heroicallyin that world is the greatest human achievement, seeking to beresponsible for standing up in the face of that isolation. TheChristian mystic in me attempts to makes sense of this all through arelationship with God, and sees that those my existentialism makes theworld seem apart and distant and uncaring, the God who created itisn't, that the postmodern who has become jaded and skeptical canultimately find something solid and real once everything has beendeconstructed and laid bare apart from all it's cultural context. Andthe believer in absolute truth in me gives me hope that there issomething real, something firm that holds true, period, and that if Isearch for it, regardless of its name or what faith has tried to co-optit, it will be there just as real for me as for everyone else who hasthe guts to put everything they believe at risk just to find it.

So,beneath the surface of my skin and psyche, all that mixture ofphilosophical gumbo is going on. And now you know me, the real me. Thedefinition of me, at least in terms of my philosophical understandingof myself, the world, and my place in it. But, in spite of all theheady, self-important crap that is me, I like to watch TV, movies andread books and comics and play (I call it work most of the time) on mycomputer.

All this heady stuff, and I'm still a shallow wack job, huh? But you have to love me for it, right?

(Wait, don't leave. Please...)

*grins*
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What makes a comic book "Christian"?

I'm curious because I've had this discussion with pastors and youth pastors starting from way back years ago when I worked as a music buyer in a Christian bookstore. Of course, back then the discussion was about Christian music. What made it Christian?

The distributor?
The words?
The attitude of the artist's heart and his or her faith?
Was DC Talk Christian and Bruce Cockburn not?

Now I ask the same thing of Christian comics. What makes them Christian?

Is it that they're advertised and marketed as such?
Is it that they're published by Christian publishers?
Is it that they're blatantly evangelistic?
Or can mainstream comics written by Christians like Chuck Dixon and Roland Mann be included?
It is the attitude of the writer and/or artist's heart and faith?

I figure that this group, if any, would be able to help hammer this out.

Personally, I'm a bit more liberal in my definition. (I must be to write for the Gene Simmons line at IDW, right, and particularly to write a book called Gene Simmons Dominatrix, or to be hard at work on so many horror-tinged books at the moment.)

But I feel that almost any story, no matter the language or content (to a large degree) can be a story of redemption. Taking my cues from the Bible, it seems that almost no subject is taboo, from revenge, bloody wars, genocide, sex, incest, you name it. It's all in there, and I'm hoping that gives us earthly creators a grace-filled free reign to tackle almost any subject redemptively. I guess that's my definition at the heart. If it's a genuine redemptive story, it can be called a Christian one, because that's what Christ came to do, redeem.

But feel free to differ.
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New cartoon strip starts soon

I've just had the good news that I've got a new strip to start called Super Rod, a hero who uses his bendy arms to unblock drains and find lost items. It will go out in January in the Electrical wholesalers magazine. Will post more strip later.

I continue to draw Cable girl (fixes cabling and electrical products) and Dr Bardic the fire safety man.
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I won

I had a challenge this month, I was hired by a youth minister who use to minister to kids in the church. This was a challenge because she was looking for an illustrator to make the story on her booklets more animated and lively for the little ones. I do a lot of stories and drawings for kids and teens. My over all goal is to give them fesh and creative stories and comics and cartoons that preach the gospel of JESUS. So guess what,, SHe loved them and said that she was blown away by the drawings.

AWESOME!!!!!!!!

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Open Source Judaism in Comic Book form?

I just read a review of a comic book by Douglas Rushkoff who apparently likes to think that the old testament version (and judaism in general) should be up for collaborative re-interpretation.

You can find the review here

The book is titled Testament, a title that has been used very recently for a separate Christian publisher's anthology of Bible stories.

That sounded suspect to me, but I read on. The more I read, the more convinced I was that the author of the book has invented his own religion, based upon what seems to be a Jewish heritage and created a comic book from the result.

Still the result is a comic-book that tries to address issues of religion and spirituality and subsequently, still stands as what seems to be an honest attempt to articulate a specific system of belief, albeit a very strange one.

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The 2007 Guide to Christian Comics will be available at:

2007 Karitos Christian Arts Festival.
Aug 2-4, 2007
Living Waters Community Church
Bolingbrook, IL
Christian Comics Table (George Macas, Jr)

Wizard World Chicago
Aug. 9-12, 2007
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, IL
Kingdom Comcs Table (George Macas, Jr, contact)

Tampa Comic Book & Toy Convention
Aug .19, 2007
Doubletree Hotel
Tampa, FL
Geoff Brenneman’s Table
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King Who went to the moon Now launched on www.lulu.com and amazon

This is my book aimed at 7-12 year olds. Now on sale on www.lulu.com go to http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=2856712The King who went to the moon!There was an old king who lived in a faraway land full of magic and mystery. He was a wealthy, wise and extremely adventurous king. There was just one problem: he had done everything there was that a king could possibly think to do.This was why King Ozwald sat on his throne in the main hall looking so sad. No matter how many jokes the pageboy Ben told, or how many magical tricks the Wizard Zoran conjured, nothing could pull the King from this deep-rooted boredom.“Is there nothing you have not done or tried at all, my great King? Nothing at all?” asked Ben, looking unhappily at King Ozwald, who juststared out over his Kingdom.“Dear boy, I’ll tell you something that not a lot of people know. I’ve climbed the highest mountains, dived to the bottom of the deepest seas. I’ve fought the tallest giants and the most fearsome dragons—and not without a few singed hairs, I might add!” Ozwald proudly related his most daring exploits to Ben and Zoran.“I’ve tried every sport, every hobby, all kinds of record-breaking attempts—what more can I do to try to fight this ghastly boredom?” This thought made his sadness return.“Maybe we should ask the people of our Kingdom to come up with an idea? Surely someone must know about something you’ve never done before?” As Ben began to explain his idea, King Ozwald began to brighten up a little.“My boy, I think you’ve cracked it! We’ll have a huge party for everyone in my Kingdom. The person who can come up with something I’ve never done before can have a chest of gold and jewels so big they’ll never have to work again!” With this, Ozwald seemed a lot happier and set about calling for the people to gather in the great hall.“My King, everyone has written down their ideas, and some are quite extraordinary,” proclaimed the Wizard.“Water skiing, knife juggling, dwarf tossing! But I don’t think there’s anything here you’ve not tried—within reason.” Zoran smiled to himself at some of the things the people had suggested.“What must I do, Zoran?” King Ozwald asked as he stared up at the full moon that shone brightly down on the Kingdom.“I’ve no idea, my King, but you’d better cheer up or the people will lose their faith in you,” Zoran spoke with a rather unsympathetic tone.Then, “I know, my King, there is something you have never done, and one idea that I’ve always dreamed of!” shouted Ben suddenly with glee in his voice.“Look at the beautiful moon up in the sky—what an adventure it would be to travel there and look down on the earth!” This had always been Ben’s dream, ever since he was a small boy on his father’s farm.The night turned into one long celebration. Even the cynical Zoran joined in the fun with an amazing fireworks display that lit up the sky for miles around.The court’s musicians piped up with the King’s favourite music. Everyone danced the night away.“I would give everything to come with you, my King,” asked Ben nervously.“My boy, I would be extremely proud to take you—after all, it was your idea.” The King looked down at Ben with pleasure.“Then let’s build a rocket ship big enough for both of us, just like the ones Zoran is setting off tonight,” Ben giggled with excitement, as another rocket burst into the night sky.The next day, the King and Ben clambered down the castle steps to the courtyard below, where Zoran the Wizard was waiting impatiently.“My King, if you are to travel to the moon you must train to be an astronaut, so you can survive in the deep cold of space.” The Wizard then explained how space is a cold and difficult place for anyone to travel.“Well, Zoran, do your worst, but make sure we are fit for whatever the trip has in store,” King Ozwald agreed with a nervous edge to his voice.With this, Zoran began to prepare them for the weightlessness of space. If only they knew what evil plan he had in store for them!After days of extremely vigorous training, in which the Wizard Zoran seemed to take great delight, the King decided that enough was enough and told Zoran they needed to rest.“Fine, I’ve been meaning to get back to building the rocket ship you asked for.” Then the Wizard promptly disappeared down one of the castle’s stairways into the dungeon.“Well, I’ve never seen him act like that before,” said Ben suspiciously.“Neither have I—maybe we should take a peek at what he’s been making down in the dungeon,” suggested the King. They both began to climb down the stairs to spy on Zoran.They were amazed at how quickly the rocket was being built. “Now I know where all the castle armour has disappeared to!” whispered Ozwald.After two more weeks the rocket ship was ready for launch, and the King and Ben had finished their astronaut training.“Well, my King, today is the day of the great space adventure. Are you ready to climb aboard the ship?” Zoran was rubbing his hands with undisguised glee that his evil plan was about to take place.“As ready as we will ever be! My only concern is, how do we get back?’ Ozwald replied in a worried tone.“No need to worry about that. I’ll explain when you land safely on the moon,” sniggered Zoran.“I don’t trust him at all,” Ben whispered to the King. They both climbed into the cockpit of the rocket and strapped themselves in, ready for takeoff.“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero—we have lift off!” shouted Zoran over the radio.The rockets roared into life and the ship hurtled into the skies. The King and Ben were thrown back into their seats by the G-force of the takeoff.As the rocket propelled itself into the atmosphere, the evil Wizard Zoran raced downstairs to where the King kept all his gold and crown jewels.“What do you think you’re doing down here?” growled the King’s special crown guard.“I’m taking over this Kingdom so I can steal all the gold in the castle.” The Wizard then cast an evil spell, turning all the King’s guards into zombies.Thankfully King Ozwald and Ben were managing to keep the rocket steady on its course to the moon. They were enthralled by how beautiful the earth looked and how bright the stars shone this far out in space.“Get ready, Ben, I think we’re about to land on the moon,” said the King. They started to deploy the landing gear as they hurtled towards the rocky ground of the moon.“I think we’re going to crash. Hold on to something,” said Ben as the rocket smashed into the moon’s surface with an almighty bang and a wallop!“That’s torn it. I don’t know how we’ll get back now,” groaned King Ozwald as they clambered out of the damaged spaceship.“Be careful Ben, we can’t afford to get lost. We need to find a way of getting back.” They both floated across the surface looking for someone to help them get back.Before long they came across a strange blue giant sitting on a moon rock and eating some cheese. “What are you two strange creatures doing on my moon?” bellowed the giant.“I am King Ozwald from the Kingdom of UpperMill, and this is my trusted pageboy Ben,” said the King with a nervous smile.“Yes, we didn’t mean to trespass on your planet. We have crashed and don’t know how to get back to earth,” Ben gasped in amazement as he gazed at the huge giant who towered over them.“Well then, I suppose that’s okay. I may be able to help you,” rumbled the giant.“I am the man in the moon and I live here alone making my magic moon cheese.” The man in the moon then explained how by eating his cheese they could make a wish and their dreams would come true.“We would be grateful if you could help us,” cried Ben as his oxygen began to run out, making it harder for him to breathe.“Don’t worry, little boy, just eat a small portion of my cheese and you’ll fall asleep, whereupon you will dream. Whatever you dream will come true, even if you wish to arrive back home safely,” explained the man in the moon.With this they both took a bite of the magical cheese and dreamt of being back home in the castle.With a “POW!” they both suddenly appeared in a flash of smoke at the foot of the bed of the castle chef and his wife.“How did you get back here, my King?” screamed the chef, waking his wife.“Calm down, Chef, we were trapped on the moon by the evil Wizard Zoran.” The King explained how the man in the moon had saved them.The chef and his wife then told King Ozwald and Ben how the Wizard Zoran had taken over the castle, with the help of soldiers who had been put under an evil zombie spell.“We’ll soon sort him out,” growled the King.“I don’t think so, my King,” Zoran hissed as he stepped into the room with two huge zombie guards.“Don’t hurt the boy, Zoran, we’ll come quietly.” King Ozwald decided it wasn’t a good idea to try to fight the zombies.“Good thinking, my King. Down to the dungeons with you both.” Zoran chortled as the King and Ben were carried away by the two zombies to the castle’s dark, damp dungeon.The zombies unlocked the heavily bolted doors of the dungeon, throwing the King and Ben roughly across the floor. Only the glow of a candle and a thin sliver of light from the moon penetrated the dark dampness of the cramped cell.“Don’t worry, Ben, I’m sure we’ll find a way out,” the King tried his best to reassure Ben.“My King, all is not lost. All we have to do is contact the man in the moon—I’m sure he will save us.” Ben’s hope was like a beacon in the gloom of the dungeon.“I saved some of the magic cheese the man in the moon gave us. All we have to do is eat it and make our wish.” They both ate a piece before dropping off to sleep, hoping for the man in the moon’s help one more time.Within minutes of them both dropping off to sleep, a strange rumbling could be heard outside the castle walls.“Who dares wake me from my sleep?” bellowed Zoran as he clambered onto the top turret of the castle.“I do. I’m here to rescue my two friends the King and the pageboy Ben.” The man in the moon’s voice was so loud it even shook the turrets of the castle.Then the Wizard unleashed his most powerful spell, which had absolutely no effect, as the man in the moon’s magic was too powerful.“I’ve got work for you to do, Zoran. You can churn my cheese and keep me company on the moon for your crimes today,” he said.The Wizard was so afraid he turned all the guards back to normal and freed the King and Ben.“We thank you again.” The King chuckled along with Ben as the man in the moon and the Wizard faded away.The King vowed never again to complain of being bored, but promised Ben they would one day visit the moon again.Zoran was now under lock and key, and had plenty of hard labour to do, helping the man in the moon make his special moon cheese.Ben asked the King how they would get back to the moon. “I think we can do that any time we wish, as my loyal chef has copied the cheese recipe with the man in the moon’s permission.” Ben smiled and the King winked in acknowledgement.“Well, Ben, maybe this is the start of many adventures to come,” said the King in excitement.A great cheer rose from the guards, the chef and his wife, who had all come to see what happened to the evil Wizard Zoran.The end.Or was it the beginning?
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The 2007 Guide to Christian Comics
is now available.


+ Christian Comic Arts Society Publication
+ Compiled by Don Ensign
+ 4th Annual Edition
+ 36 Pages
+ Sections incude:
+ Christian Comics(Print) 5 pages
+ Christian Comics (Web) 15 Pages
(over 150 listings)
+ Groups, Ministries, Publishers, etc. 4 Pages
+ Milestones 3 Pages
+plus Publicity and Work by
Christian Comics Creatorsl
+ Short of analysis of 2007
Christian Comics Scene .
+ Over 40 sample illustrations


$ 2.50 (plus $1.50 p & h).
Donald Ensign
250-A S Paseo Cerro
Green Valley, AZ 85614
(Yes, I have PayPal)
densign8@dakotacom.net

Available at CCAS table
at Comic Con International: San Diego
and the Tampa Bay Comic Con
(Geoff Brenneman's Table)
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