Behold the
                              Miraculous Blog -- metaphysical esays
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Comic Strips
(July 15, 2024)

Comic strips may appear incongruous when associated with something as extraordinary as the miraculous. However, upon closer examination of the diverse array of themes and genres encapsulated within comic strips, one may begin to perceive them in a new and enlightening manner.

Comic strips provide opportunities for humor, ongoing soap opera-like storylines, self-contained messages, political satire, alternate realities, and educational snippets of history and facts. Most importantly, they offer implicit or explicit commentary on real-life situations. Comic strips allow us to gain insight into the mindset of individuals during specific eras, helping us piece together personal and national perspectives, as well as political and societal leanings.

American cartoonists, who rose to prominence in newspapers during the early 20th century, drew inspiration from the rich European comic art tradition, particularly the art of caricature. However, it was the advent of two American innovations in the 1920s that truly revolutionized the readership of newspaper comics. Firstly, the introduction of paper mâché printing matrices, achieved through photomechanical reproductions of the artists' original work, facilitated swift and cost-effective distribution of text and imagery on newspaper pages, both nationally and internationally. Secondly, the emergence of comic art syndication as a business model allowed artists to sell and distribute their work on a global scale.

Taking a retrospective view of the mid-20th century, we find ourselves in the midst of a golden age of comics, capturing the diverse perspectives of that era, which was marked by significant societal changes. The artists who contributed to this period have left behind a legacy of artistic representations that, even after half a century, continue to offer us profound insights into their intended messages.

Moreover, the utilization of comic imagery across various media platforms, including comic books, television, and film, has opened up new avenues for interpreting the same comic themes. These adaptations provide alternative lenses through which we can decipher the subject matter and uncover the underlying messages.

One of my all-time favorite comic strips from the past is Walt Kelly's Pogo. This strip chronicled the escapades of its anthropomorphic animal characters, prominently featuring the title character, an opossum. Notably, Pogo was crafted to appeal to both children and adults, cleverly incorporating layers of social and political satire specifically aimed at the latter audience.

Comic strips have a unique ability to blend humor and profound insights, making them a powerful medium for exploring complex ideas. The juxtaposition of the ordinary and the extraordinary in comic strips allows us to see the miraculous in everyday life. By presenting familiar situations in a visually engaging format, comic strips invite us to reconsider our preconceived notions and discover hidden depths within the seemingly mundane.

Autobiographical Comic
An Autobiographical Comic Panel

Comic strips have the remarkable ability to capture the essence of human emotions and experiences in a concise and relatable manner. Through their clever use of dialogue, imagery, and symbolism, comic strips can convey profound messages that resonate with readers on a deep level. They serve as a mirror to society, reflecting our joys, struggles, and triumphs, while also offering a fresh perspective on the world around us.

The remarkable fact that these seemingly simple, cartoonish drawings possess the power to portray our ideas and emotions accurately and so poignantly is truly awe-inspiring.

bookVolume 1 of the series
Behold the Miraculous!
170 pages containing
72 Metaphysical Essays with
34 Full-Color Illustrations,
Authored and illustrated by James Bennett. 

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                          the Miraculous! ANNOUNCING!
Volume 2 -- Now in Print!
Embrace the Miraculous!
175 pages containing
75 Metaphysical Essays with
13 Full-Color Illustrations

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