Around Christmas last year, my wife set up a crèche, and my kid was all like, “What’s that?”
The child was directed to her father, who punted. It was an excellent punt. I wanted to weave a tale that spanned from a dragon tempting Adam, the first King of Earth, in a garden, to the return of Christ, the second Adam, nestling the nativity right into its context. But my brain wasn’t quick enough to manage it, so I just read a bit from the beginning of Matthew or Luke.
“Oh, gee, darn” the perceptive among you are saying. “You only relied on God’s words instead of your own words. What a terrible outcome.”
It’s okay. There’s sarcasm in the Bible. God thinks it’s funny too.
And I agree. Better to rely on the Word of God than man’s words.
Here’s the thing: Christianity is this epic thing. Angels and Dragons wrestling with flaming swords behind the curtain of reality. Echoes of Christ back to Adam and forward to the end, which is the new beginning.
And the available kids’ books are… well, they are sanitary. The heady communal wine has been replaced with grape juice. In sippy cups. And it’s probably really peach juice with artificial grape flavoring.
I’m not saying let’s break out the book of Judges or the Song of Solomon and read ’em to our five year olds. But our five year olds do need the death and resurrection of Jesus, which means there’s a level of sanitizing that you just shouldn’t do.
It’s an old conundrum on this blog. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “As far as that goes, I side impenitently with the human race against the modern reformer. Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let villains be soundly killed at the end the book.”
But… for all that I complain about the super sanitary Precious Moments Bible Stories for Kids mindset, well… I like to draw cute things. My books thus far are very cartoony and stylized.
So, Precious Moments, but with dragons and swordfights and the like?
There are a few things I do want to do differently for this project.
For one, I want to use paint-overs of 3D models instead of ink drawings. Instead of this process:
And I may well have to. Today I decided to scan in my concept art for Awesome Moments, and while the Eden picture scanned in just fine, the David and Goliath picture just got hammered.
It may have just been a temporary heat and humidity issue, or I may need to replace my el cheapo printer. But until it’s sorted, my normal workflow is, well… on hold.
Anyways, this isn’t an announcement that my next project is Awesome Moments.
Awesome Moments is one of many seeds growing in my card box. But it’s the seed that most has my attention right now, so I’d estimate it has at least even odds with Hat Trick 2 for being my next book. Today I did 4 pages of concept cards easy, and if my momentum holds, there it is.
My final objective is to try and get some rhyme and meter, some easy to recall refrain going, while having vivid, lush illustrations, and every single line either taken from Scripture or taken from Scripture and lightly rephrased. I’d like to keep it as catholic as possible, so my Roman buddies and Eastern Orthodox buddies and even my Calvinist buddies, can use it for their kids, but I’m going to have to write it according to the theological understanding I’ve actually been given.
I’ll keep you apprised of my progress.