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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Catholic comic book creators bid for funding

Catholic comic book creators are aiming to raise funds for a pro-life graphic novel in a bid to reach today’s youth via the popular literary medium.

The writers and illustrators from the Deo Gratias Company have set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a hard-bound 50 full-colour page book, titled Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Graphic Novel.

They have put together a series of Catholic comic books based on the apparitions of Our Lady. The group recently earned the Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval for their first comic, Our Lady of Fatima the Graphic Novel.

Sam Estrada, a Catholic children’s book writer and illustrator for the Deo Gratias Company, was inspired to begin the project after his spiritual director suggested he read more about Our Lady in order to help him embrace a deeper prayer life.

“I took it very seriously and I took a trip to Fatima, Portugal, where I was immersed in the deep devotion that was ingrained in their culture,” he told The Universe.

The group finished Our Lady of Fatima the Graphic Novel in 2017, which has already sold over 2,000 copies since November 2017. Mr Estrada believes spreading Catholicism through comic books and graphic novels helps youngsters connect more with their faith as “comics still have a big impact on today’s youth”.

“Through Catholic comics, I not only TELL the young people of the stories of the saints, I SHOW them,” he said.

The newest book, Our Lady of Guadalupe the Graphic Novel, explores the life of St Juan Diego and has a pro-life theme within the story.

“I think the pro-life message is very important for young people to know,” said Mr Estrada. “In the book, I relate it to the Aztec sacrifice of innocent people – including children – and how Our Lady of Guadalupe’s miraculous tilma converted millions of pagan Aztecs to the Faith.

“It shows how Mary’s intercession stopped the mass killing of millions. Although not a violent book, I believe the book presents the pro-life subject well enough to be understood by a child. In the end, the book teaches the reader how to combat such injustices through prayer, asking Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession.”

The graphic novel will only be available in the UK if the group reach their Kickstarter campaign goal of $25,000 (£17,684) by the campaign deadline.

As of Friday, 30th March, the campaign will have around nine days remaining. Mr Estrada eventually plans on doing comics on the lives of the saints and other projects as well.

Picture: A section of the front cover of the graphic novel.