Sunday, February 04, 2007

American Virgin #1 (comic) - a post by Jason

"American Virgin" is a mature readers-title from Vertigo following the life of a 20-year old travelling youth minister. Adam Chamberlain is a national speaker for the chastity movement, and he's engaged to Cassie, the one girl he believes God has said is the only woman he can ever know intimately.

I read the entire first issue online. I warn you it is a mature readers title, including language and nudity. I am not sure if I would buy the comic myself- but it addressed a lot of the questions of morality- how do I judge if it is OK for me to read or buy a magazine or watch a movie? By the language? sexuality? violence?

The story introduces Adam, who's struggling with his sexuality but hiding his own struggle from others. His mother is a bitter, hypocritical evangelical who hides her past sins. His brother smokes pot. His sister has been disenfranchised from the family. There are a ton of questions raised by this comic- how are Christians seen? Is there some truth to what the writer tells us about evangelical culture? (The writer said in an interview he was brought up in a hell-and brimstone Baptist church) It also addresses the "sacred/secular" split and how Christians are 'sheltered' from the real world.

At the end of issue, Adam finds out that his fiance- the only one God said he was supposed to ever know intimately- has been beheaded while doing missionary work in Africa. What will that do to the character's faith?

I chose this preview for my artifact simply because it forces me as a reader to ask myself tough questions I might not ask otherwise- about sexuality, death, western, religion and Christian culture. What Gospel am I preaching? While I do not know what will happen to Adam, I hope not to become religious, but become the incarnation of Jesus Christ to others- to walk in love and grace and give it away. And I'll do it without the WWJD bracelet.

for a six-page preview

Interview with the writer of the series:

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