Friday, November 07, 2008

The Grand Inquisitor-- go read it.

I admit to being one of the apparently five American Catholics who don't find John Zmirak funny. The others are probably a Carthusian monk who last chuckled at something frivolous in 1952, a Traditionalist so tough that he makes most SSPX priests look like slackers, a cat lady in Wyoming and two Trekies who are convinced they really are Vulcans. Zmirak is, I am assured by most Catholic pals, a glass of fine aged brandy and my taste runs more into Cheerwine.

So, it was with some reluctance that I picked up his graphic novel, The Grand Inquisitor. It's good. It's really, really good. A fine and holy cardinal from Africa is elected pope. He's kidnapped and stuck in an insane asylum by the villain, a cardinal who's gone totally rogue. There is intense discussion about the state of mankind, the wounded Church, the clergy, nuns gone astray and at the climax startling vision by villain who sees an Infant of Prague statue suddenly look angry. Later he sees the Infant in dressed in armour and accompanied by butt kicking angels.
Like most graphic novels this is not for kids. It does not have pretty artwork. It disturbs, it thrills. I liked it. I should also point out that I can and do read Zmirak when he's serious. The man can write. I just never got his jokes.