Where Faith Fights Like a Superhero: In the “small” but mighty booths at San Diego Comic-Con

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Comic-Con, particularly the much-anticipated annual convention in San Diego, is undoubtedly the mecca for all sci/fi and fantasy enthusiasts, with more than 100,000 attendees from around the world gathering once a year in sunny Southern California Life experience.

Arguably the largest multi-genre entertainment and pop culture event in the country, winning a booth is the holy grail for retailers of comics, toys and collectibles alike. With Congress returning to San Diego for the first time since 2019 — the in-person event has been suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — any significant presence could mean business for any company of any size.

Not too far from the Marvel media powerhouse, in what they call the “Small Press Pavilion,” sits the Christian Comic Arts Society and its partner in the crime fight against God and Country Graphics. It comes as no surprise to anyone that the former [Marvel] has a steady stream of loyal fans who flock to its massive structure – a well-deserved two-booth arrangement – while the latter two tables compete for the attention of the expected 135,000 attendees.

But although she and others like her are considered small by the medium, their collective message is larger than life.

FROM FRONT LINES TO DRAWING LINES: HOW COMIC-CON GIVE VETS THE OPPORTUNITY TO “SHINE IN THE BEST LIGHT”

Fox News Digital caught up with God and Country Graphics’ Eric Jansen and New Creation Comics’ Ralph Miley – the two gentlemen who held the fort at the former’s table – to learn more about the inspiration behind their chosen subgenre and what it means to them means being at “the Con.”

Ralph Miley and Eric Jansen, both members of the Christian Comic Arts Society, sat down with Fox News Digital to talk about art, God and their work to bring the two together.
(Laura Carrione, Fox News Digital)

Jansen and Miley, both members of the Christian Comic Arts Society, met at San Diego Comic-Con during a get-together for CCAS, which has had a presence at the convention for 25 years. Though their partnership is long-standing, this is the first time they’ve shared a table at the four-day experience that’s already crowding downtown San Diego.

“We have our table, a panel on spiritual issues in comics, and we’ve had a Sunday service here for about 20 years,” Miley told Fox News Digital. “We decided to reserve a table here and God was just merciful to us and allowed us to have one together.”

“We’ve both printed our own books a lot during the pandemic and this is the first time anyone’s seen a bunch of them, so this year we wanted to be more than just part of the CCAS table,” added Jansen, who publishes himself under god and country graphics.

“People have this idea of ​​who Christians are and what they’re about…well, we’re just like everyone else,” Ralph Miley of the Christian Comic Arts Society

Miley, a pastor, described doing the work of God through art as his “calling,” adding that comics like his have become something of an alternative subgenre under New Creation – underscoring a perverse stigma attached to Christians in a Plenty of creative media surrounds have been around for several decades.

“When you’re talking about alternative press, what’s more alternative than sharing the gospel?”

“But because we love comics, it softens the impact a bit when we start sharing the gospel, because that’s what we’re all about: we’re here to shine the light of Christ, to try to get people to be curious to become,” Miley explains.

“People have this idea of ​​who Christians are and what they’re about, but then when they see us here and we’ve had such a long track record here, they’re like, ‘Oh, they’re not that bad. ‘ Well, we’re just like everyone else,” Miley said.

The Small Press Pavilion is home to CCAS, a longtime pillar of the famed convention.

The Small Press Pavilion is home to CCAS, a longtime pillar of the famed convention.
(Laura Carrione, Fox News Digital)

Jansen explained that while the CCAS table offers free evangelical comics to try and bring people into the fold, the God and Country Graphics table works like any other comic book vendor: you’re hoping for a sale, especially because they there are makes the publication.

“A lot of Christians are self-publishers because there really isn’t a big Christian comic book publisher. The Christian bookstores don’t seem to want comics and the comic bookstores don’t seem to want Christian material – so on the one hand we’re like a small publisher.”

‘NON-WOKE’ COMIC BOOK HITS READERS, REACHES $2 MILLION: ‘YOU’RE ALWAYS AFRAID OF THIS’

When he was relegated to the Small Press Pavilion, Jansen says it’s actually a blessing – calling it the best spot in the convention center.

“It’s less expensive. You don’t have large overheads. For us, we spend a minimal amount, a few hundred dollars for every four days…” Miley said.

“And have the same experience,” added Jansen.

Convention organizers have been gracious enough to spare them the space to set up a store on previous occasions when they couldn’t afford it, Miley said.

“We have had such good experiences here with the organizers of the convention. Once we couldn’t afford a table so we told them we couldn’t make it. They called us right back and said, ‘It just doesn’t feel right that you guys aren’t here’ and they compensated us a table.”

Jansen says the charity was a result of Miley’s gentle and godly nature, which allowed him to develop strong relationships with “the con” folks over the years.

“And then talking to them and letting them know they’re no less than,” Miley added. “From a pastoral perspective, we are all sinners. Therefore, for me as a counselor, sin makes everything a level playing field. That’s how I approach people. All right, I’m better than – ‘I can’t. I was saved only by grace.”

As for what the future holds for the gentlemen and their fight to make Christianity a superhero, Miley said it’s all about exposure.

“We’re just grateful for this kind of opportunity, for having that kind of exposure in our first venture together,” Miley concluded.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Attendees at San Diego Comic-Con International 2022 can visit https://www.comic-con.org/ to learn more about this weekend’s tables, panels, and of course, this weekend’s comics affiliated with the Christian Comic Arts Society.

Leave a Comment