“Concerning ‘Cute’ Pictures”



So what if Nickel Boy Graphics had an actual mailbox? And what if this was an actual letter from a fan or a critic? How would I explain myself, my drawings, my goals?

One of my graphic strips that definitely fits the category of “not cute” is “Flamethrower Mommy and Ghost Dad.” My plan is to post it each Sunday because it does almost always take place in a church building.

Although “Flamethrower Mommy” takes her son, Caleb Joseph, to church every Sunday, it is more because it is what is expected by the community rather than out of any concern for his soul. Keeping up appearances is very important to her, yet she has no idea how she appears to others, particularly to her son.

Caleb Joseph actually wants to be good like Jesus who he hears about in Sunday School, but his mother is set on tearing him down and pours out all of the negativity and hatred she can.

In some respects, his struggle may be similar to that of many who have grown up in dysfunctional homes feeling forced to go to Sunday School and Church while inwardly rejecting the hypocrisy they may find between the world of home and the world of church, not feeling the love of Jesus through others closest to them.

Although Caleb Joseph’s name doesn’t appear in the title, he is the main character. He struggles to put into practice the Bible truths he learns in church while navigating through his mother’s emotional outbursts and hatred. “Ghost Dad” remains a mystery character.

Definitely not quite ready for a kitchen magnet, but maybe a coffee mug?!?


2 thoughts on ““Concerning ‘Cute’ Pictures”

  1. I always assumed Ghost Dad to be a reference to the pastors who complain that real, true men have disappeared from the churches and the suggestion that any guys who remain are simply shades of men – then again, I come from that kind of church that does confuse the gospel interpretation of the Bible and blame modern culture for failing to be unbiblical and worldly for all evils.
    ‘cute pictures’ just don’t appeal to me. Partially because they’re expected to and I hate to do the expected thing. So when I see them; I keep on scrolling and whatever message was intended just gets missed. Your work strikes a chord because it’s not cute, because it’s worth paying attention to, and because it asks the right questions.


    1. Thanks, Jamie. I really appreciate your feedback. Sometimes I’m not sure that I’m communicating quite what I intend, so when I get comments, that’s extremely helpful.

      For me, drawing is a way of thinking things through. The words part is much more of a challenge! You comments have always been beneficial to me in knowing whether I’m communicating effectively or not, and so I’m very grateful to you.

      We all need each other, I believe, to better understand an infinite God. There are ways that God reveals Himself uniquely through each of us. We are all to be equally ministers of Christ whether we have the title “pastor” or not.

      As far as “Ghost Dad” is concerned…for now, he will remain a mystery character. But I can say this, you are a very astute reader! Thanks again for you helpful comments! John


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