The Book of Comic Prayer

Using Art and Humor to Transform Youth Ministry

Heather J. Annis

Aug/2016, 144 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819232786



The Book of Comic Prayer takes a fresh look at prayer from an unexpected perspective: comic art, humor, and their relevance to today’s image-driven youth. Part explanation, part instruction, it explores the role of prayer and faith in mainstream and underground comics, and provides resources for incorporating comics and cartooning into curricula for children and youth. The Appendix includes an illustrated booklet created by one group of young people as a supplement to traditional forms of prayer and offers tips and tricks for creating books of comic prayer. The church has always used visual arts for prayer, worship, and education, and religious themes and figures still permeate popular culture. Comics, with their larger-than-life stories of villainy, morality, and heroism, have religious undertones ranging from explicit to metaphorical, offering opportunities to explore what post-modern prayer and faith look like and why they matter. Comics are inexpensive, accessible, and adaptable to church school, youth groups, Bible studies, prayer groups, camps, and VBS. There have been illustrated comic Bibles and religious books, but no single resource dealing with prayer’s individual and communal aspects as they relate to the comic art form. This is that book!

Heather J. Annis is an artist who has worked with young people in various settings for over ten years. Currently serving as Director of Children and Youth Ministries at St. John's Episcopal Church in Barrington, Rhode Island, she is responsible for all aspects of programming for kids in preschool through grade twelve. She is also the founder of Studio 35 Community Arts Consulting, through which she seeks to engage individuals and groups in the act of art-making. A graduate of Andover Newton Theological School, where she was the recipient of the Roger Hazelton Award for Excellence in Worship, Theology, and the Arts, Heather is passionate about the intersections among art, faith, and community. She is an avid fan and creator of comics, cartoons, and art in many forms.

"Artist and Christian educator Heather Annis has written a thoughtful, creative, and humorous resource for all those who minister with youth. I highly recommend her work for both reading and use in your ministry."––Robert W. Pazmiño, Valeria Stone Professor of Christian Education, Andover Newton Theological School, and author of God Our Teacher

"Heather's fresh approach to spirituality, one which embraces both modern media and modern culture and invites both into a sustained conversation with our ancient faith, is both refreshing and exciting. She stands in the great line of preachers and artists who have labored to re-present the Gospel to the community of their time. I hope lots of us take her teaching to heart in our daily ministries."––The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, Diocese of Rhode Island

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Heather outlines an innovative approach that you will want to add to your Christian formation toolbox. I can see using the creativity exercises she shares in many settings and with different age groups."––Laurie Bailey, Forma Treasurer and Membership Manager

"Framed in my office is a quote by Charles Schulz: 'Cartooning is preaching, and I think we have a right to do some preaching.' Thanks be to God for this book by Heather Annis, who helps all of us to proclaim good news. With wit and wisdom, forged by great experience in youth ministry, she invites us to find our voice through art, and to do so with a light touch. The church needs more of that, for sure. I recommend this book and thank Heather for this offering."––The Rev. Jay Sidebotham, cartoonist, author, and director of RenewalWorks

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