The germ for the graphic novel was based on a conversation that the author had prior to entering the monastery with several cradle Catholics who were born and raised in the faith. As they conversed, Amadeus realized how little any of them knew the faith. He concluded that the ignorance of this splendor of truth was a stumbling block for his generation of Catholics.
“The Truth Is Out There” depicts two space aged mail carriers discussing life, the universe and everything at a coffee bar. As the protagonists Brendon and Eric contemplate the right path to truth and true happiness , one finds his answers ensconced in the Catholic Church.
Although Amadeus seeks to educate readers, since the characters start at the very beginning readers do not have to possess any faith to appreciate the thoughful ideas which they will encounter. “The Truth Is Out There” seems to avoid shallow and syrupy characterizations typical of Christian media. And the plot allows the space aged couriers to put their coffee house principles to the test in the real “world”.
The author Amadeus had a lifelong love of comics and was inspired by the “Adventures of Tintin”. His love of drafting prompted him to become an aerospace engineer. Yet in 2003, he answered the call to become a contemplative monk, so Amadeus tried to put those illustration influences aside for his vocation of Eucharistic Adoration as well as praying the Divine Office and the Divine Liturgy.
|Maronite Monks in worship|
Initially, Amadeus thought of sharing these insights in an illustrated letter, copying the traditions of illuminated manuscripts. But he found that too boring and decided to do a series of comic strips because that is what he does best. Amadeus opined that: “The harder an idea is, the more helpful it is to draw it out.”
Even though a cloistered Maronite Monk seems like an unlikely messenger for a contemporary call to faith via pop art, the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways. Bishop Gregory Mansour, of the Maronite Eparchy of Brooklyn, wrote that :
[S]omehow the words 'comic book' and 'intellectually challenging' don’t usually go together, but they do in 'The Truth is Out There' by Amadeus…Thank you, Amadeus, for presenting the journey from the prison walls of our mind to the exhilarating freedom of the truth in such an exciting way.
While comics are not my favored medium of entertainment or education, if a graphic novel can inspire other readers to see that “The Truth Is Out There” and contemplate eternal truths, that’s wonderful.
h/t: Catholic News Agency