Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fiction, Comics, and Joshua Black: The subtle draw of Joshua Black Hierarchy of Heaven

What is fiction?

Fiction is the ability to write a potential future from current events.  It is the ability to portray the series of events to reach the end result of a given scenario or line of thinking.  It is the ability to take single theory or thought, and string it along all of its plausible courses to reach a final outcome.

With that said, what are comics and/or graphic novels?

This medium is the method of taking fiction and bringing it to life visually.  It allows the artists and writers to take a story that is compelling and powerful and amplify it to the nth degree.  It is the ability to combine a tale that is interesting and intriguing and gripping, and create artwork that helps to tell the story with images designed to inspire and accentuate the emotions of the story.

Why am I talking about this?

Joshua Black
Because Joshua Black, (written by Martin Dunn and published by Con Artist Entertainment), has a very interesting premise, and has but a few days left to meet their stretch goals via Kickstarter.

Allow me to quote the summary of the Joshua Black storyline:
The Hierarchy. A bloodline of existence.  Only one has been recorded ascending from the earth to take the throne of heaven, but His story has been told.  On this day, another will rise.  This is the story of a deity.  This is the story of a living God.  This is the story of JOSHUA BLACK. and how he ended the world, not with a whimper... but with a bang!

For those of you who are interested in theology, and specifically the theological heresies of Christianity, this may be a very interesting entry.  If you are not all that interested in it, you may still find this to be a worthwhile read.
Joshua Black

The first thing one will notice, regardless of your interest, is the fact that the story is based upon a character that becomes God.  I've had countless contacts since announcing my support for this series, and most are asking me a single question with multiple variations: Why are you, as a Christian, supporting something so diametrically opposed to your beliefs?

The answer to this question is simple: Because Joshua Black takes the Arianism heresy to its absolute final conclusion, and demonstrates, in my opinion, just why the heresy is so very contrary to the Word of God, and dangerous at the same time.

A little background first.  Arianism is not to be confused with Hitler's Arian Dream.  Arianism was created by a monk who could not reconcile himself to the belief that God was triune.  His solution to the perceived problem, then, was to declare that Jesus Christ, far from being God made flesh, was actually a created being that had been set aside specifically for the purpose of death on the cross.  His resurrection, according to the heresy, was proof that He had carried out His purpose successfully, and was thus granted deity status.

Of the many problems with this doctrine, one stands out most: It states that Christ was merely human.

Joshua BlackIn Joshua Black, a young man discovers that he is next in the hierarchy of Christ; that is, he is the same as Christ in that he was created specifically to serve a particular purpose and ascend to the throne of Heaven as the next "Son of God."  This is Arianism at its most blatant, and it does play out all the way to the end.

Because Joshua is a mere human tapped for godhood and granted the powers of a god, certain things are bound to happen.  For instance, we see in Scripture that Christ calmed storms at sea; what would happen if a tormented teen lets loose a verbal barrage of vehement speech against someone or something, but does so with the power of a god backing him?  Another example: We see Christ rejecting Satan's temptations; but what would happen if a hormonal demigod gave in to temptation?

This series is going to be an amazing ride for everyone, and I believe I can promise that.  There is so much more to the story; so much more depth to each of the characters; so much more underlying intrigue that it really will grasp the attention of anyone willing to give it a shot.

Right now, one of the most amazing things about this series is that it is being crowd-sourced, in a manner of speaking.  Their Kickstarter was successful, but they are now seeking to meet stretch goals to ensure both quality and a continued story.  You can be a part of this.  Just click on either the name "Joshua Black" or "Kickstarter" anywhere in this article to be taken to their profile where you can choose to support one of the most amazing stories to come out in comics since that of Wolverine.

Joshua Black
Click here to go to the Joshua Black Kickstarter!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Joshua Black: Kick It UP!

Joshua Black
Joshua Black: Hierarchy of Christ - Used with permission.
Folks, I want to take a break from the sociopolitical issues to talk for a moment about something I've been privileged to be helping with for a short while; something I believe in immensely, and something I think that family, friends and readers from all parts of the spectrum will enjoy.
I'm not going to invite you all to church with me...  Though if you're interested, fee free to hit me up about that.  I'm not going to sell you holy wood from the cross, because that's just stupid.  I'm not even looking to get you to check out my latest YouTube video... Mainly because it's been awhile since I've put one up.

No folks, I'm talking about something that's important.  Something of value.  Something that has game-changing potential.

I'm talking about Joshua Black.

Joshua Black: Hierarchy of Christ is an amazing comic that is currently being published by ConArtist Entertainment.  Right now, they have a Kickstarter going and let me tell you...  The rewards are unbelievable.  Even for a $1 donation, you're getting far more of value back.

But seriously.  What can I say about the storyline of this amazing tale that hasn't been said better already?  Here- An excerpt taken from the Joshua Black Kickstarter itself:

The Hierarchy. A bloodline of existence.  Only one has been recorded ascending from the earth to take the throne of heaven, but His story has been told.  On this day, another will rise.  This is the story of a deity.  This is the story of a living God.  This is the story of JOSHUA BLACK. and how he ended the world, not with a whimper... but with a bang!

Joshua Black
Acclaim for Joshua Black
Used with permission.
The story of this epic is written so well that the late Christopher Hitchens, and noted apologist Dinesh D'Souza, might actually agree on the worthiness of this project for support.  (Which would be quite the amazing thing, given their 2010 debate at Notre Dame.)  More importantly, however, it is a tale that I believe will one day be on the same level as Spiderman, Captain America, or The Flash in terms of being relatable.  (Apologies to those who find these characters to be less than interesting.)

It details the life of a seemingly ordinary young man: A young man who deals with bullies, peer pressure, girlfriend worries and everything else most high school students deal with.  He's got a few friends, most notably his good friend Pete Sanderson, who also have their own personal demons to wrestle with.

Joshua, however, has a few aspects of his life that are most relatable if one has also experienced the same things themselves.  The death of his mother; the physical, emotional and verbal abuse from his father... These things shape the world in which Joshua lives.

Yet, something sets Joshua apart: He's next in line to take the throne of Heaven, and he doesn't even know it!

This last Sunday morning, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Martin Dunn, the writer/creator of Joshua Black.  Of the many questions which were asked and answered, one of those I found most interesting was the origin of this book.

I do not wish to bore you with a full transcript, however, I do recommend that you listen to the full interview, which can be found HERE.

I want to mention for a moment the rewards which are being offered: Digital copies of issues 1 and 2 for a mere dollar, plus more; digital copies of issues 1-7 and printed thanks in the paperback for $10, plus more; a personalized video message for $50, plus more; a guest host spot on the Con Artist Entertainment podcast for $100, plus more; a full page color ad for one's business or personal venture for $300, plus more...  And for each of these, you receive the rewards from all previous tiers as well!

Where are these funds going?  Again, I refer to the Kickstarter itself:

The purpose of this KickStarter campaign is to fully fund the artwork and publishing costs required to complete production of both physical and digital copies of the book, as well as collected edition. The biggest chunk of the money pledged to this project will be used to pay the talented artistsinkerscolorists, and letterers who will bring this story to life.  Funds will also be used to cover the costs of printing and marketing, which unfortunately, are not cheap.  We're confident that, with adequate resources, we'll be able to produce a quality product, and successfully market it to a large audience.

In closing, let me urge you to go to the Joshua Black Kickstarter and pledge today.  I leave you with this, the video found on the Kickstarter page.