One Faith, Many Paths: Lizzie Storm

This month’s interview is with a very interesting woman named Lizzie Storm, who is a member of my Autistic Christians group.

1. What was your childhood like?

Very tough growing up. I had loving and supportive parents but I felt I didn’t before among my peers. When I was about 11 and started getting called weird for the first time, I used to think what was wrong with me, then I ended up severely bullied. I never want to go back and look towards the future. I know Jesus can do anything, so I hope to do things again and have a second chance at making friendships with a renewed life in Heaven.

2. What is your favorite biblical passage?

Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

3. How did you become a Christian?

I wanted to go to Heaven and my teacher at my Christian school, Mrs. Blakeman, told me how to get saved. Then I was happy. I was like “Oh, that’s how you get to Heaven.” So I gave my life to God in 1999 at 9 years old.

4. What evidence can you give for God’s existence?

I have seen him. I think it’s something you have to experience yourself.  God will always find a way to reveal himself to you. Also how unique we are. That couldn’t have happened just by chance.

5. Who are your favorite biblical figures besides Jesus?

Gabriel, The Virgin Mary, and St. Michael

Continue reading “One Faith, Many Paths: Lizzie Storm”

Advertisements

Bookworm: Action Comics 1000

act1000rude

When Action Comics hit 1000, I had to get a copy. But I had a problem–there was no comic book shop nearby. My nearest bookstore no longer existed. My solution? Downloaded it off the DC app.

Instead of posting one special story to celebrate this milestone, this issue actually has several stories, celebrating Superman and his legacy. I thought I’d review and rank all of them.

  • “From the City That Has Everything” (Team: Dan Jurgens/Norm Rapmund/Hi-fi/Rob Leigh)–10/10

Summary: Superman fights off a Khund invader and reluctantly returns to Metropolis, where they are celebrating Superman Day. Lois wants him to hear everyone’s testimonies, but he’s too nervous about the invaders.

Review: I liked all the testimonies, including the reformed criminal. It set the tone for the rest of the comic.

  • “Never-Ending Battle” (Peter J. Tomasi/Patrick Gleason/Alexandro Sanchez/Tom Napolitano)8/10

Summary: Superman battles Vandal Savage across space and time, reflecting on the life and battles he’s had so far while celebrating his birthday with his family.

Review: This may be one of the last stories Tomasi ever does for Superman, and if it is, then it’s a good farewell. Gleason’s artwork was great, but I’m deducting points for the Conner Kent cameo. Way to rub our faces in it, DC.

  • “An Enemy Within” (Marv Wolfman/Curt Swan/Kurt Schaffenberger/Hi-fi/Rob Leigh) 9/10

Summary: While Superman fights one of Brainiac’s drones in Japan, a principal in Metropolis has been hypnotized into taking someone hostage. What Superman doesn’t realize is that the drone he’s fighting is what’s controlling the principal.

Review: This story was especially unearthed just for this issue, and is the only story that isn’t new. (For those who don’t know, Curt Swan was one of DC’s most-celebrated artists, and died in 1996) It even ends with a Curt Swan-esque drawing in tribute to him.

  • “The Game” (Paul Levitz/Neal Adams/Hi-fi/Dave Sharpe)7/10

Summary: Superman and Luthor take time out from fighting each other to play a game of chess.

Review: This was a great scene and a classic-style story of worthy opponents with Lex at his hammiest. It seemed like something out of Superfriends, but I liked it.

  • “The Car” (Geoff Johns & Richard Donner/Oliver Colpel/Sanchez/Napolitano)

Summary: You know that car that Superman is picking up on the very first cover of Action Comics? We meet the driver in this story. 8/10

Review: “Hey what about the car Superman picked up on the cover?” sounds like a good “high concept” story idea. And I like Geoff Johns a lot, even with the controversy that seems to follow him wherever he goes.

Continue reading “Bookworm: Action Comics 1000”

Top 10 Favorite Comic Book Artists

Last time, I posted my favorite comic book writers. Now for my favorite comic book artists.

10) Scott McDaniel–I discovered Scott McDaniel when he was working on Nightwing with Chuck Dixon. He has a unique style that mixes Joe Quesada and Frank Miller.

9) Brent Anderson–It’s hard to measure up when Astro City has Alex Ross’s covers, but Anderson is up to the challenge.

8) Todd McFarlane–Say what you will about McFarlane as a person, but I have a lot of respect because he’s one of the few founders still left with Image. Spawn did take a while to get good, but the art was always great. And let’s not forget how great he was on Spider-man.

7) John Romita Jr.–John Romita Jr is the apple that doesn’t fall far from the tree, and he’s continuing his father’s legacy. He was great on Spider-man, and I’m pleased to see he still gets work. I especially like his use of negative space.

6) Norm Breyfogle–I don’t understand why Norm Breyfogle has never gotten a great fan base despite his credentials. He helped create Bane and I loved his Prime comic back when Malibu Comics was around. He also revitalized Archie Comics these days.

Continue reading “Top 10 Favorite Comic Book Artists”

45 Years of Roe V. Wade

coexistThis year marks the 45th anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Planned Parenthood may consider it a moment to celebrate, but I do not. Over 55 million lives have been snuffed out by abortion. I don’t call that “safe, legal, and rare”, or “only 3%”.

I once knew a fellow student in high school who had Down’s Syndrome. Do you realize that 90% of children who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted? That’s not a made-up figure.

Forty-five years has not made abortion safer. It’s made it still as dangerous as ever, for both the mother AND the child. There is no safe way to have an abortion. If there were, the child would be spared.

I want you people to know something: I am an adopted child. My father divorced my biological mother, who wanted nothing to do with me, and remarried. I could’ve been aborted, considering what my biological mother thought of me. And yet, the way the media plays up Planned Parenthood, you’d think the mothers who are “consulted” by them are only given one option. Adoption is a much better option than killing a child because that child gets a chance he or she may not have had.

Continue reading “45 Years of Roe V. Wade”

How To Manage A Facebook Group

I manage two groups on Facebook: Autistic Christians and Autistic Bookworms. Between them, I have over 1200 members total (although some members are in both groups, while others are only in one.) In fact, Autistic Christians has now hit the 500 member milestone! That’s the group that’s surprised me the most, especially considering how often I was attacked in autism groups before I formed the group (actually, I helped form it, but the original owner and I didn’t get along, so she sabotaged the group and I picked up the pieces.) I’ve decided I’m going to give advice on how to manage your own group.

  • Make your group unique. There are a lot of general interest groups out there. That’s fine if you want that, but it’s better to have a group for a specific purpose. That will attract more members.
  • Make a pinned post for your rules. Even if they don’t read the rules, they’ll at least know where they are.
  • Have only people you can trust as admins or moderators.
  • Only promote your group in other groups if the admins of the groups allow it. Some groups don’t like self-promotion.
  • Once you have enough members to unlock the “screening questions”, do so. This is a good way to figure out what kind of person is applying and possibly weed out a troll before they even get in the door. Most trolls will not take the time to fill out a question.
  • Make all bans final. If they’ve caused problems once, they’ll likely do it again. But if a person leaves on good terms and changes his/her mind, then you can let him/her back in.
  • Hold your admins accountable. If they abuse power, that makes you look bad for not watching out for them.
  • Try to have at least two or three admins, counting yourself.
  • Have fun!

One Faith, Many Paths: Jane Lebak

This month’s interview is with Catholic writer Jane Lebak!

1) What was your childhood like?

I grew up in New York City, so it was a strange distortion of too many crowds and too much isolation, but I think it was just right for making me who I am.  I went to high school in a different borough (the local public high school wasn’t a great place; I remember three high school girls attacking a cop in the hallway) and getting there required an hour and fifteen minutes on the subway in each direction. Because of the distance, I got a subway pass.

That was freedom. It was amazing to have complete freedom to wander Manhattan with my allowance and my bookbag. After school, I’d walk from 83rd Street and head down to wherever I wanted. Forbidden Planet (both of them!) or Strand Bookstore or St. Francis Bookstore…I found so many amazing little shops and awesome little stores with ethnic food, and I could go all over the place to explore and learn and experience. I loved that so much!

Contrast that with early release days, where if I bolted out of school the moment the bell rang, and if all the trains and buses were right there to connect, I could get home in time to watch the last fifteen minutes of Transformers. 

2) What evidence can you give for God’s existence?

My personal reason is that I’ve had personal experiences that lead me to no other conclusion. When you reach out and something reaches back for you, you have no more doubt.  When you fall and something catches you, you feel secure in what you felt. That’s not data for anyone else of course, but it holds me fast.

Overall though, and even before I had that kind of one-on-one experience, I knew order doesn’t arise from chaos.  Things fall apart on their own.  They don’t become more ordered or more complex.  So the tremendous complexity we see inside a cell or the way galaxies are constructed, for example, tells me something must have created and sorted, and organized everything that went into that.

3. Who is your favorite biblical figure besides Jesus?

That’s hard to pick. I like the Archangel Raphael in the book of Tobit. I used to have the worst crush on the Archangel Gabriel.  But on the human side of things, I really like the apostle Thomas because he seems to have this sarcastic and pragmatic edge that really speaks to me.

4. Favorite biblical passage and why?

“Kindness and truth shall meet. Justice and peace shall kiss.” I love the sense of completion.  In some ways, these things could be opposites (think of the answer to “does this make me look fat?”), but with grace, they become complementary.  In the end, all our differences are harmonized so they retain their character but all work together to show the many facets of God’s glory.

Continue reading “One Faith, Many Paths: Jane Lebak”

The Worst Christmas Specials

It’s that time of year! Time for the TV channels to put out their annual Holiday fare. And while there are some great classics out there, sadly they can’t all be It’s a Wonderful Life or Charlie Brown Christmas. So this week, here’s the worst Christmas movies and specials I’ve ever watched, in no particular order.

home alone 2Home Alone 2: Lost in New York–Hey, I got an idea! Let’s make a sequel to a great Christmas movie! And let’s only change the location and do many of the exact same gags again! And let’s have Kevin not learn a thing from the previous movie! Oh well, at least Tim Curry is in it.

flintstones Flintstones Christmas Carol–My biggest problem with this one was the Flintstones shouldn’t even be celebrating Christmas! They should be celebrating Saturnalia, or any of the other winter solstice festivals that came before Christ. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re going to say, “Jason, you can accept talking dinosaurs, cavemen using animals for electrical appliances, and cars you have to push with your feet, but celebrating Christmas is going too far?” Oh and how about Fred turning up the jerk meter way more than usual? Yeah, I hate this one.

hemanxmasHe-man and She-ra Christmas–Look, I can take a planet that’s never heard of Christmas despite being settled by humans. That’s fine. But here’s what ruins it–Skeletor’s heart grows two sizes because of the Christmas spirit! Are you kidding me? One of the greatest villains of my childhood turns into the Grinch?

Continue reading “The Worst Christmas Specials”