With the new year, we’re entering “uncharted territory” at Catholic Roads — and we couldn’t be more excited!
What we’re doing is making a commitment to cartoons and caricature art in the Catholic Roads apostolate. We’ve always loved telling stories, so we’re teaming up our story telling with cartoons — and together, we’ll see what happens. We’ll publish the stories one-page-at-a-time online. Eventually, we will compile them into a book (graphic novel).
THE SETTING …
The events you are about to witness take place in a small diocese deep in the “Bible Belt.” As our story begins, it is New Year’s Eve. Bishop Bob and his diocese are beginning their bicentennial year celebration.
THE MAIN CHARACTERS …
The main characters in our story are Bishop Bob and Herman Nootks.
Bishop Bob is a seasoned bishop nearing his time for retirement. Herman is a mouse who is about to become the “cathedral mouse” after Bishop Bob rescues the little creature from the jaws of Monsignor’s gouda-laden mousetrap and befriends him.
At this point, the reader needs to know that cathedral mice are rare and special. What’s most remarkable about them is that they are larger than life. That is, any time a cathedral mouse visits his bishop, he becomes almost “human-sized.”
By the way, while most Catholics in the pews today are probably unaware of this ancient Church legend and tradition, it is well known among “informed” priests and religious that a bishop’s best friend is the cathedral mouse who visits him in his study late at night while the rest of the world sleeps.
THE SUPPORTING CAST …
The supporting cast includes “Monsignor,” Bishop Bob’s trusted priest who is on a mission to eradicate the cathedral of any trace of rodents. His secret weapon is gouda cheese — a delicacy that no respectable mouse could ever ignore, even on a mousetrap that is ready to do its thing.
There are also the media nuns who operate the Catholic book and media center downtown. And there are some really amazing priests and lay people who appear from time to time in the form of “caricature feature stories” too. These are almost always real people who help us make the point that fact is even more amazing than fiction when it comes to our Catholic faith.
THE CONFLICT ..
One might expect that a Catholic diocese in the deep South will face conflict — and Bishop Bob’s diocese does. But the most memorable conflicts are what takes place between Monsignor and Herman, placing Bishop Bob in the unenvious position of having to be the spiritual referee.
STORY TELLING PHILOSOPHY …
The stories we are about to share with you are all true. Well … kinda … sorta … maybe a little bit. Actually, now would be a very good time to share our philosophy on story telling with you:
A story doesn’t have to be true to be good.
It only has to be interesting.
Boring is the unpardonable sin of storytelling!
So when we introduce you to real people or mention real events, these stories will always be based on facts. But we’re not promising we won’t “spin the tales” a bit. In fact, we promise that we will spin them and exaggerate a lot too.Although we might inform you along the way, we’re here to entertain you. We don’t tell boring stories!
A WORD ABOUT HERMAN …
“Herman Nootks” (hərmən o͞odiks) is not just a name. It’s actually an important discipline for religious leaders and many people associated with academia. “Hermeneutics” is the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts. We practice hermeneutics humorously as we seek to interpret the Church around us today through cartoons and caricature art.
LET’S GET STARTED …
There’s a lot more we can say about “Herman Nootks,” but we won’t. Right below this article is our first page. Hopefully, as you view the page, you will be able to see how we’re trying to achieve our goals from the very first page. We recommend that you subscribe to our blog or follow the Catholic Roads website to keep up with new pages as they are published (The work process is slow and tedious, so it can take a week to fully produce a new comic page).
NOTE: For best viewing right-click on the picture below and open it in a new tab or window. When it opens, your cursor should turn into a magnifying glass. This will enable you to enlarge the comic strip.