A Christian publishing organization along with a fellowship association are partnering together this week to make as big an impact as possible at Comic-Con International in San Diego, billed as the largest pop-culture entertainment event in the world.
In addition to having an exposition floor booth, Zondervan, a division of HaperCollings Christian Publishing, and The Christian Comic Arts Society, plan to host a fellowship mixer, a panel, and coverage of the event that includes an effort to bring the Christian message to pop-culture enthusiasts.
"We engage one-on-one through the booth and we engage with the audience as a whole through staging events," CCAS board member Scott Shuford told The Christian Post during set-up day on Wednesday. More than 125,000 people are expected to attend Comic-Con, which runs Thursday through Sunday.
"We really look at the conference as an outreach," Shuford explained. "We know that most of the people that attend Comic-Con are not churchgoers. There's a big chunk of that population that has had a negative experience with the church. There's another part of the [Comic-Con] population that has had no experience with the church, and there's a smaller part of that population that attends church, but didn't know there were any Christian-related things in the comic world."
CCAS and Zondervan will be offering signed copies of The Book of Revelation, a graphic novel currently ranked No. 1 on Amazon Best Sellers list for Religious Arts and Photography.
The partnering organizations will also be distributing samplers and signed posters for the first installment of the new graphic novel series "Last Adam: Firstborn," that is set to release this fall. Firstborn is a beginning, "an origin story, the remarkable starting point for a remarkable life," publishers said. This first adventure in series illustrates the story of Jesus' birth and early life "in terms of a grand and sweeping family saga, powered by acts of sacrifice, villainy and heroism."
Shuford, who said that the two organizations have been in Comic-Con for several years, said his is hopeful that they are doing "a decent job at representing Christ."
"One of the interesting things is that we are in contrast to the Westboro Baptists who are standing outside Comic-Con almost every year with their 'God hates f…' and 'You're going to hell' type signs and just baiting people in a hateful way and not in a loving way," he said. "Inside we are actually participating with people much more the way Jesus did with the woman at the well."
CCAS is also distributing a "Passport to Christians In Comics" map of the Comic-Con floor at the event designed to help attendees "navigate to, explore, and support industry professionals who pursue excellence of the comics craft in the context of their Christian faith through various adult, family, faith-friendly or faith-based projects."
Organizers also announced that Hollywood Jesus Comics Editor Arnaldo Reyes will provide live coverage for HollywoodJesus.com and the Christian Comic Arts Society throughout Comic-Con via @ChristianComics on Twitter and at Facebook.com/ChristianComicArts.
"Comic-Con is the Super Bowl of Pop-Culture! From comics to movies to TV and even gaming, you can find it all, and since we love Pop-Culture, the goal is to bring everyone a little of everything at HollywoodJesus.com," says Reyes.
About Christian Comic Arts Society
Christian Comic Arts Society (CCAS) was formed in 1984 to locate and link Christians interested or active in the comic book/graphic novel medium. CCAS sponsors comic industry activities at various comic conventions across the country, and Alpha Omega, the APA of Christian comics. The goal and purpose of CCAS is to support Christian professionals, hopefuls and enthusiasts within the Comic Book and related industries by providing opportunities for: 1. The sharing of the Christian message and our Christian faith, primarily within and through the comic book industry and art form. 2. Mentoring, training, friendship and networking. 3. The collaboration on and creation of visual storytelling. The CCAS is governed by a volunteer board which includes Buzz Dixon (Snokie Stories,) Ralph Miley (New Creation,) Holly Knevelbaard (Illustrator,) Leslie Ezeh (Stop n Go Productions,) and Scott A. Shuford (FrontGate) along with numerous volunteers from the comic industry and the Church. For more information on the Christian Comic Arts Society, go to: www.ChristianComicArts.com, Facebook.com/ChristianComicArts, or Twitter.com/ChristianComics.
Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. For more than 80 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The company's products are sold in multiple formats, worldwide in more than 60 countries, translated into nearly 200 languages. The Company's mission is to be the leading company in Christian communication, meeting the needs of people with resources that glorify Jesus Christ and promote Biblical principles. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. Visit Zondervan on the Internet at http://www.Zondervan.com.