Yearning for God, Trying to Love My Neighbor, Making Theatre and Beauty, Building a Life...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Mormon Schulz: Scott Hales' _Garden of Enid: Part One_ and _Mormon Shorts_

Sunday mornings were special. I would pad out in my awesome, baby blue, 80's footy pajamas, look through the Sunday paper, and find the color. For as long as I can remember, comics were a part of my life (I have the photos to prove it). Peanuts, Garfield, Foxtrot, Sherman's Lagoon, Mother Goose and Grimm, and Calvin and Hobbes were personal favorites, but everything from the irreverent Farside to the much more innocent Family Circus were all welcome additions to my time sunbathing in the warm window light on my belly on the living room floor, feet lifted and crossed above me. Even Bloom County/Outland was a source of fascination for me, though I strained to understand its political context at that young age.

As I grew older, my love for comics didn't die, it just changed. I eventually crossed over to reading comics of a different kind, like X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, yet if there is a newspaper handy, I still almost always flip to the comics section to look for my old friends. As newspapers are becoming rarer in my life, though, I am now getting in the habit of buying the published collections of old comics. I have started reading my initial volumes of The Complete Peanuts to my six year old for her bedtime, and I find it incredibly bonding. My kids may not grow up with newspapers, but they will know who Charlie Brown and Hobbes are.   

So with my love of the medium, when Scott Hales started publishing his web comic Garden of Enid, I was attracted to its mix of whimsical humor; literary undergirding; soul searching pathos; and obscure references to Mormon history, arts, and culture. Just blend up all my favorite things into one tasty smoothy, whydontcha? The writing is whip-smart, the references often subtle, and the humor human, humane, and hilarious.