Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Teaching through comic books

~via Creative Minority Report. Take a look at these two pages out of a comic book from the 1940s.



Quite different from the catechetical materials that our present CCD classes offer. I keep the workbook from my daughter's First Communion class just to remind me what to avoid. Guess what the color is? Pink.

Anyway, these pages are from a collection at The Catholic University's archives, in the American Catholic History Archives.

CMR writes:
On the one hand, they are fun and a great snapshot into mid twentieth- century Catholicism. On the other hand, it is remarkable how much serious content they bring with them. The images pictured here come from a 1948 issue on the Mass, which starts with Old Testament typologies, gives a short history of the development of the rites, and then establishes that the earthly liturgy takes place within the context of the joining of heaven and earth. Interestingly its language shows the effects of the liturgical research of the time on the nature of the Mass as corporate worship of the Mystical Body. Here, a priest saying Mass at the high altar with the pre-conciliar Missal, ad orientem, is said to be celebrating Mass "in the community or group form of praying"
Typolo-what? What would it take to re-issue these?

4 comments:

Margaret Duffy said...

These were still going strong in the late 1950's and early 1960's. They were very useful for kids. And they were fun too.

Argent said...

I started with the first issue in the archives and enjoyed reading through it. The stories are engaging and teach something without veering into "preciousness" and sentimentality.

These are just my thoughts, so take them with a grain of salt. But there was a sense of sacredness that we've lost in our modern culture. And that sacredness translated into ordinary and family life.

The thing that really frustrates me about present-day life is the paradox in families about how children are perceived...an elevation to a pedestal...so children are given unprecedented amounts of things and opportunities. Families live to buy things for their children and arrange their schedules so that Johnny and Jane can do this and do that. And for all these things and activities, children tend toward contemptuousness toward their parents. Maybe I'm being too critical. But children mouth-off to their parents in a way that I would never have dreamed of toward mine.

I find it amusing that the noun "disrespect" is now a verb.

Back to the comics....in the first issue, there's a cartoon about a family (with lots of kids, BTW) and they're getting ready to paint a room. It captured something of the way families used to be...a unit with a sense of honor toward one's parents and elders. A sense of orderliness that we've lost. And mind you, children in those decades had less than half the things that children have now. Yet, there was a happiness and contentment that is elusive in the way our families are constituted these days. We're too busy and have too many things which leads to a deep distraction. We're constantly pursuing amusement until we can't sit in silence anymore.

Whoo! I didn't mean to be so long-winded first thing this morning.

Anonymous said...

Argent,
I remember seeing those same comic books around my house when I was growing up in the 1970's.

I learned a lot about the faith and being reverent and holy from them.
Our family would always pray the rosary together in the evenings and we would all get together on Saturdays and rake the yard or clean the windows.

I believe that the "Angelus Press" sells comic books similiar to these right now on their press website.

Great and holy learning books for children!
Thank you.

Dan Hunter

Cody... said...

If I could draw, I would want to be the Catholic Jack Chick, that is, without the lies and deception.