Mary Karr’s Poem “The Voice of God” — in Comic-Book Form

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Julian Peters is a comics artist and illustrator living in Montreal. He specializes in the adaptation of classic poetry into the medium of comics. His debut collection, “Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry,” was released in 2020 by Plough Books.

Commissioned by the Jesuit Media Lab. Poem adapted with permission of the author.

Download the comic as a PDF.

Artist Statement

I read Mary Karr’s poem as offering a certain conception of the presence of God in life, a presence so straightforward and quotidian as to be regularly taken for granted and ignored. In my comics adaptation I tried — in a way analogous to the method used in the poem — to delineate this vision by contrasting it with various seemingly grander notions of the role of God in life that are nonetheless ultimately hollow and unsatisfying.

To this end I reference the iconography of strip mall church signage, “Better Call Saul”-style legal ads, self-help book covers, gameshow prize giveaways and imperious displays of ecclesiastical authority. The drawings are done in a combination of watercolor, gouache, ink and colored pencil.

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