There's A New World Coming
Coverdale House, London, 1974
Comics aren't what we normally deal with on this site, but I couldn't resist this one. Because what we've got here is a 20-year-old Christian comic book that proclaims itself as 'Hal Lindsay's exciting explanation of the Book of Revelation!!!'
And that's exactly what we get. A trio of wholesome but trendy American youngsters (white, of course) get the chance to see what the end of the world will be like, as understood by a mad 1st century Jewish extremist obsessed with the fall of the Roman Empire, and as filtered through the fetid consciousness of a 20th century American extremist obsessed with military hardware.
Amongst all the nonsense there are twenty signs that we are in the last days, that Jesus is going to return to the Earth in our lifetimes. These include much of what you'd expect - hatred of the UN, Arabs and revolutionaries, together with 'the decline of the United States as a major world power' - but there's also a chilling warning about 'the revival of the Roman Empire in the form of a ten-nation confederacy (the Common Market)'. I had assumed that the enlargement programme of the European Union had seen off this dangerous development, but the Bush Jr administration has started talking of 'Old Europe', which may yet see the revival of the ten-horned beast. I don't know.
And, to be honest, I don't give a tinker's toss. The main worry about this stuff is the sheer joy these guys seem to take in what they see as the impending end of the world:
Frankly, I'd rather have our kids playing ultra-violent computer games and watching video nasties and all the other right-wing scare stories, than see them consuming this poisonous rubbish.
I have to add that I'm no expert on comics, but it does seem to me that this artwork is pretty crap. I know it's from 1974, but even so I get the impression that it's fearfully dated stuff, the graphic equivalent of the trendy vicar syndrome.
It reminds me more than anything of a book I had when I was a kid in Sunday School, Picture Stories from the Bible (Bible Pictures Inc, Leicester, 1943) in which MC Gaines told Biblical tales in a comic strip. Although to be fair, I was much impressed with this book when I was young, and I still regard it with some fondness, especially the bits from Ezekiel, that appealed to the horror fan in me:
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 4/5