My first mini book expo book has arrived; “Therefore Repent!” Jim Munroe‘s Graphic Novel about a post-Rapture Chicago and two new arrivals “The Raven” and “The Mummy.” George W. Bush is on a tour of the “Loyal” Red States with “Mr. Christ” in tow and the newly faithful are engaged in a protracted battle to win the favor of the God who left them behind.
It was interesting to see a world post-Rapture world from another point of view. It contrasts well with “The Chrysalids” and “Left Behind” where in both cases the focus was on the Faithful and The Newly Faithful as the protagonists, facing and evil world; “Therefore Repent!” is led by the meandering Gen-X’ers and lacksidasial hippies or spiritualists who had long given up on a Christian paradise.
“The Mummy” is revealed to be a spiritual person; whose own convictions are stronger than his own faith. I think many an agnostic who grew up in the Church can see themselves in his character, someone who has examined their faith and come to terms with it. While sympathetic “The Mummy” isn’t heroic, he is simply a vessel for the story and helps to guide us from point to point in the story.
“The Raven” is an enigma, a woman hidden from the world in a Raven Mask, hiding more than just her face. I felt that her presence as protagonist was the strongest in the novel. She is clearly running from her past; while traying to come to terms with something in it. The Rapture appears only to have solidified that she is cursed in some way and that curse appears to have become unpredictable and dangerous.
Post-Rapture Chicago is populated by the people who have accepted that the Rapture has come and they have been left behind. This is the most striking aspect of the world that we’ve been given. There doesn’t appear to be any denial or suspicion of what has happened. It has simply been accepted and the remains of humanity have moved on. Even the media have simply accepted it into their news cycle. Some of those who are left behind are trying to buy their way back “Splitter” and some are acting in the stead of Jesus “The Risen” but the majority have either given up or just moved on and accepted the new way.
Then the Dog talks and the dead keep rising.
It is clear that the world hasn’t just continued as normal; Angels are culling the west coast and Did I mention that Jesus is on tour with George Bush?
Now, as a Graphic Novel I feel obliged to mention the Art. I won’t linger on it. Salgood Sam doesn’t present a stand out world of destroyed buildings and smoking craters. Instead we are given a strong visual record of a normal world, populated with miracles and loss. It’s like a hand-drawn history. I valued the strong messages that were portrayed in the art of the characters that became more and more poignant as the story progressed.
All of that aside, I have read a very similar story before, I hesitate to list it by name but wonder if perhaps Mr. Munroe was influenced by the same nietzcheian notions that led to it? Nevertheless, this is an enterrtaining read and a strong graphic novel. “Therefore Repent!” is well presented, bound as a nice quality trade and distributed by Insomniac Press it is available from Jim Munroe’s website no media kings. I’d recommend it for fans of Post-Apocalyptic fiction, Gen-X prose and the religious aunt in the family.