Several years ago I created a graphic novel called “Where You Stumble, There Lies Your Treasure” based on the work of Joseph Campbell. In the graphic novel I collected together stories from all the major theologies and presented them in one visual style. I was trying to highlight how much we have in common no matter what our guiding theology or philosophy of life is. While I was researching stories for “Where you Stumble…” I came across the writer Anthony De Mello. His books, such as The “Song of the Bird,” and “One Minute Wisdom” are collections of stories from various theologies. I used many of them in my book.
Some time after I completed the comic “Deeper” I bought another of De Mello’s books called “The Heart of the Enlightened.” In that book he tells the following story:
A basic ingredient in the attainment of freedom: adversity that brings awareness.
A traveler lost in the desert despaired of ever finding water. He struggled up one hilltop then another and another in the hope of sighting a stream somewhere. He kept looking in every direction with no success. As he staggered onward, his foot caught on a dry bush and he stumbled to the ground. That’s where he lay, with no energy even to rise, no desire to struggle anymore, no hope of surviving this ordeal. As he lay there, helpless and dejected, he suddenly became aware of the silence of the desert. On all sides a majestic stillness reigned, undisturbed by the slightest sound. Suddenly he raised his head. He had heard something. Something so faint that only the sharpest ear and the deepest silence would lead to its detection: the sound of running water. Heartened by the hope that the sound aroused in him, he rose and kept moving till he arrived at a stream of fresh, cool water.”
— Heart of the Enlightened by Anthony De Mello
I was awestruck. I illustrated this story without ever hearing it. The Campbell quote, which states the same universal idea as this story created the same (nearly the same) imagery in me as De Mello uses. I do not know how this is possible. But I feel so grateful to have had this experience.
This comic was published in the zine about zines Broken Pencil.
The idea of publishing comics in zines goes back to the earliest comics I created when I was a teenager. We want to tell stories, we want others to know our story, we want to connect through stories. The
THE STORY CONTINUES
Many of the stories are available to read for free in an online scrolling format on webtoons.com