Posted by on Sep 29, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

Hoo-boy. Apologies for my handwriting, spelling etc. to any of you who actually read these languages:

1.) The Gayatri Mantra is a popular Hindu mantra, here written out in Devangari Sanskrit. (Very) loosely translated, it means “We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds.”

2.) This is from the fourth part of a very common series of Jewish prayers, meaning “You favor a man of (or with) knowledge, and teach mortals understanding.” I love that repetitive biblical syntax; indeed, I adore that redundant grammar.

3.) This verse from the first surah of the Qur’an, “al-Fatiha,” “the Opening” is recited as many as seventeen times a day by observant Muslims. It means “show us the Straight Path.”

For all three of these, I tried to find prayers that were very common, that Theo conceivably could have learned in their original languages during his brief dabbling in each of these religions. I also tried to use prayers united by a similar sentiment – that of imploring God for guidance in a time of confusion. Because Theo is lost, but he’s also… lost. DO YOU GET IT!?!?!

Except I broke the pattern for the final prayer in Greek. Though I found many nice Greek Orthodox prayers, they were more mercy/forgiveness-based than knowledge/guidance-based. Moreover, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to quote Mark 1:3, wherein Mark describes the o.g. freaky desert zealot, John the Baptist, with these words, cribbed from Isaiah: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness “prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

EXTRA CREDIT: The observant reader (and aren’t you all?) might wonder, why is Theo facing LEFT for his tfila and RIGHT for his salah when both Jerusalem AND Mecca are EAST of New Mexico? Good question; there are two possible explanations. One is that, because this is a splash page in the open desert with no panel borders or natural landmarks to serve as reference points, the “camera” p.o.v. has actually rotated 180 degrees around Theo between prayers two and three, but you the reader do not realize it – this is a gross violation of traditional comics practice, but, I think, a valid aesthetic choice. The second explanation is that Theo is completely “dis-oriented” (haha!) couldn’t find “east” if his life depended on it.