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The Grand Inquisitor (Crossroad Book) Paperback – May 1, 2008
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"Zmirak's work is typically . . . well, not typical. . . . Carla Millar's illustrations bring flesh and blood to the text. The result is a sort of action movie in Miltonic verse." InsideCatholic.com
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Top Customer Reviews
At first glance, it seems designed specifically to freak out everyone in its numerous potential overlapping markets--an intricately Gothic comic book, its dialogue written in elaborate blank verse, its plot inspired by and title borrowed from Dosdoyevsky's heavy-going Grand Inquisitor, and filled with all manner of strange hellfire, Marian visions, doctrinal arguments, and one deeply creepy Infant of Prague statue. But the author knows all that, already, and it is to his credit he forged ahead to produce this suspensful theological roller-coaster ride of a graphic novel.
The brilliance of John Zmirak's first graphic novel, The Grand Inquisitor, is precisely that its genre-bending, everything-but-the-sacristy-sink extravagance works so well. Uptight crypto-Jansenists will probably initially dismiss it as frivolous, beige Catholics as a Traddy screed, but those who actually read the text, and consider its elaborately-drawn pages for more than five seconds, will be rewarded.
(Plus, the illustrations have all sorts of wonderful little surprises embedded within them--conclaves, Tridentine liturgies, Cardinal Mahony playing golf, and my favorite, the Infant of Prague in full armor.)
The tale is simple, but all its permutations are profound. Sometime in the near future, a papal conclave drags on as the College of Cardinals finds itself at a deadlock. Tension mounts outside the Vatican walls. The liberals stage a walkout and hurl their scarlet robes to the crowd below in protest. The few remaining electors choose a complete unknown as the next pontiff, an African monk from a forgotten Traditionalist order.Read more ›
Catholics and non-Catholics will enjoy the excellent storyline and art. Get the book.
Ever since the moment of its inception, the Catholic church has faced seemingly insurmountable challenges.
In the last, unlamented century, secularism and atheism have attacked the church relentlessly. Millions fell away in Europe. Communists sent priests and nuns to the gulag, murdered them, or sent them to insane asylums. The 20th century had more martyrs than any century before. Those who stood firm in the church against battalions of those who chanted: change, change, change, were derided.
But at the core of the church is not men with their failings. It is the Holy Spirit, guiding it always to the truth. And that is the truth told in this graphic novel.
It's so unique, such a strange and intelligent story, that I think it is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. The pictures are wonderful. The language spare but gripping.
For every traditional Catholic, this a book to savor, and to send on to your friends and children.
Zmirak shows, brilliantly, I think, how false traditionalism and false progressivism share a common vision, which leaves out the gospel of divine love and mercy. Hope is held out that the progressive is not finally damned, because the God he refused to serve was not the true God, but the Accuser--in Hebrew, Satan. After all, he did not conspire against Catholicism for selfish reasons, as the reviewer claims, but precisely for the salvation of souls.
Those of us who cling to either side of the sad debates of the last century are not ready for Zmirak's message. I pray that the new generations will be.
I have a lot of experience reading graphic novels, but soon found myself wading through almost incomprehensible dialogue, but I suppose if I was a practicing Catholic who believes in a literal Hell, and has read a lot of Catholic philosophy, I would love it and it would make more sense. The conversations between the characters does not read at all like normal human dialogue. The stiff, stilted writing literally screamed "this is Important!" It does show the many faces of the Catholic Church. All I really got out of it is that there are still many Catholics who believe theirs is the one True Path, birth control is the work of Satan, and anyone who fails to recognize this is simply deluded or lazy or willfully ignorant but a Merciful Christ will save them (present company included, I guess) from Hell nonetheless. It seems to have been written by someone who has some good ideas, has really thought about his subject matter, and sincerely believes in it, but really does not know how to write a graphic novel, or believable dialogue. I would have enjoyed it more and perhaps gotten more out of it if the writing was better. But perhaps one feels a need to use stiff, stilted language when writing about what you believe to be the One Truth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Oh gosh this book has some whack theology. And the art was really hit or miss. As a Catholic or non-Catholic I'd say definitely give this a pass.... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jam
John Zmirak is a genius! I enjoy all of his works. I Loved Mahoney golfing with Law!Published 17 months ago by Howard Campbell
This is not a typical comic book, not an action adventure fantasy type story. The Grand Inquisitor is a long theological discussion. Read morePublished 19 months ago by ZWXXYZ
Dostoevsky's parable,"The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor" may be literature's greatest commentary on the Human condition and its relationship with God and its own... Read morePublished on July 16, 2010 by Arthur F. McVarish
This book presents an alarming but interesting interpretation of the "liberal" vs. the "traditional" views of the Catholic Church from the perspective of Dostoevsky's section in... Read morePublished on January 7, 2010 by Marie A. Dean
In a modern twist on Dostoevsky's parable of the Grand Inquisitor, this odd graphic novel asserts that the problems of the post-conciliar Catholic Church can be attributed to the... Read morePublished on February 12, 2009 by J. Michael
Well, being an artist, I LOVE the style of art that Ms. Millar executes in graphic novel, very much reminds me of Byzantine art. I cannot imagine the great patience Ms. Read morePublished on January 10, 2009 by MAHJr
This book was marketed as the continuation of the dialogue between Christ and the Grand Inquisitor in "The Brothers Karamozov."
It didn't seem to do it for me. Read more