The Last Crusade: Christian Artists Who Don’t Suck

Whenever I talk about artist blackballing in the entertainment industry, almost invariably the first argument I come across is “well there aren’t any…” or “there are a low percentage of…” leading to believe that it’s just too hard to find good artists who aren’t insane and/or profess to be Christian. That is a lie that the mainstream big-entertainment corrupt corporate media propagates at every turn.

Of course, there aren’t any who work for those big companies that do the blackballing. Those companies may not have an outright policy against shunning Christians, but they do it, as they want to tell stories that are allegorically about how great secular society and hedonism is. I rail on Disney quite a bit for this, but the facts are the facts, and they — especially their comics division — are very much guilty of this. 

But we have an opportunity like generations in the past didn’t have. We have social media. We have the internet. We have the ability to connect and organize just as other groups have done for the past for their causes. Our cause is a righteous one, an eternal one, and if we all band together we will affect much greater change than our enemies could ever keep up with.

I’m not calling for a “boycott!” of any artist or anything like that. I know exactly how hard artists work, and, even if they’re not doing their work for a righteous cause, it’s still hard work and the goal is not to detract from their efforts. That boycott mentality is the kind of garbage that we are fighting against.

However, I am calling to take a look at Christian artists, artists who share our values. It’s important that we give a voice to those who are professing real truth and justice, and are willing to speak out on it. After all, if we don’t as artists, the culture won’t, and isn’t. At some point, even the rocks will cry out. It’d be much better if we could stave that off and start a revival in culture as those created in God’s image.

And so I present to you this list: Christian Artists Who Don’t Suck.  The title is jarring, as it’s supposed to be. A lot of Christians don’t like such crass language, but the reality is a lot of the Christian entertainment industry in recent decades was thrown into a certain segment of overt message-work that wasn’t subtle, and isn’t the highest quality. The reason most Christian work ended up there is because of the cultural blackballing and segmenting that’s done on the secular side — after all, the greatest art in the world was done in the name of Jesus Christ. Look at Michelangelo. That stands the test of time, and part of the reason is its content. In the age of the internet, we can create great content that doesn’t have to be the kind that, in the 80s-90s, gave cause for mocking, but should be celebrated as good works in God’s name. These artists have inspired me in that vein:

Authors

John C. Wright is the original purveyor of The Last Crusade blogs, of which i’ve jumped on the bandwagon. His biog is something i open up to read every morning, joined on there by his wonderful wife L. Jagi Lamplighter-Wright who is a wonderful writer in her own right. John is a true grand master of science fiction, with incredible imagination and beautiful prose. My favorite is Count To A Trillion.


Brian Niemeier is an independent author of the Dragon Award Winning Soul Cycle. He blends genres with space opera and horror in that series, with a wild, fast paced ride that everyone cheers for. Brian’s a great guy, and outspoken Christian as well. He’s on the forefront of indie publishing and does a lot for the culture war. 

Nadine Brandes actually labels herself a Christian fiction author, working with Enclave Publishing, the leading publisher in Christian SF/F.  Her Out of Time series is in the very popular YA Dystopian subgenre, but actually does reference the Bible and give Christian concepts. It’s not as dark as a lot of the other work out there as a consequence, but has really cool concepts. Nadine blogs a lot about writing and faith as well, and is worth checking out.

Comic Artists

What’s interesting is I’ve struggled to find many big name comic writers who profess Christianity. There’s a couple, but I’m not entirely comfortable endorsing them. With the help of Mike Abuan, a great artist himself, I’ve found a couple of Christian comic artists to look out for.

Mike Miller has worked for Marvel and DC in the past, but it’s been a few years since he’s been on some projects. He has been pretty outspoken about his faith, and there’s speculation that’s led to him being blackballed and the typical angry nerd crowd has tried to boycott him at times. The cultural elites try to tear down anyone of of faith, especially in the comic industry, so he is someone to go out and support.

Lee Weeks has done work across the board from Marvel to DC. and beyond. You’ve seen him on Spider-Man, Daredevil, Batman, Superman, and according to his instagram, it looks like he’s got some work from DC forthcoming.

Jethro Morales is an artist who’s worked for Dynamite doing Green Hornet and Dejah Thoris of Mars. That should appeal to many of my #PulpRevolution friends themselves. He’s a wonderful person, and I’ve chatted with him over the years. He’s done a lot of independent work as well, and draws very relatable characters. Jethro is impressive in his posts praising God and professing his faith, and is someone to support.

Musicians

Crowder. – Crowder is on the cutting edge of Christian music. He’s labeled as “techno-folk” and it’s kind of an interesting way to look at it. His most recent album is phenomenal, and after seeing him and his group of musicians live, there are very few out there who can reach his professional prowess either in Christian music or in the secular realm. He makes straight forward Christian music with lyrics like you would expect, but has transcended the genre with amazing artistic ability. 

Mae – I loved this band in the mid 2000s when they hit the scene with Destination Beautiful, which contains one of my favorite songs of all time, “Skyline Drive”. They were excellent and only continued to get more artistic. Their next release, The Everglow is a concept album, all revolving around a singular story, and while the songs on that one because of the theming blend together a lot more than the first, it’s still completely solid. Then they went and decided to do a series of EPs that each had a theme. There’s a lot of experimentation in this, and not as much pop sensibility, but it shows Dave Elkins’ artistic growth al the same. After that, they ended what they were doing and I hadn’t heard from them in years — but this morning I discovered they released a new single on soundcloud. It’s got both pop and artistry involved in it, a beatles-esque build which I hope marks a big return. Keep them on your radar.

Dashboard Confessional isn’t known as a “Christian singer” but was very popular in the early 2000s, redefining the emo punk scene into something completely different, something acoustic and beautiful. His concerts had a youth group atmosphere to it, and I’d always thought that was interesting. When A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar came out, he actually toured with a giant banner behind the stage of a crusader on a horse that said “Fight The Good Fight”. I thought that was very cool, and in 2017 could you imagine someone doing that? Very brave.  His last release Alter The Ending was a few years ago now, but it’s marked with the song, “Get Me Right” which while he mostly sings about girls, this song actually has to do with one’s pride and failing in that, which the bridge has some of my favorite lyrics of all time:

Jesus I’ve fallen I don’t mind the rain

If I meet my maker, I meet my maker clean

Jesus the truth is, I’ve struggled so hard to believe

I need my maker to cure my of my doubting blood

And drain me of the sins I love

And take from me my disbelief

I know it should come easily

But it remains inside of me

It battles and devours me

It cuddles up inside of me

And whispers it convinces me I’m right.

Beautiful and powerful stuff right there. Very honest, and something we can all relate to. He’s done a country/folk project Twin Forks since then, which has some good old school honest music you can sing along to as well. He’s really developed as an artist since those early days and is someone worth listening to.

——————

I’ve given 3 examples in different fields to check out, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. I also acknowledge that I have a lot of friends who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and have wonderful art. For the sake of brevity, I posted three examples in different fields, but this is an open call to action and here’s what you can do: if you’re an artist of any sort, and you are a Christian, post in the comments below. Over time, this can become a great list and resource for people to check out Christian works.  Goes for anyone who knows of great Christian artists as well. We can make a difference in the community and culture by banding together and supporting the great artists above and in the comments. Let’s do it. Deus vult!

32 thoughts on “The Last Crusade: Christian Artists Who Don’t Suck

  1. For Musicians, there are MANY. The Christian Rock stations have really good bands who do amazing work. My favorite is The Newsboys, but there are dozens.

  2. Another writer I’ll toss in is Stephen Lawhead.
    But I can’t recommend his debut Dragon King Trilogy. It was fairly cliché.
    But by the time he’s writing Bright Empires, he’s found an authentic style & some original stories to tell.
    Movies are also worth discussion. I saw Beyond the Mask a couple years ago on a whim, and was surprised at how good it was.

  3. There have been several very good recent faith based movies, wherein toddlers die and go to Heaven and meet Jesus, then come back to life, and preach Jesus’s message to the world. Those movies where Kevin Sorbo fights back against the leftists who made Christmas illegal back in the mid-1990s are great, too!

  4. Hey, I don’t suck, Jon!

    In regards to the comics industry, there are, indeed, some Christian comic book creators. There’s not many of us, though,… which might explain the horrid history of comics, as well as the behavior of some other comics folks in the comic book industry. And don’t get me started…

  5. For comics, like any other creative outlet, (1) be the best artist, writer, letterer, editor you can and always work to refine your craft, (2) don’t be afraid to “live your values” in the stories where appropriate, but without the Christian Virtue Signaling — no better than the SJW variety, and it’s boring, and (3) don’t be afraid to cut yourself off from the willfully unrepentant and those that attack you for your values and beliefs if you had “that talk” with them should your Christian faith come up. That might mean leaving a book if you don’t own it, or firing someone from your employment if the property is yours. Dust off your shoes and leave them to their own devices in that case.

  6. My favorite christians are the priests who molest children and the church that covers up their crimes. What a great religion devoid of any hypocrisy!

    • Yeah, we’re so lucky. Too bad SJWs can’t lose that hypocrisy gene. No sweat though, you get plenty of atheist murderers to cuddle with on those chilly nights.

      Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the like. 100 MILLION butchered and counting! Your heroes! So proud!

      • What are you–a 12 year old at bible camp? This is the most sophomoric argument. “And the like?” Please, go on. Name some more. Or is 3 as high as you can count?

        This is such a tired, fallacy-filled retort, which is historically inaccurate. And even if it was completely accurate, commonality is not causation. You know, Stalin and Hitler had moustaches, so maybe we should consider all people with moustaches evil, too?

        So, what’s your point logically?

        Simply put, their atrocities were not committed to advance atheism. And unlike Catholicism, atheism isn’t an organized religion. And what you say doesn’t negate the fact that the Catholic Church programmatically hides and shields child molesters.

        • Aw, humanist dude, if we’re responsible for those priests then you are responsible for the atheist murderers, that’s all. “Advance atheism” shoot, dude, who cares — killed on their watch and by avowed atheists! 60-100 million dead on your shoulders. We know you atheists all love killing people and shit. (How many have you killed? C’mon, share — you’re among friends here!) And you guys are responsible of the multiple repeat rapists imported here, especially the ones who’ve raped kids and infants, because Obama and Democrats and Socialists — and SJW, just like you said. All owned by you, just like we Christians collectively own those pedos. And you hide the illegals so they can rape again — just like the Church hides pedos! You’re just like us!

          Now you atheists get in on the child molestation stuff too! Isn’t it great to own that stuff?

          I got some hand sanitizer, atheist dude. I’m not sure how well it works on blood. Need some?

          • Yeah, but that dude writing is another sperg atheist — can’t be trusted with facts, beacuse, well….

            Sperg.

            ATHEISTS: MUH 100 MILYUNS!

          • I didn’t even bother to read your longer response. And I’m assuming “sperging” is some sort of asperger’s-based diss? Well, go fuck yourself. I know plenty of people on the spectrum, and they’re pretty awesome. I’m flattered you grouped me with them. So, hey, what cons are you going to this year? It would be my pleasure to get you kicked out of all of them. You know, just to prove your blackballing theories right.

        • Stalin (w/ mustache): 40 Million dead
          Hitler (w/ mustache): 7 million dead

          Hitler was a piker. You Stalin-loving Murdering Atheists RULE!

  7. And please explain how Mike S. Miller has been blacklisted in comics? The guy has been drawing Injustice for DC for YEARS. Literally years. You don’t know what you’re taking about, as usual.

  8. And please explain how Mike S. Miller has been blacklisted in comics? The guy has been drawing Injustice for DC for YEARS. Literally years. You don’t know what you’re taking about, as usual.

    • “SJW
      on March 31, 2017 at 11:23 am said:
      I didn’t even bother to read your longer response. ”

      Gee! You hurt me. Worked a whole 3 minutes on that!

      “And I’m assuming “sperging” is some sort of asperger’s-based diss? Well, go fuck yourself. ”

      Hey, hey, there family blog, and I’m spoken for anyhoo!

      “I know plenty of people on the spectrum, and they’re pretty awesome. I’m flattered you grouped me with them. ”

      Sure, dude, always happy to put the ‘red gang’ together — 100 Million and counting! I know you can hit 200 Mil if you focus. FOCUS!

      “So, hey, what cons are you going to this year? It would be my pleasure to get you kicked out of all of them. You know, just to prove your blackballing theories right.”

      “Blackball”? Who’s talking snooker here? You sperging again?

  9. actually, the solution is similar to theirs, and you were just one letter off.
    One of the things that INFURIATED social justice adherents like no other is building your own community, AWAY from them, and then being vigilant enough to recognise them and prevent their subversion from ruining it and making the group just another democratic echo chamber. Especially when you all help promote one another.
    The term for this organising effort, like the promotion of the game Seedscape?

    BUYCOTT.

    A boycott entirely in reverse. A large group of you and your associates purchases something, say, Rogue System, then you all play it, at once, and post about 10-20 screenshots with commentary, at once. The ensuing flood is something their group typically has to PAY for when not organised in secret the same way. (see for example the past 3 years of multi-article barrages against this or that poor unfortunate soul, like Matt Taylor, some coming even from previously respectable people like Lauren Faust). In essence you fight the blackball (or ‘eightball’) of negativity, with a ‘whiteball’ of positivity of equal size and strength. This strategy in fact, is one big reason Twitter now interferes with its own hashtags or shadowbans temporarily anyone using the ‘improper’ one. The only way they can fight back, is with MORE negativity. They have no plausible moral stances of their own to overwhelm you with POSITIVITY, so they must simply shut you up, Pol Pot style.

    Finally, best result of a buycott: Megacorps might fill their stockings with lockstep SJ soldiers, but the clink and jingle of money is their true first love. Enough sales from a Buycott may gain you enough notice to land on a Bigbox retailer’s web store or physical location. And now your message will REALLY spread to the public!

  10. Brian Godawa (godawa.com) is all about Christian artists not sucking also. He does screenwriting and novels.
    chroniclesofthenephilim.com

  11. The Prince of this earth knows his enemies and they always without fail show up on a thread like this.

    On a brighter note both Mr and Mrs Wright are great writers and wonderful Christians. Good examples there if the rest of your choices are as solid I’ll have some good books ahead.

  12. Since you asked for Christian artists to post in the comments, I’ll post something on behalf of my sister, who’s not likely to read this post. She and my mother would definitely be Christian writers who refrain from “preaching” in their books — but the characters in their stories live out their Christian faith naturally. They have written two books so far, and the first draft of the third book in the series was just sent to the publisher. (My sister, Heather, is the sole author on the first book; she and my mother Lydia were co-authors on the first two books).

    The first book in their series is called How Huge the Night: https://www.amazon.com/How-Huge-Night-Heather-Munn/dp/082543310X/. It is historical fiction, based on true events but with a fictional main character. It takes place in France during WW2, in a fictionalized version of Le Chambon. The real Le Chambon is a place where many Jews, especially children and teenagers, were hidden from the collaborationist French government that would have deported them to Germany, and were eventually smuggled to safety in various other countries.

    I’m partial, of course, but I can honestly say that when I read their first book, I thought it was great. (I’ve been slow in getting through my “to read” stack and haven’t read their second book, so I can’t personally vouch for it — but my wife loved it, and I fully expect that it’s just as good as their first book.) I was half-expecting some preachiness, so I was a bit hesitant to read it, but there was none. Well, there’s some literal preaching in the book, because the main character attends church — but the PLOT isn’t preaching at you. 🙂 (And the preaching is relevant to the plot, because it’s an actual sermon preached by one of the real pastors who was instrumental in organizing the resistance efforts in Le Chambon).

    I’ll stop here, so that I don’t end up spending too long on this plug. But if you like historical fiction and/or YA fiction, check out Heather and Lydia Munn and their book How Huge the Night.

  13. Doug TenNapel!

    I’d like to be able to say myself, or better yet, that other people would have the inclination to say so about my work. But I haven’t yet completed a comic book of my own, only a coloring book and illustrating various works by various folks. Maybe someday!

  14. There are a lot of fine Christian indie rock artists that are much more musically creative and compelling than the corporate Nashville schlock. Check out:

    My Epic – melodic post-hardcore/prog rock. One of my favorite bands period.
    Kings Kaleidoscope – Imagine if you combined The Mars Volta with funk, gospel, and soul music.
    Citizens And Saints – great worship band.
    Ascend The Hill – worship band with progressive rock influences.
    Hands – melodic progressive hardcore, much more interesting and inventive than similar bands. Their singer’s other band Everything In Slow Motion is similar but more accessible.
    Thrice – post-hardcore/indie rock, their singer Dustin Kensrue (also check out his solo stuff) and guitarist are both Christians and their songs always have great lyrics.

    Also check out artists like Bread And Wine, United Pursuit, and Housefires for more solid worship music. There’s also good stuff from pretty popular artists like Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, Hillsong United, etc.

  15. Thanks for the open invitation, Jon,

    I’ve been writing for years but I am just now getting into self-publishing and self-marketing – still pretty new at both.

    I have an e-book out now on Amazon called Follow the Drinking Gourd, (by Robert R. Hodges Jr.). I don’t have a print version available yet, but hope to soon. It is a SF novel centered on a Christian protagonist named, Carson Frazier (not to be confused with ERB’s Carson Napier); an ex-lawyer from Mars who has grown tired of all the criminals and lawyers and just wants to live a quiet life alone. He acquires a 10,000 acre cotton plantation in north Mississippi, along with 200 manubots and an 800lb decommissioned marine platoon sergeant named, Big Jim, who serves as the overseer.

    Carson also purchases a gorgeous android domestic and quickly falls in love with her.

    Carson gives his bots Sunday sermons (as would have been the case for antebellum estates of its type – my background is philosophy and history and I’ve read hundreds of actual slave narratives along with plenty of other primary source documents regarding Southern history), Bible readings, and celebrates Christmases with them. Some of the bots become quite religious themselves (assuming they have consciousness).

    Of course, Caron’s private slice of heaven soon turns into a hell on earth.

    The novel is not for young readers and it is NOT politically correct.

    This is the first book in a trilogy and the next two books will deal with a System’s wide civil war when conservative Earth and allies try to secede from the leftist Mars dominated Union. The conservatives not only have to contend with the Martians they also have to fight the new Master Race created by progressive scientists. The Master Race, of course, wants to wipe out the obsolete homo sapiens. Those two books will feature LOTS of Christians.

    Why so many Christians in the future? Because in the future, people are sick and tired of the pessimistic, nihilistic meaninglessness of atheism and materialism – it is a metaphysics of hopelessness; a philosophy of death. God is the God of the living, not the God of the dead.

    It has always bothered me that so much of SF has zero Christians in it.

    How is it that the Klingons can reach the warp age and still retain their odd warrior rituals, and even see the second coming of the Klingon warrior-Jesus (although a fake – this time) but Earthmen have no knowledge of, let alone love for the real Jesus?? Yes, I know that the OST Enterprise had a chapel, Kirk went to a Christmas party, and they had the “Son Worshipper” episode – but still.

    That was in the 60s – after that, to hell with you, Christians. We don’t serve your kind on this show. Or any show?

    Yeah, we’ll see about that.

  16. For Rob, take a look at Babylon 5 – they had Christians and Jews in the future – along with references to a lot of other religions. Also, the Honor Harrington series by David Weber has religion and specifically Christians in it.

    But your comment is largely true due to the small number of examples.

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