Salgood Sam ● Com

Illustrator, Cartoonist & Writer
Posts Tagged ‘repent press’

Shipping update and Spilt Ink dot Org


Still feel like I’m playing catch up after the trip to NY last month, closed out the first leg of the Dream Life tour. 

I had some slow weeks after recovering from a pretty intense cold I picked up on the road. We were having a heatwave too, that didn’t help. And here in Montreal a lot of people went on the traditional summer “workers vacation” so not much was getting done outside my studio.

I just heard back from Lounak earlier today that the first batch of books I left with them–that were waiting on a passport renewal. and then the drivers vacation–will now head out this Wednesday! Yay. Was getting worried there.

Good news. Going to want to see the invoice from them for this batch, but this means the next batch should head out soon as well. I have classes to teach mid week, but probably next monday i’ll plan to make a run up to Lounak.

Though it would be nice  to sell more books to help wrap up the last bit of shipping! unfortunately due to NY having been a bust when it came to sales at the shows – both cons there in June were super DEAD I found. Sold about 3 copies of Dream Life between them along with a few other bits and bobs. Most the other folks I talked to at both had the same story too pretty much. Bombs.

I ended up coming away $200 in the hole rather than with the average $500 profit that had come from many of the other shows/weekends on the tour. New York, Ottawa, and the second weekend in Toronto were all  poor sales wise, but with NY being the worst especially, when you factored in the much more expensive tables and travel! I still came out in the black for the other two duds with just a few books sold, but not NY.

That was not good for the budget. It could have been worse — I was able to sell two thirds of the books I had on me to local retailers for decent wholesale rates sunday and monday before coming back. Covered most the losses and bumped the store listings for Dream life nicely in the process too! So I was happy about that. But fiscally it hurt my plan a bit. The shipping budget it just about $400 now, so coming out of NY -$200, not cool.

Covering the latest short fall will be doable, it’s not huge. As it turned out last week I learned I’d be covering for my friend and co-teacher at Syn Studio, Kelly Tindall. Doing a semester of his comics class as well as my regular semester of Dynamic Drawing.

 The hours for that, selling some more books locally, and some freelance work in the works, i’ll be able to work it all out. But yeah, selling a LOT more books would be great for that and, just, in general.

It was over all good on the road, but online there’s been little pick up. I’d like to do more to get things going. Been writing retailers, have a few orders in the works. Also have some requests for books in town too at shops. Also been entertaining finding a way to set up in downtown Cafe’s, to sell the book during festival season?

I’m offering a summer reading sale right now, for the US editions. Need to get the word out more in general though!

 [reminder kickstarter backers are getting signed first Launch Editions, printed on premium paper in Montreal. The books sold now from my site are the US editions, POD copies printed on good but coarser paper in the US, from CreateSpace.]  

I’ve been reluctant to ask before everyone got their copy, but I’d really appreciate any help you can give me spreading the word about the sale, [ 0 shipping for physical copies and 10% off digital ] and generally sharing stuff about the book. To that end….


In other related news I had a chance finally to do some over due web work.

I moved my comics news blog Sequential to a new server, and back on the old one got my publishing imprint Spilt Ink’s home site up and running after years of just having a placeholder there. It’s pretty focused on selling my books, including Dream Life.

Thoses of you who’ve gotten your copies, I’d love to collect your reactions to Dream Life, to post on the site. Even if they are relatively short I’d appreciate it!

Also tell your favorite comic book or book retailer about it too! I can supply books to most places on the glob via the CreateSpace system!

Also the book is on AmazonComiXology, & Goodreads. If you can rate it there as well it would be a HUGE help boosting it’s visibility! Please help me pop it up the ranks?

And lastly, do you do a podcast or write for blogs? Chat me up about appearing on your show or check out the Footnotes section of Spilt Ink, and then write me some interesting questions? Some past interviews and reviews for my books can be found here on thepress page.

Ok, that’s the big ask for today.
Be my Street Team?
Thanks a lot!
I couldn’t have done this without you all!


Oh yeah, i have a book about the Rapture…

With just days left till the big day, i really should be taking more advantage of it. Thanks NPR, for reminding me!

Therefore, Repent!

By Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam,
160 pages,
Idea & Design Works Llc/NMK
list price: $14.99

This post-Rapture graphic novel would make an excellent stocking stuffer for your favorite disturbed teen, along with black lipstick and a wee nipple ring. Lovebirds Mummy and Raven negotiate the ins and outs of a creepy apocalyptic world in which dogs talk and demonic mutations abound. You might have to don an unattractive bird mask as a reminder of what happened to you during the Rapture. Warning: the feminist figure Lilith takes a hit, as do lesbians, angels and former presidents, but this action-packed narrative is sure to entertain any youth who wears a trench coat to school. Sam Salgood’s imaginative art puts an edgy twist on this world of disaffected youth.

I don’t want to give away too much for those who have not read the book, but do want to comment on this – “Warning: the feminist figure Lilith takes a hit, as do lesbians, angels and former presidents, ” Takes a hit? We didn’t favour anyone as good or bad by secondary traits, but lesbians are not as a group “hit”, and Lilith is more of an amoral anti-not sure what you’d call her-Oz? Not specifically a “feminist figure” in the imagining. Empowered hot witch or something like that yes but…we’re kind of on her side, even if she does scare the crap out of us!:D

The idea for us was to make a counter point book to the B&W moralities of the Left Behind series, and also just liked the idea of treating the Rapture as a Sci-fi genre.

I should also mention, there’s a sequel! ‘Sword of My Mouth’. Jim worked with my friend Shannon Gerard on that, came out last year. Also a good book to get you through the Tribulations. :D


Drill down – all blog posts on Therefore Repent!

1692 downlaods

“…fascinatingly unique, with characters that don’t end up feeling stale and stereotypical.”

It’s nice to know people are still discovering my last graphic novel, the life span of books sometimes can be short. Therefore Repent! a post rapture graphic novel sold ok at the convention this past weekend for me, and now has 1692 downlaods on We recently got another positive shout out on Front Click, a Creative Commons legal torrents listing blog…

“Indeed, “Therefore Repent!” is one of those things that are too good to be true. It’s an awesome graphic novel that has achieved critical and commercial success, yet, it can be read for free! It’s good enough to make you want to buy a copy.”

It’s true, you can read the book for free, and we’d love it if you baught copies for your freinds during the upcoming holidays. See you at word on the street this comic weekend!

Earth 2100 and apocalyptic doomsday scenarios always play well…?

Recently ABC News ran a special report called Earth 2100, imagining possible worst case scenarios for our near future.

The show talked about some heavy stuff and wanted to soften the impact so it featured “graphic novel”-style sequences by Some talented comic artists. A friend, Leland Purvis, was one of the contributors. Also included were Josh Neufeld, Sari Wilson, Joe Infurnari, George O’Connor, And Tim Hamilton.

CBR took the opportunity to do a run down of apocalyptic comics, and Therefore Repent was chosen as one of the 6 tittles chosen, nice!

Six by 6 | Only the end of the world again

A little more TCAF stuff

It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment, but Therefore Repent! and Jim got a second on the screen in this cool WHAZAMO! Ontario Graphic Novel Month Video spot about TCAF. Got posted on boing boing and stuff :)

…yeah, i’m easily pleased, it’s true. Kind of also just like using that trick with the posting code :)

Matrix Magazine Review of THEREFORE REPENT!

Montreal’s cool hipster art and lit mag Matrix Magazine reviewed us favorably in issue 80.

The full text is now online here, and added to my big ol’ virtual scrap book on my blog. :)

I like this Vincent guy, will have to track him down and get him a drink…

THEREFORE REPENT! A Post-Rapture Graphic Novel
by Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam
in [ Reviewed in Matrix 80 ]
Read by Vincent Tinguely

The glory of science fiction and fantasy is the “what if?” factor. In Therefore Repent!, the authors gleefully explore one deceptively simple premise: “What if the Rapture actually happened?”

The graphic novel has a fairly obscure geneology, beginning with a comic book originally conceived as the invention of a couple of characters in his previous (non-graphic) novel, An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil. A 24-page comic was conceived and written by Munroe, rendered by Michel Lacombe, and posted online. Having invented the post-Rapture scenario for this project, Munroe was interested in pursuing an expanded narrative about the comic book characters, Raven and Mummy, and the strange world they find themselves in. When Munroe was ready to go ahead with Therefore Repent!, Lacombe was no longer available to do the graphics, but Salgood Sam, who’d collaborated previously with Munroe on other small projects, was eager to take on the task.

The result is a sumptuous feast for the eyes (all in black and white), and a pleasingly complex plot that takes its sweet time in unfolding. Munroe lends the fantastic notion of the Rapture a believable texture by introducing the no-less fantastic “reality” of earthly magic, telepathy, transmigration of souls, inner visions, shape-shifting, prestidigitation, and talking dogs. In a sense, he’s taking on a very real anxiety – that the most powerful military industrial complex on earth is currently controlled by people who believe in fundamentalist quackery – and proposes that the power of such a belief system isn’t as monolithic and indestructable as it might sometimes seem.

Salgood Sam’s drawing skills never flag over the epic sweep of the tale, and he feels free to try any number of innovative framing and sequencing techniques. The characters, bizarre as they might seem – a woman with a bird head and a man who goes about wrapped in bandages like a mummy – become fully-rounded in the course of the story, and even the minor characters feel believable to the reader. The result is a spectacular graphic novel, full of angels, demons and unclassifiable creatures, with a brainy subtext that never interferes with the fun.

Home again home again, jiggidy jig

Back from my trip; whirl wind

through Gatineau

Toronto & Windsor.

fatherdaughter The 9th Rendez-vous international de la BD was lovely, Paul and friends go out of their way to make the guests feel welcomed. Also met some very cool people, made a few new friends. I’ve posted photos from the trip here.

CoverComp-bataCroped-B01In Toronto I got some work done , roughs for Work, and started on a new Bread and Butter project that’s proving to be off to a fun start. Will talk more about that later but for now you can see the art here>>.

I had a short interview with Dalson Chen of The Windsor Star, that ran the week before BookFest Windsor here. Came out well I think. Made me laugh when he asked about graphic novels, there was a national post article just before on the same theme that made me roll my eyes.

BookFest Windsor was a pleasure for the most part, including the funny social drama around the final night’s party, but I’m getting the impression this goes with the small book festival circuit a bit. Booze + Writers and Poets + Travel? :)

I have a few photos and stuff to post from that shortly.

Also spent a great and somewhat inebriated Halloween with my old friend George, roaming about the town checking out costumes and snapping shots. I made a bit of a video of that here.

Notable Noting

Ted at IDW just sent us some scans of Best American Comics 2008, where Therefore Repent was listed as one of the “Notable” books to read of 2007!

Pretty cool, I’ll have to pick up a copy – looks like it’s worth it anyway, some impressive names in it. :)

More press and reviews here.

Shuffleboil Reviews Therefore Repent!

Been running about madly and forgetting to promote the book, bad max. Ok, got another cool review here by John E. Mitchell, adding it to my big BIG pile of clippings….

The Rapture has provided adventure fodder for those who believe in it – I’m looking at you especially, Tim LeHaye – as well as those who don’t. To the best of my knowledge, though, it’s never been depicted as anything other than exactly what is happening. God has taken all the Christians away to Heaven and the Earth is ruled by the Anti Christ, with the Final Battle soon to follow.

In “Therefore Repent!” Canadian team Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam depict a post-Rapture world where nothing is for certain. The creator turn the bizarre religious belief into a science fiction scenario that has the characters actually searching for explanations beyond the accepted one while still working within the parameters of popular legend we all accept, either with straight face or with conspicuous snickers.

Raven and Mummy are two bohemian performance artists who wander around in their performance costumes. Squatting in an abandoned apartment in a little urban neighborhood, the two become acquainted with their surroundings and the other people left behind. One of the givens of the Rapture is that it would create a world populated mostly by artists and ne’er do wells, at least among the respectable crowds.

Munroe and Salgood also play with the likely post-Rapture psychology in regard to reactionary acting out that provide daily dangers and annoyances to the survivors. The Splitters are a group of people who believe there will be a second Rapture and they have one more chance to follow Jesus. Meanwhile, religious militia with names like “God’s Faithful” roam around spreading dread.

There is one way to read the Bible – that is between the lines and asking simple questions like “Who is God? What’s his story? Why’s he so vague about where he comes from and what he wants?” While “Therefore Repent!” may not be moving down that road exactly, it’s certainly in that spirit.

The story’s conclusion recontextualizes the circumstances of the Apocalypse in an inventive and fun way – oh, yeah, and it’s kind of corny. But good corny. The kind of corny that twists things inside out and lays out some intriguing possibilities as it unfolds. The kind of corny that’s missing from the eye-rolling corny that infects the belief “Therefore Repents!” lampoons.

Therefore Repent! update

Damn it’s Damn sweaty. I tell you, I have a beautiful lady with me and we can even stand to touch each other in this – that’s just wrong.

Ok, think about something else.

So big news! A little while ago the first quarter update for the IDW edition came in the mail, and I’m very pleased to say we had a very respectable first go at the plate – with book and direct markets combined; the book market pulling over twice the numbers; Therefore Repent! has moved 3216 copies! Add to that NMK’s 1000 so far, and you get 4216 post-apocalyptic graphic novels, ha ha ha!

Cool. As I have been reminded, the book market orders can boomerang on you, but in a lot of the shops that had it that I’ve been in, it seems to be moving pretty good so I’m optimistic about that.

Also was talking to a Literary agent recently when I mentioned this, and he thought there was a good chance 4000 was an ideal middle number – not so many that sending them back in most store’s cases would be worth it – a lot of single units left over not worth the hassle – and still big enough to result in us getting a decent first royalty check.

At any rate they hold back half our checks right now in case they do come back, and even with that I’m pretty pleased.

So, hey, if you have been thinking about getting it, well I’d sure love to see those numbers stay hi so don’t hesitate on our behalf ;)

If you want to get one signed by Jim you can order from NMK here, & IDW makes it available on their site too.

I have a list of shops I know carry it here, and it seems to be in most of the mega book shops i’ve checked out. And most of the web based book retailers like Amazon carry it too.

But hey, if you want to help us a bit, look for shops that don’t carry it, and ask them about it! Tell them Junot Diaz thinks we’re nuts and loved it, that’ll get their attention. ;)

Read the press.
Buy the book.

Spring breezes are helping to loft Therefore Repent! on the wing…

Man did/do i have a lot of spring cleaning to do! Been at it for a week now. almost done though. Feel itchy to start finishing some of the DL pages for act 1. Poked in to panel and pixel just now, John Muth posted me a link for a review on for Therefore Repent! By Annalee Newitz. Not to sound too stroked but it’s nice reading a review where it feels like the reader has totally got what you hoped you were trying to say. Lots of comments too! That’s cool. :)

Imagine what would happen if all the right-wing Christians suddenly floated up into the sky, and your wiccan lesbian neighbors could suddenly do real magic. That’s the premise of magic realist/scifi/defies description graphic novel Therefore Repent!, written by the awesome scifi author Jim Munroe and drawn beautifully by Salgood Sam. What appeals about Munroe’s post-rapture tale, aside the believable characters in outlandish situations, is the way it serves as a progressive, humane rejoinder to the Christian scifi novels in the Left Behind series, whose premise is almost exactly the same.

Munroe is one of my very favorite scifi writers — he’s the creator of the nanopunk film Infest Wisely (free online!), as well as the author of Everyone in Silico, Flyboy Action Figure Comes with Gasmask (free online!), and An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil, the prequel to Therefore Repent! This is his first foray into comics, and he takes to the medium well.

We meet Mummy and Raven, a couple of artists who used to do an act where they dressed up as a mummy and a raven, as they are searching for a home in a world turned upsidown by the rapture of hundreds of thousands of Christians. Those left behind are divided between “splitters,” people who are trying to go as Christian as possible so they’ll be taken up during the Apocalypse (this includes George W. Bush), and people who are happy to live in a world free from Christians. Mummy and Raven are among the latter, and they’ve moved into a cozy squat left abandoned by its raptured inhabitants. Things start to get even more unhinged, however, when angels in military uniforms start machine gunning “sinners,” and dogs start to talk. Plus, ordinary people are starting to develop weird magical powers — one woman can send email by attaching ethernet cables to her piercings, and Raven herself can create birds out of smoke.

As the wiccans, lesbians, and punks start to band together to fight the paramilitary angels, Raven and Mummy start to have relationship difficulties. Mummy is flirting with the cute indie rock girl at the bar down the street, and Raven is keeping her feelings so bottled up that she’s become psychologically stuck. This is the great thing about Munroe’s writing, always: he manages to write weirdly sweet romantic stories set against a backdrop of the apocalypse or some kind of huge technological emergency. Salgood’s drawings manage to be both dark and funny, cute sketches that shade into shadowy gloom, which perfectly harmonizes with the mood of the narrative.

There’s a terrifically great twist ending which despite my love of spoilers I won’t give away. Suffice to say, the story stays consistently surprising and weird, and the message is never a simple “Christianity is stupid” dogma at all. Instead, the point is to be careful about what kind of paradise you wish for. You just might get it.

You can buy all of Munroe’s books, including Therefore Repent, here.

Also a list of stores carrying Therefore Repent! can be found here allong with other online options.

"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo" takes on new meaning with this one. Highly recommended."

Another cool one for the clipping pile, from by Byron Kerman

Some readers are never going to pick up Therefore Repent! when they hear about the plot. The graphic novel imagines the biblical Rapture, with the righteous floating up to heaven, and the sinners stuck on a miserable earth roiling with war and suffering. It just sounds too much like it might be the work of a smug Christian author, offering a book-length Jack Chick tract to a general comics readership. Bible camp for the heathens.

Not only is that an erroneous conclusion, it’s a far too simple one. What writer Jim Munroe and artist Salgood Sam have done here is to join mystery, horror, romance, and the lurid excitement of eschatology in a complex tale that manages to be spiritually moving without resorting to organized religion.

We begin with Mummy and Raven, a couple of free spirits wearing the costumes it sounds like they are, as their way of protesting this whole Rapture business. They wander the post-Tribulation streets, squatting in apartments abandoned by the righteous, trying to cook up food without electricity and survive by their wits in a collapsed America. They confab with Jews, Muslims, drinkers, hippies, and “unbelievers” of all stripes, looking for resources, friends, and meaning in a bereft world.

The cover to Therefore Repent. Click for a larger image.Gradually, we witness stranger and stranger doings in this post-Rapture life. Dogs eat the voice boxes of dead people and acquire the power to speak. Some women have the ability to conjure living birds of ash, and cats of dust. The newly pious can walk on water, multiply loaves and fishes, and turn water into wine. Bisexual soldier-angels descend to earth to kill survivors practicing the “dark arts” of divination — levitation, invisibility, and even drumming circles. It’s a mishmash of horrors and wonders that reminded me, with its sheer oddness, of the vibe you get from some Clive Barker stories. Of course, the idea of this particular sick world is only as “new” as the New Testament. I wish I knew more about the Rapture so I could appreciate more here. The genital-less angels, for instance, are a Biblical idea, I understand.

Munroe and Sam convey the action with a deceptively sleepy pace. The practical considerations of what Mummy and Raven should do with their daily surfeit of free time, the bumps in their relationship, and the challenges faced by a few other minor but memorable characters are the meat of the book. We, along with these characters, are waiting for answers. Will there be another, final Rapture? Can the impious yet be saved? Should the stunned non-Christians fight the gun-toting angels of vengeance, or would that be sacrilege? What does anything mean in a world where god has passed judgment, and everyone left is a loser?

The ending is a revelation, in several senses of the term. Let’s just say that the Christians may have been right about how the world will end, but wrong about who’s on either side of the chess board. And the potential for good people to fight their way to salvation — and transformation — in the darkest of times is presented so lovingly, via the delightful couple that is the cosmically tripping Mummy and the defiant Raven (and their talking dog, too), you just marvel at your journey as a reader.

Salgood Sam (the nom de plume of one Max Douglas, spelled backwards, more or less) is a gifted illustrator. His black-and-white drawings are slick like a film storyboard drawn by an exacting crafter. Check out one panel near the end of the book, in which our band of heroes takes out an angel. He falls through the sky upside-down, his huge black wings fluttering helplessly above him on the way down. It’s gorgeous.

It might be a good idea to read Therefore Repent! twice, even. Any confusing plot points at the beginning will be revealed as clever little breadcrumbs.

“Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo” takes on new meaning with this one. Highly recommended. | Byron Kerman

Junot Diaz thinks Jim’s completely nuts

Got a note about this just before leaving for NY, which was cool; when i told folks like the literary agent i talked to at the con that a Pulitzer Prize winner name dropped my last project they tended to take notice. So yeah, Junot Diaz was interviewed by THIS RECORDING April 10th, and when asked about what he’s reading lately this is what he said…

In terms of genre fiction, are you getting to do any reading for pleasure?

I’ve have been reading tremendously. I’m sort of recovering from book-novel-whatever… right now, I’m reading this book called THEREFORE REPENT! (Laughs)

Does it have an exclamation mark at the end?


What’s it about?

It’s completely nuts. Of course you haven’t heard of it. It’s by a guy named Jim Monroe and it’s put out by a small press. It’s a book about what if the rapture actually happened, and that’s all I’m gonna tell you.

Cool. Much thanks to Junot! So I’m going to have to go find some of his work and have a look, I’m told he’s an amazing author, as the Pulitzer would tend to suggest.

Therefore Repent & the NYCC

Hey all, some nice stuff for the clip pile here; stumbled across this a bit late, Comic News Insider featured the book on their weekly top three list when it came out in January. This is a clip from Episode 125 – Tue, 29 January 2008!

I’m Going to be at the upcoming New York Comic Con – April 18-20, 2008!

I’ll be joining my pod cast collaborators Charlito and Mr. Phill at the ISR table, and doing an hour or so of sketches and signings at the Image table too.

Also i’ve confirmed with Vito, I’m booked to do a singing for Therefore Repent! on the 21st the Monday after the con with my co-creator on Sea of Red, Rick Remender (Fear Agent) and Tony Moore (Walking Dead) @ Jim Hanley’s Universe downtown store in New York City [map]! If your in town i hope you can make it out to the store.

Also really look forward to meeting the guys, Tony did some awesome work on my covers for Sea of Red, I’ve worked with both of them but i haven’t met either of them in the flesh so it’s going to be cool to actually encounter the real people! Hope it goes well :)

Time TBA

and last…

And we got a nice short blurb in the March 2008 issue of Rue Mourge!

Therefore Repent!: It’s a little late, isn’t it?

Another one on the digital surf this morning, quite enjoyed this for my morning coffee, found it really articulate and of course very flattering. It’s by Chicago blogger Matthew Brady [not Mat of Newsarama], a regular contributer to Indie Pulp, ComiPress & Comics Bulletin

Therefore Repent!: It’s a little late, isn’t it?
By Matthew Brady :) posted March 20, 2008

Therefore Repent!
Written by Jim Munroe
Art by Salgood Sam

So, that “rapture” part of Christian mythology is kind of disturbing, isn’t it (I mean, aside from all the other disturbing stuff in the Bible)? Everybody good (with the definition of “good” meaning you agree to say God exists, or whatever) gets sucked up into the sky, leaving everybody else behind, rejected, ignored, and pretty much left to kill each other and rot in hell. Good times! Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam explore a post-rapture world in this freaky graphic novel, and it’s a weird, ugly place. For some reason, people seem to have developed magical abilities, and an army of angels outfitted in combat gear is going around killing anybody who practices this “witchcraft”. Swell! In the middle of all this are a young couple known only as Mummy and Raven, so called because he wears bandages all over his body and she wears a bird mask over her head. They wander into one of the suburbs of Chicago (but not as far out in the boondocks as the place where I live) and take up residence, getting to know the people in the neighborhood, including a Korean kid who runs his family liquor store, the owner of a local bar, and a couple lesbians who run an interdimensional communications business called “She-mail”. Also, their dog starts talking, and Raven starts developing strange ash-controlling powers. Who knows what’s going on with this strange world.

So it’s a fascinating, rich world that Munroe and Sam have created, but I did find it a bit hard to follow at times. A lot of the story is left up to the reader to infer, or references events and relationships that we don’t see. Part of this might be due to the fact that the book is a sort of sequel to Munroe’s novel An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil (which began life as a series of faux blog posts, which are still online). Munroe also did a sort of prequel comic with artist Michel Lacomb (also viewable online). So it’s not a completely standalone work, but I was able to follow it well enough, especially when it all came together for a very satisfying ending.

But really, I found the best part of the book to be Salgood Sam’s art. I’ve seen his work before on the Image vampire-pirate series Sea of Red, but I didn’t think too much of it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t especially distinctive or interesting to me either. But here, he’s working on a whole new level, sumptuously detailing dingy environments, expressive characters, and fantastical creatures. Being a sort of Chicago native, I loved seeing his work with cityscapes (and his depiction of the infamous “bean” sculpture in Millenium Park):

His depictions of animals are also great; the dog, who is a fairly major character, is expressive and even emotive while not seeming cartoony or anthropomorphized. He also comes up with some great layouts, like this dynamic shot of angels deploying:

And I even find the “less-readable” layouts fascinating:


There are at least three different scenes sort of melting into each other there, and I’m not sure how it all works, but it’s so well put-together, I keep coming back to it. I especially like the thick, but not oppressive, shading, which adds a nice texture to everything. The character work is pretty great too; I love the girl’s expression in this bit: It makes for a funny/sad scene, and those nicely-defined and -detailed characters make for a good, human grounding to Munroe’s crazy world. Finally, I wanted to point out one last bit that wowed me, in which Raven and Mummy have a shared vision that takes the form of the drawings in Mummy’s notebook: It’s an effective shift from Sam’s normal pencil-shaded style, and the sudden “open-ness” of the art is striking and effective. Nice.

So, yeah, I definitely dug this book. Any perceived storytelling deficiencies that I felt while reading were assuaged by the excellent ending, and the exquisite artwork (and well-drawn characters and fully-realized world) kept me going until then. It makes for a really good book, and I definitely recommend it to anybody who is interested in something a little bit outside the mainstream. Good job, guys.

Thanks Matthew!

Art Blog By Bob says Laughed Behind

My mindless minions of borrowed spiders coughed this up this morning, a great Review by Bob, on his blog! I really liked this one…

Laughed Behind

originally published [with art] on March 20, 2008 by Bob

Both scarier and funnier than a library full of only Left Behind novels, Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam’s Therefore Repent!: A Post-Rapture Graphic Novel asks the disturbing question: “What if the religious right… are actually right?” Set in a post-rapture world, when Heaven’s non-elect are left behind to pick up the pieces after the “chosen” have ascended to their just rewards, Therefore Repent! imagines a world in which magical powers become commonplace and the same pre-rapture biases and prejudices rule the day.

Where else but Canada could such a work come from? First published by No Media Kings in Canada and now brought to America by IDW Publishing, Therefore Repent! takes aim at the fundamentalist foibles of the American Christian Right with withering satire. When “Dubya Almighty,” as one character calls him, appears on a television news broadcast to discuss his post-rapture tour of the Red States, Bush spins wildly in response to the question of why he himself has been left behind. When Bush refers to the faux Jesus beside him as “Mr. Christ,” it’s laugh out loud funny as well as cry in your pillow sad, especially if you’re an American surrounded by the consequences of conservative “religion.”

One good aspect of the post-rapture world is the availability of good housing vacated by the chosen. Raven and Mummy, the two main characters of Therefore Repent!, find themselves a new home in the chaos of the aftermath (above). Although basic services are spotty at best, a number of “splitters,” those who believe in a second round of rapture to pick up those who needed to atone during the “tribulation” period before ascending, keep hope alive and the wheels of society turning to a degree. Munroe and Maxim Douglas (Salgood Sam’s real name) create a credible incredible world of “radical splitters” performing the miracles of Jesus, talking dogs, and sibylesque figures who replace e-mail with “she-mail.” Like Milton’s Lucifer in the early sections of Paradise Lost, this depiction of “evil” seems infinitely more interesting and fun than the world of the holy rollers. If you’d “rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints,” post-rapture Earth and America seems not so bad, at least for a while. Douglas’ edgy, almost grimy black and white images compose the perfect atmosphere for this magical realm set in all too familiar places.

Unfortunately, the powers of religious bigotry remain strong after the rapture, and perhaps even gain strength in the vacuum of legitimate authority. Military figures with angels’ wings (above) wreck vengeance on the unfaithful practicing “black” magic. Militiamen calling themselves “God’s Faithful” decide who lives and dies based on their personal creed. In these passages, Munroe and Douglas reveal the roots of the destructive tendencies of the Christian Right in America and their ties to other wings of conservatism such as the militia movement and just how deep those roots go. Of course, Therefore Repent! is fantasy, but only in fantasy can you find the license to connect the dots in such profound and illuminating ways. Therefore Repent! is social commentary disguised as fantasy literature. “It’s just a comic book,” they say, allowing these ideas to get under the radar in a way that more mainstream media no longer provides.

Therefore Repent! begins by quoting the Bible passage from which the title is taken. “Therefore repent!” says Revelations 2:16. “If you do not, I will come to you soon and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” In Therefore Repent!, Munroe and Douglas use the “sword” of their mouth and pen to fight against those crippling America under the weight of their right-wing prejudices codified in religious language. Those who need to repent are not the sinners but the “saints” who have taken their country down a very strange and twisted path leading to the violence of illegitimate wars and legitimized torture. In Therefore Repent!, we receive a valuable Bible lesson that questions the nature of what it is to be God’s chosen and who has the right to do the choosing.

Therefore Repent! Makes it to #16 of the Sequential All-Canadian Top 25 and NMK offers deep discounts.

Bryan over on Sequential has been compiling a best sellers list via the BookManager database for a while now, and for the last few weeks the NMK edition of the book has been fluctuating around the top 20 of the All-Canadian list [All-Canadian creators].

This week we made it to our lowest number yet, 16th over all! Perfect timing for the spring cleaning sale Jim is holding this month at NMK

I have SLASHED SLASHED SLASHED prices on my books — as much as 50% in some cases. Go check out the AMAZING deals: And, for people who buy 3 or more books, you get a No Media Kings t-shirt. FREE!

Whaa? I know! I know, you just lost your mind. I’ll wait while you find it. OK?

PLUS if you’re a book club or an educator or an indie bookseller or just a really big Munroe fan, email me for purchases of 10+ — just be prepared to redefine your def of “deep” discounting. I don’t want you to die from the shock of the INSANELY LOW PRICES.

Yeah, Jim is doing shtick :).

Read About Comics reviews Therefore Repent!

Got a couple reviews this week and a mention in a pod cast, going to stick to this, the best by Greg McElhatton for the clippings pile here. I’ve had my art compared to Farel Dalrymple’s before, i always take it as a complement, he’s an excellent artist…

It’s very strange when you’re reading a graphic novel and feel like it was formed by an entirely different set of creators. In some ways it’s a little unfair to do so to the actual creators, almost like you aren’t giving them their fair credit. None the less, if you’d asked me who’d created Therefore Repent!, I’d have probably guessed Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple (who coincidentally really are collaborators on Marvel’s Omega the Unknown revival). I’d like to assure Jim Monroe and Salgood Sam, however, that such a comparison really isn’t a bad thing at all.

The Rapture came, and billions of people rose up into the sky to go to Heaven. Now, the rest of the world is in chaos, some claiming this to be a time of tribulation with a second chance at salvation eminent, others just trying to survive as best they can. With an army of angels trying to purge the world of survivors, and strange powers manifesting left and right, can Mummy and Raven find a way to just live in peace?

Monroe’s story reminded me a lot of Lethem’s early novels, with its fantastical events and ever-shifting status quo being presented almost matter-of-factly to the reader. This isn’t the sort of story where characters spend half their time continually gawking at their situation, but instead just move on as if it’s part of their lives these days–which of course it is. The end result is that as a reader, I never felt like I was being condescended or talked down to, and picked up the sensation that this was somehow a very real world that I was getting a glimpse into. The setup for Therefore Repent! is clever, in both how Munroe imagines what the remaining infrastructure would look like, but more so in the changes in humanity. This is the sort of setting I could easily see sustaining a long series of stories if Munroe chose, dipping into different locations and lives all over the globe. As it is, I feel like there’s still so much more that could be told about the book’s existing cast. There’s a lot in their past left nebulous, and it’s the arrival of Mummy and Raven into a neighborhood of Chicago that not only asks questions of all the supporting cast but of them as well. Likewise, some parts of the story itself are never really explained; the actions of some characters are left blank, which can be frustrating to anyone who is expecting everything to be explained or wrapped up neatly.

The art in Therefore Repent! is a lush, thick-inked creation. I really love the way that Sam illustrates an urban sprawl, with its streets and buildings and alleyways. It’s a wonderfully full art style, and in some ways I think it’s more effective here as pure black and white versus the red-tinged art of Sea of Red. Here, the darker color against a white background carries a stronger visual weight, and that’s especially important when Sam draws the fantastical elements of Therefore Repent!. Because they’re so different, they need to really stand out and pop off the page at the reader, and that’s exactly what happens. My only one complaint is that some of the more action-oriented scenes came off as a little muddled and hard to follow–I can’t help but feel that they don’t really play to Sam’s strengths as an artist. Fortunately, they’re a very small part of the greater whole. I do wonder if the smaller dimensions of the book, which normally works well in compacting Sam’s art, somehow worked against him there.

Therefore Repent! was a nice surprise for me as a reader–a book full of enough ideas to fill up an entire series, and with a beautiful illustration style in the narrative. Add in an unpredictable (but good) ending and lots of little surprises along the way and the end result is a book that would make me definitely seek out further collaborations between Munroe and Sam. I might have confused their synergy with other creators in the past, but I certainly won’t make that mistake again.

Therefore Repent! Review on the Comics Reporter and news of good sales!

Good news, i’ve been talking with a variety of shops to compile the list, and a good number have been telling me they are selling out of their first cautious orders and reordering, in some cases quite a lot!

So here’s hoping that’s reflected in the next few months from Diamond, we moved about half the run in the first month, so if this keeps up, maybe we can clear out the first run in the next two.

A few managers have really taken to advocating it; heard that the Manhattan Jim Hanley’s Universe is nearly sold out in part due to the guy i talked to there pushing it [sorry, was so pleased with the good news you were giving me I forgot to ask your name! get that when I talk with you next] and my old friend George Rizock in Windsor at the Rogues Gallery Comics Shop has moved 30 and has another 30 on order! Thanks man! So it seems the book is finding a good reception.

I’ve also made some arrangements to be in NY for the April NYCC, and it looks like some kind of signing is going to happen, I’ll post details on that soon as it’s settled.

So a good day, and not too tempered by this, a qualified review from Tom Spurgeon here on his site. Not bad, i really appreciated the thoughtful consideration he gave it and some of his observations of Jim’s writing and my art were very faltering.

“Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam’s Therefore Repent! bills itself as “a post-Rapture graphic novel.” This is obviously a reference to the story’s plot, which details the lives among those left behind when a number of Christian believers around the world ascend into heaven via a scenario that seems to prove the popular Christian Right public prophecy to be 100 percent true. It could also be a joke about this being the kind of book that would come out after such an event, in the same way that a few books and plays wrestled with 9/11 either directly or indirectly in a manner that placed the book within that specific historical context, or even a reference to the Rapture as a series of beliefs by millennial-obsessed Christians that many have processed and come to a different set of conclusions. I think there are elements to all three, and as a tribute to the sturdy, focused quality of the dark fantasy in the book, multiple interpretation aren’t only possible they’re kind of the point.”

“The most affecting part of the book shows their daily routine as they deal with the strain on their affection and the general breakdown of society that followed the departure of the various believers.”

“Munroe’s strengths as a writer seem to come through most overtly in this section: his way of delineating Mummy and Raven’s relationship through incidental moments rather than explication, and the way he uses fantasy to craft a large metaphor about widespread, post-event trauma, such as the feelings of rootlessness, fear and desire to function on a very basic level (staying home, watching the news, going out for food only) that enveloped a lot of people after 9/11.”

“Salgood Sam’s work proves mostly strong throughout. There are moments of visual sumptuousness that should keep the reader’s attention, and those readers who feel an artist should draw everything and not drop backgrounds or atmosphere for a lighter workload or to emphasize certain foregrounded actions should be pleased with the pages placed in front of them here.”

But he goes on to sight some issues with it, and seems to have been not totally taken with it on the whole. It’s an ok review but he wasn’t totally into it. And the last somewhat back handed praise their about the backgrounds, you know, I pretty regularly dropped the backgrounds to do just both those things. Never to the point of loosing the sense of place i felt, but he makes it sound as though I was exhaustive in my background art! I don’t know about that, not by my standards.

It’s been interesting, the different reactions the books getting.

More mainstream folks seem to totally go for it, and some are taking it as an Indy version of the sort of book Grant Morrison would do, which in mainstream circles is high praise.

Indy and literary people are often having a mixed reaction. Mostly good, near everyone has liked the story at least – But a good number seem to not be sure how to take the way we handled stuff, some more so than others and in some cases i can’t help but think they are thinking too hard about some things. And some are just not keen on my detailed representational art, or how I mix some of the cartoony stuff in there with that as in the case with Tom.

On this, for myself I like the verity of texture mixing things up brings to a book, I’m not into the notion that the art style needs to be homogeneous. And while I don’t think it was Tom’s issue, some seem to simply dislike that I’m not keeping to an certain Indy, or literary look for the art. Oh well.

Many seem to be wrestling with what we ‘Intended’ with the story a lot.

Like Tom’s note that

“it could also be that the artists are overtly making a case for diversion over significance in narrative art.”

That was a bit odd to me. I don’t think we had intended to make such a case.

But if one were to be made, i don’t think those are mutually exclusive goals. We were working on a medium length graphic novel, 160 pages, that lets you tell a lot of story but not so much that you can go crazy, at least not the way I or Jim wanted to tell it. Which was to emphasize the quite moments, the time of small things over grand things. Or at least that’s what I got from Jim’s script and his choices there in.

That was something I had always liked in his books, so I took that idea and added my own two bits along those lines to it. In my breaking down of the script and layouts, I reduced the action sequences to minimal staccato hits, bam bam bam sequences of events to try to capture the way those moments in life fly – and yet I gave the most physical space on the page to that stuff, big splashes and large panels – so you could get lost in the frozen seconds of time. Get a distended feeling of short moments of time moving like molasses.

On the other hand I took the quite stuff and gave it multiple panels, pages, beats, to stretch it as much as I could. I wanted those moments to be as significant as they needed to be, each in their own way.

The story is both commentary on big questions of how people deal with traumatic events, and each other in their wake. And it’s a fantasy adventure, a lark, at the same time.

I don’t think we thought we needed to make a case for that, it seems that both are things the medium can do, and at the same time even.

I was talking tonight with a fellow creator via email, and I think I agree with him, that if we’re getting a mixed and even off put reaction from some of the folks who take stuff supper seriously, it means your doing something right. And one thing is true. I was hoping it would be hard to peg. Seems we have made a slightly difficult book! :) Be nice if every one loved it but I’m liking the mixed reviews we sometimes get.

Therefore Repent! in RAZORCAKE

Jim sent me a clipping from RAZORCAKE, a non-profit music magazine dedicated to supporting independent music culture [and comics it seems too! :) ]. Nice review by Keith Rosson.

Therefore, Repent! (A Post-Rapture Graphic Novel)
By Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam, 164 pgs.

A little over ten years ago, I had one of Punk Planet’s “DIY Files” tacked up over my desk. I stared at it religiously, nightly, every time I sat down to Work or answer mail.

It was titled “How to Write a Novel,” and was written by Jim Munroe. He’d written one himself and gotten it picked up, I believe, by HarperCollins. A few years later, he’d grown pretty firmly disillusioned with the mainstream publishing industry and has remained entrenched in the DIY publishing world ever since. So, I finished my novel and yeah, it was a piece of garbage, entirely unpublishable and probably more cathartic than anything else. Point is, Munroe was a punk who had walked down that path before me and had given me–if not a working blueprint on how to write a decent book–at least the impetus and inspiration to follow through and keep working even when the words weren’t coming well. So it’s great to see him still kicking around and, more importantly, successfully tackling the graphic novel format.

I really don’t want to give too much of the plot away, as much of the joy of reading this thing comes from the fact that things get increasingly weird as the chapters go on. I will say that the story begins in an apparently post-Rapture world; hundreds of thousands of people have literally floated from the earth and disappeared, ascending into the sky. Jesus Christ is campaigning with George Bush–solely, of course, in red states. Angels (dressed in Vietnam-era fatigues and carrying M-16s) are systematically attempting to wipe out the remaining inhabitants of earth and facing resistance. Within the story, there are talking dogs, gay angels, resurrected homeless men, cyber-psychic lesbians, bikers that turn water into wine, a woman who turns ash into attack-birds, invisible Korean convenience store owners, and more. Like I said, I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but apart from the terrific pace of the story and Salgood Sam’s gorgeous artwork, it’s this attention to detail and bizarre bending of reality
that makes Therefore. Repent’ such a blast to pore over.

Salgood Sam (dude’s real name is Max Douglas–it’s backwards, get it?) has worked on titles for Marvel, DC, and Image, as well as a host of indie tines and comics; his work is somewhat suggestive of Derek Hess, but is much more refined. His sense of perspective and value is top-notch–as far as I can tell, his illustrations must be a mix of brushwork, charcoal, pencil, and ink washes. Absolutely gorgeous stuff. Munroe’s gotten the pacing of the story down tight and every chapter’s got a cliffhanger that kept me turning pages–I read Therefore, Repent! in one sitting and still find myself thumbing through it well after the fact.

All told, this one’s a keeper; the ending ties everything together nicely, but it’s one fuck of a weird ride before you get there. -Keith Rosson (No Media Kings, 10 Trellanock Ave., Toronto ON, M1C 5135, Canada)