Today we have a very special treat! Taylor Overby from Word Centered Productions is here to answer some tough questions about his independently published Christian Humor Magazine/Comic Book. Humor and satire are found all over the Word of God. God created us with a sense of humor so we could laugh at ourselves and enjoy each other. He asks us over and over to be glad and to be merry.
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24
“…but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15b
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
With all these requests for positivity, why are Christians so depressed, down-in-the-mouth and negative? Taylor Overby gives us some wonderful insights about today’s Christian culture and the desperate need we have today for Godly humor and biblical accuracy.
First off Taylor, what is the GLAD Magazine?
“GLAD is the Christian’s answer to MAD Magazine. And it is intended to make the reader glad, not mad.”
How did the magazine come to be published the very first time?
“My father, who has since passed away, believed in my idea and offered to publish it. He gave me the opportunity to write and draw stories, and work with other artists and writers who contributed. I really loved comics as a child, and as a young person, and I saw humor as a great way to get to people’s hearts without hitting them over the head, or shaming them.”
Are you the only author/illustrator in the magazine?
“No, I am not the only contributor. In fact, I have always wanted GLAD to be a forum for other writers and artists who understand our vision.”
You are a very talented author illustrator and have produced many works. What made you decide to produce a humor/Christian comic book?
“Well, thanks for your compliments on my work, Terri. I love to make comics, and humorous ones in particular, and I wanted to make a fun comic book that would integrate the Bible into everyday life. In Colossians 3:4 it says “…Christ who is our life…” Christ is supposed to be our life, and that includes our sense of humor and our entertainment.”
What was the overall point you wanted to make?
“What I want to do is have the stories in GLAD not just be funny, but also teach something from the Bible too, but without coming across as “preachy.” You see, the Bible uses humor, but no jokes, like, “Two Arabs were crossing the road, and one says…” For example, when the prophet Elijah confronted the 400 prophets of Baal he used sarcasm (I Kings 18). When those false prophets were trying to get Baal to answer them, Elijah mocked them, saying, “Maybe Baal is sleeping and needs to be waked!” There are many other places like this in the Bible. If you don’t think God has a sense of humor just take a look at penguins. I want to bring out this aspect of the Christian life, and have Christianity be enjoyable, in all aspects of our life.”
Why would someone want to give this magazine to their kids/parents/family etc.?
“I would give this to my children because I want Jesus Christ to be a part of everything they do, even entertainment. And I believe that GLAD is also a great tool for witnessing, too, because people can read it and see that God is not mad at us, that He loves us, and that it is really fun to believe God.”
We know that God and studying the Word is a big part of your life, how did that play into your decision to republish the “Glad Magazine?”
“Our culture is so dark. It sure doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I want to use all of my abilities to offer an alternative to what the world offers.”
Many of the concepts throughout the magazine have a way of bringing God’s Word to life in a way that is different than most Christian literature. Were these concepts taken straight out of the Bible? Do you ever get negative feedback from other Christian organizations about them? If so, how do you combat that attitude?
“There are Christian people who have a difficult time with humor, because they are afraid that God won’t like it, but laughter is from God. Look at what Sarah said in Genesis 21:6. “And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh. Every one that heareth will laugh with me.” God made her laugh, right? It was laughter out of joy because of God’s deliverance. She had a child at about 90 years of age. That is an example of God’s sense of humor, and that is what I want to capture in GLAD. Do I always “hit it?” No. But I think it is well worth the attempt.”
Tell us about the images. Your comic books have intense images that capture the reader and make them really think. How do you feel they differ from a secular humor magazine?
“It is all in the message. What we want to communicate is life, the love of God for us, the folly of man-made religion, and how cool it is to be a believer.”
When you illustrate, do you come up with the plan and sketches first, or do you come up with the concept and writing side first?
“I look at GLAD stories as a teaching platform, and the way ideas come to me vary. For instance, with the movie Noah with Russell Crowe, I have not seen it, but from what I heard about it, it is ripe for parody. What I want to bring out in the parody is that God’s Word is true, and all the additions the filmmakers added are ridiculous. You see, one thing that God makes fun of is unbelief (Ps. 59:8), and that Noah movie, the way it was written promotes unbelief.”
Do you feel like “the times” call for another reprint of the concepts you have in the magazine? How can we relate your message to today’s youth?
“The truths of God’s Word are eternal. The culture may change, but people are still the same, basically. And I believe that everyone wants a relationship with God although they may not want to join a church or denomination. If I can reach those people with the truth, I believe it will resonate with them.”
Will there be more in production soon?
“I have released GLAD #1 as a sort of a test, to see if there is a desire for this sort of magazine. If this issue does well I have loads of ideas I want to start on, the Noah parody being one of them.”
Do you have a blog, website or contact information for more of your publications?
How can we get the first re-issued copies of the GLAD Magazine? Is it available in a digital format as well?
“GLAD is available at: (http://www.indyplanet.com/front/?product=111676 in both print and digital formats. And thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to tell your readers about GLAD. It is my prayer that we can change the culture bit by bit as we bring things, like GLAD, into our lives, and the lives of those we love.”
Thank you so much for joining us today Taylor and I hope the wonderful readers out there check out your magazine soon. Also share it on your social media sites, we definitely want more of issues of this great read. If you have any questions Taylor didn’ t answer for you feel free to leave comments in our comment section below.
God bless you today!