DFO 844October 1979
Dear Family Artists:
GIJN & GBY! We love each one of you & are so thankful for your continued efforts to illustrate the Lord's Words in Tks & KKs. Almost all the Komix we've received from you have been excellent & we've seen a tremendous improvement in everyone's art over the last two years of comic production. GBY all for trying so hard & doing such a good job!
ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE A FEW CHANGES TO PASS ON TO YOU FROM DAD regarding the Komix and their format. Most of you have already been advised of these changes in our personal communications with you, but if not we would appreciate it if you would make these changes immediately:
PLEASE DO NOT USE THE SLANG EXPRESSIONS contained in the Letters when doing Kids Komix. We're trying to teach the children proper English‚ & for many, English is not their mother tongue & they have an even harder time learning it if they have to struggle with words like "wanna", "gotta", "oughtta" etc. When these Komix are translated, the words will take the proper form in the new language, so we feel it would be best to use the correct English form in the first place rather than the slang. Instead of "wanna" use "want to", for "gotta" use "got to", etc.
COULD YOU PLEASE START PUTTING YOUR COPYRIGHT & CREDITS ON THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 2 again, instead of the top‚ as with the new FN Mag & new mailing procedure it is the best place. It should read as follows for now:
By Father David from 777GP (c) True Komix, Nov. 1979, PF 241, 8021 Zurich, Switz. Art by (your name). (All this on one line if possible! Thanks!)
THE LOGO SHOULD NOW OMIT THE PRICE & INSTEAD CONTAIN THE NUMBER. It should always be in the upper left-hand corner of the cover & should resemble this logo as closely as possible in lettering & shape.
THE FOLLOWING IS COUNSEL FROM DAD ON AN ARTIST'S MINISTRY, INSPIRATION & EDITING FOR KOMIX. We know you'll really find it a blessing & inspiration to hear his views from him personally! GBH!—& U!
January 5, 1979:
1. I REALLY LIKE THOSE KOMIX! I think they really do what I always wanted to do, simplify the Letters & make them very easily readable by the general public, even young people & children.
2. I LIKE TO KEEP THEM SIMPLE IF WE CAN. Some of the fellows I think almost put in too much text, they're afraid of cutting it down & so on. It's all in the original Letter, so don't worry about editing out to much.
3. THE KOMIX HAVE GOT TO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE LIKE THE QUOTEBOOK. You just take the pith or the essence, the most important things, the most important quotes in the Letter that you can illustrate best & go best with your pictures.
4. THE IDEA IS TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS! The amount of words, that's not important! Even the amount of your pictures is not important if you don't get the message across. The main idea is to get the message across, the simpler you can do it, the easier you can do it‚ the better!—So if possible even children could understand it. Well‚ some of them are not messages for children, so you can't always go by that. But try to make it simple, very simple, for simple people & simple readers. You follow me ?
5. THIS IS THE INSPIRATION I HAD & THIS WAS THE MESSAGE I GOT FROM ABRAHIM IN "CHINESE SPIRITS" about making simple books with lots of pictures. Later on I found out the Chinese communists were getting out children's books, or books for simple people in beautiful colour comics, more or less comics. They were like readers, but on every page there was a big picture & just a few lines of text at the bottom which made it very interesting.
6. WE GOT SOME ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS IN LONDON & they were beautiful—all about the Chinese, the idea of Mao, but particularly little folk stories illustrating some moral of some kind. They were very good & beautiful colour drawings, fascinating! We enjoyed reading them. David could have read them today & understood them, very simple.
7. SO YOU SHOULD NEVER FEEL BOUND BY THE AMOUNT OF TEXT‚ ever.—Even on the direct prophecies where every word is something right out of the mouth of God in beautiful language, very poetic. Even there you can't put it all in, you can only quote passages & sections.
8. SO WHEN YOU'RE CONDENSING & EDITING IT'S JUST IMPOSSIBLE TO USE THE WHOLE TEXT. I think in a few of those early Komix they took short letters & used the entire text & it was too much text. They need something they can read quickly, easily, simply & that's well illustrated. The main idea is to get the message! If you could say it with one word & one picture, that's enough! You notice nearly all the prophecies are much shorter than my letters, the Lord is not as long-winded as I am! Ha!
9. AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, THE WHOLE MATTER IS A QUESTION OF COMMUNICATION—whether you can communicate it by pictures or words or feeling or hand signs or colour or lights or whatever you can do it by. Any way you can get the message across, that's the way to do it! The most effective, impressive way to get the message across. Simple, clear & attractive, some way that makes them interested in reading it.
10. MAKE IT SIMPLE! The clearer you can illustrate the idea with the pictures the better. Of course some ideas are a little bit difficult to picture or pictorialise. Some of the guys go a little too much for that & use an easy way of doing it.
11. IF IT'S A LETTER FULL OF INTANGIBLE, ABSTRACT IDEAS which are a little hard to picture, then they've got my ugly mug on there, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk—& that's too much! I don't like that. They might as well read the Letter as to see my ugly mug & have me yak–yak-yaking. That is not illustrating the message at all.
12. NOW I GRANT YOU THERE ARE CERTAIN IDEAS THAT ARE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO ILLUSTRATE with a picture, where they have to have a picture of me saying it just in order to have some kind of picture, but I don't think that's best because that's just text. My face doesn't illustrate anything. My face doesn't picture anything except me, that's all, and some of those ugly characterisations of me, as ugly as I am, don't even do me justice! Ha!
13. SO PULL OUT THE MOST POIGNANT QUOTES, THE JUICIEST QUOTES, the things that are really quotable, & use something that's really rich from the text. In a direct prophecy I would be afraid to tamper with the words or the wording in any way. But in a simple teaching Letter, if you can make it say it simpler, more concisely, condense it, even rephrase or reword it in some way that it will be easier to understand‚ that's perfectly all right with me.
14. I READ EVERY ONE OF THOSE KOMIX METICULOUSLY‚ the text, everything. So everything has to go through me & I okay the whole thing. If there's anything about it I don't like, I change it. I don't always change it all‚ it's too much trouble. A lot of times there are things I'm not particularly crazy about but if they're not important, I just let them pass. I might not always be real pleased with the art, I might not think it's the very best, but if it illustrates the point, okay.
15. THE ARTIST'S JOB TO ME IS THE CLOSET THING IN THE WHOLE FAMILY TO MY JOB because you have to operate under absolute inspiration. You have to see pictures, you have to visualise‚ you have to imagine what it looked like, & you have to draw what picture comes to your mind. The same way as I do with words:
16. I HAVE TO DRAW WHAT PICTURES COME TO MY MIND & PUT IT IN WORDS. You actually put it in your sketch. So your job is almost purely inspirational. Sometimes the artist, & particularly Eman who's worked with me for years, will draw the picture almost exactly the way I saw it, so I know God must have inspired him, really inspired him‚ because I didn't give him that much of a sketch.
17. THAT FUNNY PICTURE OF THE OLD LION & THE DOCTOR & Maria looking into his mouth, that was exactly the way I saw it!—The positions of the characters & everything, & I never gave him any idea at all for his sketch! He was inspired!
18. SOMETIMES I'VE DRAWN A PRETTY DETAILED SKETCH of what it was like, especially if it was something difficult to imagine such as in "Xray Eyes". I almost drew the whole sketch to show him what it looked like, because otherwise it would be almost impossible for him to imagine what it looked like, because he could never have had an experience like that unless he was in the spirit! I didn't expect him to see what I saw & a lot of times he didn't, but he got the idea.
19. IF I WOULD DESCRIBE TO YOU WHAT ATLANTA REALLY LOOKS LIKE, you probably would not think she was beautiful at all! You would almost think she probably was some kind of a monster. But to me—I don't know if it was the beauty of the spirit or what—she was beautiful, in her way.—But she looked a whole lot more like a fish than the way he portrayed her.
20. I COULD NEVER DRAW HER MYSELF, & even if I'd explain it to Eman in detail what she looked like, he'd never be able to visualise that unless by a miracle God showed it to him. And even if he did, my Lord‚ the public certainly wouldn't understand it! They'd think I was really crazy! But in her sort of fishy way, she's beautiful & she is a great deal like a woman. I guess only in the Spirit could you appreciate a character like that!
21. TO TRY TO IMAGINE THE PICTURE & ILLUSTRATE IT, THAT IS CREATIVE! It is inspirational & the artist has to be as inspired as I am to really get it right & get it done well. So they need your prayers.
22. THE SPIRITUAL IS VERY REAL‚ BELOVED, we need to constantly stay close to the Lord & think on the Lord & pray, especially when you're engaged in creative art. The Lord can inspire you, but there are other influences which can also inspire you that come from the wrong direction & will inspire you in the wrong direction. Not all the art that all our artists have ever drawn has always been as Godly–inspired as ought to be, some of it may have come from their own heads. A few things I had to change that I think maybe they got on the wrong channel.
23. ARTISTS REALLY ARE VERY SPIRITUAL. They are imaginative & very creative & they must stay on the right channel & be very close to the Lord & keep in tune with God. If you get out of the spirit in a bad mood, if you break fellowship with one of your brothers or sisters or you're upset, sometimes just a little chink‚ a little cranny in the armour for the Enemy to get in & inspire you in the wrong direction & you draw a sloppy picture or a bad picture or something that's not really the Lord.
24. YOU NEED TO REALLY PRAY, AS AN ARTIST, THAT GOD WILL LEAD YOU, that God will picture it to you Himself if possible by His Spirit, how it ought to be. You really have to be inspired & you really need to pray & ask the Lord to guide you, because it's a gift.
25. BEING ABLE TO DRAW LIKE THAT IS A GIFT, All you have to do is look at my sketches & you know it‚ that you have the gift & I don't! Maria threatened to publish a book of my sketches sometime. I said, "Maria, do you want to absolutely humiliate me before the world & make them figure I'm really absolutely an imbecile & an idiot!" (Maria: I think they would be very original!) They'd be original, all right‚ strictly original!
26. MAYBE I SHOULD EXPECT ARTISTS TO BE AS INSPIRED AS I AM, to picture it just like I saw it, but I've always felt like that's expecting too much. So if they get it even close, I'm happy! Now it's a lot easier if it's just something I'm teaching & I'm illustrating & I'm telling stories, then it's not that important that it should be that accurate.
27. AS LONG AS IT ILLUSTRATES THE POINT‚ YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT TAMPERING WITH THE TEXT. I think if you can possibly make it as inspired as the guys did with the Quotebook or Daily Mights & some of those, or even Apollos' little Fish Food books where he takes direct quotes & synthesises them, that takes quite a bit of mental genius & inspiration.
28. I THINK YOU SHOULD TRY TO ABBREVIATE, CONDENSE, CLARIFY & EDIT. I sometimes go along talking & teaching. I talk about this & that, & I go up this path picking daisies, & that path picking roses, & sometimes I forget to get back on the line I was on before! At first Maria was afraid to touch some of these things, now I've told her to cut out all these side stories, maybe we can save them for jewels, all these things that are not on the subject.
29. I DON'T THINK I'D WANT TO CHANGE THE POEMS. I don't think I'd want to change the direct prophecies, the beautiful language. But some of those even direct prophecies are too long to put in a comicbook, but you could take excerpts of the things which were the easiest to illustrate‚ like in "Old Church, New Church". To me that's full of pictures, of course maybe only to me because I saw it!
30. SOME OF THOSE OLD LETTERS WOULD MAKE BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS & be easy to picture because they're full of pictures. I'm surprised some of our artists have not been inspired to do some of those things. Maybe they think they're too old, passé, & it was too long ago. But some of those have a message today that's just as appropriate & just as meaningful as they did then.
31. I REALISE NOW PROBABLY ONE REASON WHY THE LORD GAVE ME SO MANY DREAMS & VISIONS & such vivid pictures is for your sake. Not only just for the kids' sake to visualise it‚ but that it was going to go into actual printed form using graphic art to illustrate it—pictures! Those dreams & visions sometimes were almost like movies with plots & scenarios & scene after scene & dialogue & everything! Every thing you could want for a comicbook, really! I'm amazed!
32. SOME OF THE ARTISTS HAVE REALLY CAUGHT THE INSPIRATION of it & have caught the vision of it & have put it into pictures. Eman did such a beautiful job on "Treasure Ship", it looked so much like the real thing that I wept! I wept & got in the spirit & started talking in tongues!
33. SO DON'T BE AFRAID TO TAKE EVEN DIRECT PROPHECY & TAKE EXCEPTS like the Quotebook, what you think would be a good text for a picture or a good text to illustrate the picture. I wouldn't change the wording of direct prophecy, I'd try to keep it in the exact wording that it came in‚ just like the Lord Himself said it. So that's my advice to you:
34. DON'T BE AFRAID TO CONDENSE THE TEXT OR TO EXCERPT IT or whatever you need to do to make it simple, as long as it still conveys the message. Even if it's not all the words, maybe sometimes even if it's not exactly the same words, if you think it can be better said & the Lord inspires you to rephrase it & say it simpler or easier, an easier way, why do it!—Only I wouldn't tamper with the direct prophecies or poetry. I just have a thing about those that they're direct from the mouth of God & I don't want to change it at all. But you can take excerpts & quotes, as long as you quote it as it was said.—Love,—Dad.
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT! Who could give you better or more encouraging counsel than that? So keep inspired, keep at 'em & keep 'em simple & beautiful! We love you all & hope to see lots more from you soon. There's still plenty of gold to mine, so keep diggin'! MGBAKYACTMYAB!
With love & prayers to you all,
—Justus Ashtree & Sally Scribe
P.S.: We have received requests from quite a few of you for immediate acknowledgment of receipt of your Komix when sent to us for approval. But due to the volume of material we receive, this is just impossible. However, you are notified within one month that we have received it & accepted it when you receive your award. We haven't lost even one comic so far & they come from all over the world! So please don't worry, just be sure to faithfully pray over your mail!
P.P.S.: Also, please don't be discouraged if you don't see your comic in print right away after it's accepted for approval. Right now we can only print a few at a time, but they will all be printed as soon as possible! PTL? GBY? WLY!—Amen!—Dad.