The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
superheroic stick, created by Jonnie Allan
Stykman is a rarity among comic book superheroes in that the question of religious background and religious affiliation truly is somewhat inapplicable to him (it?). Stykman is a stick (or a collection of sticks, depending on one's perspective) that became animated. We hesitate to suggest that Stykman is the result of these sticks gaining sentience, because Stykman's behavior might stretch the boundaries of what one can call "sentient."
As Stykman was not raised as a human or even in a sentient alien culture, he has no religious background. Life is very new to Stykman, who is still learning the basics about the world around him. Theoretically, Stykman could at some point in the future try to learn about religion, philosophy, ethics, etc., and theoretically could adopt religious beliefs or affiliation. But as yet, there is no indication that Stykman aspires to really "become human" in the way that characters such as Pinocchio, the Vision (of Marvel's Avengers) or Data (of Star Trek: The Next Generation) have done.
Although Stykman is indeed a "superhero" (at least some people thinks so), he is not necessarily a very good one. He is the titular star of The Miscellaneous Adventures of Stykman, which is absolutely a humor/parody comic book series. The issues published thus far have been enthusiastically reviewed, with readers and critics commending Stykman for being very funny, comparable to classic humorous comic book heroes such as Ambush Bug, Groo and The Tick.
In response to our inquiry about the religious affiliation of Stykman, the character's creator Jonnie Allan replied via email (8 June 2007):
You know, I've never really given any thought to STYKMAN's faith. As you mention, I am a Bible believing Christian who believes whole-heartedly in the accomplished work of Christ on the cross. STYKMAN however, I haven't even gone there in the story-lines. Although the comic itself has a foundation of Judeo/Christian values , STYKMAN is a stick, always has been a stick, always will be a stick. In fact he has no Pinochio-an dreams of becoming a real boy what-so-ever. He's a little too focused on "self" right now. The very thing Jesus tells us to deny. Right now, the story is all about a hero wannabe, rushing head first into the fray, in a day when very few people want to get involved. He has a very good heart, unfortunately lead by a very empty head.
Publisher / Creator
The Miscellaneous Adventures of STYKMANTM
From: Kevin Noel Olson, "Jonnie Allan Styks With Stykman!", published on "Silver Bullet Comics" website (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/features/11410496492945.htm; viewed 8 June 2007):
Kevin Noel Olson [interviewer]: Jonnie, I think the one question on the readers minds after reading Stykman is; is this guy twiggin' nuts? Perhaps you could answer that question for us.
Jonnie Allan [creator of Stykman]: Did you ever have a friend who thought he was really, really good at something and yet, wasn't? That's Stykman. Arrogance and Ego can blind individuals to the painful truth... they just suck at some things. Like the rest of us, Stykman was overcome with grief by the untimely resignation of our greatest champion The Legendary Capt. BUCK NEKID. Desperate to fill the void left behind by such an iconic hero, Stykman unabashedly stepped up to the task. He's a foolhardy fellow that's pure of heart, but a fool nonetheless...
KNO [interviewer]: What special abilities does Stykman receive from his lumbery origin to utilize in facing off against criminals?
Jonnie Allan: Absolutely none. No seriously, none what so ever. But don't tell him that; he believes otherwise. Although having eyes held on by string does have its perks. And there are some benefits of having a round, empty head. Truth be told, there are more disadvantages to his form than advantages. For the most part, he's just another emaciated example of a noble, misguided soul who happens to be made out of wood...
From: B. Schatz, "Done-In-One Reviews for May 31st, 2007," posted 31 May 2007 on Comixtreme.com (http://www.comixtreme.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35002; viewed 8 June 2007):
The Miscellaneous Adventures of Stykman #2 (AKA Comics)
by Jonnie Allan
Honestly, I'm not sure what to write in this space. On the one hand, I really want to recommend this comic book. Stykman is very much like The Tick in its approach to humor (though, admittedly, nowhere near the sheer brilliance) and has a few really funny moments - many just arising from the absurd looking hero. But on the other hand, there's the slight religious tinge to the story. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for a broad variety of topics in my comic books, and that often includes religion. However I get a little uncomfortable when the contents of a book are used to preach a religion. And then, when that deadpan serious preaching is followed by a vaguely hilarious SMOTING FROM ABOVE . . . well, it makes the book hard to pin down - and not in a good way. If not for the preaching, this book would be a solid four out of five, but I'm going to have to knock it down a few pegs just for pulling me out of the sheer entertainment this could've been. Rating: 2.5/5
From: Kevin Noel Olson, review of Stykman #1, posted 6 February 2006 on "Silver Bullet Comics" website (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/reviews/113925872463521.htm; viewed 8 June 2007):
[Excerpts from complete review:]
Stykman creator Jonnie Allan probably needs pills of some description. If brought before the Mental Health Board of Review, no further evidence need be presented than Stykman #1. Mr. Allan's artwork is very competent, if he might not be equally so in the psychiatric arena. Our intrepid, quixotic, and chaotic adventurer Stykman promises to continue in the tradition of Ben Edlund's The Tick. Thankfully, ol' Jonnie boy fails to deliver anything but a zany character that, while admittedly humorous like The Tick, is something wholly unique.
...A bowed stick of wood shaped like an empty dream-catcher with two sticks hanging by a thread makes up the entirety of Stykman's unusual uh/head/face/something. Sticks apparently make up the rest of his unexposed, emaciated body, and definitely his exposed, emaciated body where applicable. His fashionable outfit includes leather boots and a leather belt over purported blue jeans and a blue long-sleeved shirt...
In his debut comic, Stykman faces off against Jolly Roger, head of the Jolly Roger Candy Corporation. Roger desperately wishes to get his sticky fingers on the Ancient Aztec recipe for The Gumdrop... Throughout the issue, Stykman attempts to confront Jolly Roger to the praise (consternation) of the authorities and the accolades (belittlement) of the general public he protects.
It may take you years to understand Stykman, as it doesn't lend itself to a copious amount of rational understanding. Stykman does make you chortle, laugh, guffaw, rotf, rotfl ["rolling on the floor laughing"...
If humor is the measure, Stykman does indeed live up to the earlier traditions and recalls The Tick; Ambush Bug; Groo, The Wanderer, etc. Stykman, like his predecessors, is also refreshingly unique in comicdom. That is, of course, unless you can think of another superhero character that is made up entirely of sticks. No, Swamp Thing doesn't count!...
From: Kevin Noel Olson, review of Stykman #2, posted 1 September 2006 on "Silver Bullet Comics" website (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/reviews/115712363697603.htm; viewed 8 June 2007):
[Excerpts from complete review:]
It's not the first time we've seen a stick with a gun pull up to a bar on a cool-looking, adult-sized Big Wheel, goes into a bar directly connected to Hades by a portal in the bathroom, meets an evil girl named Lucy Furr, twice as attractive as any stick-figured supermodel, and uses his disk gun to fight off a slimy-monster-from-one-of-Lovecraft's-flu-hallucinations while trying to attain the white throne of power. Like I said, it's not the first time we've seen that. Go ahead and call me a liar.
...he is subjected to all manner of embarrassments, including playing chew-toy for a giant, three-headed poodle named Cerberus...
Filled with Jonnie's unique sense of humor and befitting artwork, Stykman is shaping up to be a funny book in every sense of the word... Reminiscent of classics like Ambush Bug, The Tick, and The Heckler, Stykman stays entirely unique and entirely entertaining.
Stykman fantastically generates fits of ecstatic laughter. Jonnie has put together a hilarious story with Stykman, and the laughs just keep on coming...
Webpage created 8 June 2007. Last modified 8 June 2007.
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