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Update -- notes on April's Edits -- I added [[square brackets]] when I wasn't sure if my rephrasing clarified/changed the original asker's meaning too much. Please do edit my edits! I'm hoping that by adding my attempted clarifications, I can demonstrate how you can keep this more focused on writing/worldbuilding, and not on philosophic debate. I also added a bit of clarification about American Gods since I believe you meant the Neil Gaiman work, and not the religions of the indigenous peoples of this continent.


I'm writing a web comic that would become an animation. Originally I had the idea that I would discuss this in a kids book but I decided to do it in more teenage and young adult comics / animations.

This comic takes place in a second world. I've been going through a religious phase currently, so of course I'll play with that in my fiction. Basically, as the title suggests, I'm going to subvert "all myths being true" and tackle religion in my book. [[In other words, my comic will include stories]] of myths and religions.

Think of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel American Gods , only we don't know if the myths and religions are "true" [[ for the world of my comic. ]]

I do want to portray religious people as good people, no matter how many bad religious people there are. (For example: I'm writing SOME Christians as evil but I will still write good christian characters.)

However there are lots of nuances and complications to religion [[that my work will explore, including more than]] whether or not the myths are true: the philosophical aspects, skeptics.

For example: There's one religion in my comic that's similar to Christianity. Only we don't know if the stories are true or not. It focuses on a character called "The Creator" who is a monotheistic god. Many characters don't believe in him due to "if he's all that good and powerful why doesn't he destroy all evil in the world?" however some characters do believe in him. However there's also the fact that there is an organization (inspired by The Crusaders) who use The Creator's name for ill will. Such as "let us destroy the non believers!"

[[suggestion from April to Asker for the paragraph above -- without reference to Christianity, but just the Creator Religion, can you explain an in-story dilemma that faces the characters you are focusing on?]]

There's also other religions inspired by real life religions, such as Shinto, Chinese Folk Religion, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.

So how do I write a comic / animation that tackles religion without offending religious people? How do I discuss religion in the comics themes without making it bad?

Edit : The story has changed a little bit. I also had to edit this question by giving specifics in the story beside "it tackles religion".

Edit : I'm not sure if this question is going anywhere. I don't think my question has enough specifics. I might delete this question and do it later when I find an actual problem? I don't know. What do you guys think?

Edit: I think I found the question I've been really trying to ask. But we'll have to see.

  • By religions do you mean different religions or various types of Christianity? – Rasdashan Feb 6 at 3:13
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    I really don't understand what you are asking. Can you please be a bit more specific? And what do you mean by "true"? – Thomo Feb 6 at 3:49
  • American Gods? Are there any Gods that originated in America? I'm not familiar with the Native American belief system. – Shadowzee Feb 6 at 4:16
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    @Shadowzee American Gods is a novel that got made into a series on Amazon Prime last year. It is about the old gods, versus new gods ... in the widest terms – Pawana Feb 6 at 5:23
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    Okay, but my point is that, if it is debatable whether gods are real in our world, and you want to make it debatable whether gods are real in your world, then you're not really changing anything, see? "Think American Gods, only we don't know if the myths and religions are true." That's our world, you're describing our world. – PoorYorick Mar 5 at 22:29
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When attempting to subvert all myths are true, think Myth Busters. Some myths are true, but others aren't. There should be objective tests that can be used to demonstrate whether they're true or false.

Not all myths are really subject to those tests, however. Tests can be run to say if something is possible, but not necessarily whether or not some event that supposedly happened once upon a time. That having been said, if your characters are walking into the world of myths, they can presumably encounter the prime movers in some of those tales, and can get first hand testimony. Once again, some of the stories will be true, some won't be. And, of course, not all characters are necessarily 100% honest, but who is honest and who isn't can come out over time, as well.

If you're wanting to subvert all myths are true as well you can, and you're addressing religion, you will need to have some be true and some not be, as well. Though if you don't want to ruffle feathers, you might want to make up some of the religions that turn out to be false. Or it could be that part of a religion turns out to be true, and part turns out to be really not true.

I should also point out that you don't necessarily have the prime movers of a religion show up - you don't need to bring Jesus out to show Christianity is true, for example. Lesser figures of importance could also come in to play, sharing what of the stories surrounding them were accurate and which weren't - and possibly about what they've experienced since.

You should realize going into this that not everyone will agree with your portrayal. Myths are something that people hold dear, and religion is something many hold much more dearly. And there's not one thing that we all agree on. Even the assertion that there's nothing we all agree on is believed by all.

  • Thank you. I agree many myths have parts that are true and some that aren't. It's been part of a debate in skeptics and faithful people. Hell my brother once told me Jesus Christ actually existed according to research by historians, it's just a debate as to whether he has magic powers or not. – Willfire Z Tiger Feb 6 at 17:16
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It depends on whether you are talking about myths or Myths. Myth Busters dealt with myths (elephants fearing mice, bulls in china shops, can a speed boat be sliced in half by hitting an object at speed) and never Myths.

Myths hold an essential truth, often in parable or metaphor, but some will become livid if you refer to any story from their scripture as a Myth. Scripture (I do not just mean the bible) is considered true.

If you start testing Myths for truth, be prepared to examine doctrine as well. The Myth of woman being created from Adam’s rib springs to mind. By labelling that a Myth, I will probably get downvoted because people are passionate about religion.

Myths answer the profound questions in a way that is easily understood. Why are there seasons? How did the world come to be? How did we come to be?

They are teachings and the lessons are valid, whether it is a god walking the earth disguised as a beggar, seeking food and shelter and being denied by all who are capable of assistance, but helped by those with very little means ‘we have little, but what we have is yours to share’ or a tale of a man going to the underworld to seek his lost love, these speak to human nature. Often those who can help most easily do not help and generosity is found among those who have suffered want and know the depth of the need. Grief can make people more than who they were or destroy them - sometimes both.

If you mean literal truth, your task has been accomplished by science, but if you mean figurative, allegorical, or metaphorical truth you will have quite a task and be ready for hate mail.

I spent a year at a Lutheran College and there were Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, agnostics and atheists there as well as Christians. The most vehement arguments I observed were between Christians of differing types. Roman Catholics argued with Anglicans, who fought with Protestants and villified Lutherans.

People of different religions would discuss their religion, comment on similarities and never tell the other that they were wrong.

Be careful. People of many faiths will hate you should you relegate their religion to nothing more than mythology. I doubt that you intend to be divisive, but this is a dangerous path you seek to travel.

  • I'm mostly discussing myths like Greek Mythology and The Bible (only i'm doing my own version). I'm not discussing them in the allegorical sense, kind of, i'm mostly discussing them in whether or not the gods actually existed. But your right, religion is a heated subject. Plus they can be discussed allegorically. So yeah. – Willfire Z Tiger Feb 6 at 17:22
  • I alluded to a couple of the more famous Greek Myths. Of course, back at the time, those were not regarded as Myth but stories of a living religion. We call them Myths because the followers of those religions are no more. If religion is not essential to your tale, just touch lightly. Have characters do and say what they must, becoming examples. Plato tried to destroy a myth - ended up creating one. – Rasdashan Feb 6 at 18:25

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