Irish artist takes on Batman, the Catholic Church and other topics in his comics.
Bruce Wayne is known as a squeaky clean business man who spends his days sipping tea with Alfred, his butler, and his nights dressed as Batman prowling the streets for bad guys.
But what if this goody two-shoes act was just a clever ruse?
In his comic strip “The Break Up” Ryan tackles the Catholic Church sex scandal head-on. The four-celled strip features an older man breaking up with his significant other. It’s only in the last cell that you discover that the man is actually a priest and his significant other is a young boy eating ice cream.
While some complained to Ryan about this comic, he believes its important to keep these atrocities in perspective, especially in a country like Ireland, which has been “battered by the Catholic Church,” he said in an email interview with the Daily Dot.
“I think it’s important to make fun of the whole pedophile thing. It’s such a hideous reality that dominates headlines and makes people paranoid,” Ryan said. “Of course when you’re working on something that involves a subject as repulsive as ‘The Break Up,’ you have to exercise a lot of subtlety in the style of delivery–that joke could’ve easily come out really bad.”
Ryan has been honing his style of delivery for quite a while. As a child, Ryan was a fan of comic series “Groo the Wanderer,” “Cobalt 60,” and “Akira.” He would often spend class time drawing funny, and sometimes offensive, comics of his friends and teachers.
“I had a religious book with many illustrations that I carefully changed, like a man begging for alms was transformed into a mugger with a gun,” he said.
When he wasn’t drawing comics, Ryan was watching movies like “Batman,” Tim Burton’s Academy Award winning film. Batman, in all his goody two-shoes glory, has been the main source of inspiration for six of Ryan’s comics on his website Space Avalanche. And each of them have turned the traditional image of Batman on its head.
Take “Lonely Knights,” for example. The large, single-celled comic strip, features Batman behind the wheel of Christopher Nolan’s iconic Batmobile while a prostitute leans over the car to chat.
After more than 20 years spent admiring Batman and his films, it’s only fair to give the crime fighter a new lease on life, Ryan said.
“It’s easier to take the piss out of something when you love it and know it so well. It’s weird, like because I love those Batman films so much I can kinda fuck with them. Bruce Wayne, he’s the ultimate dude right?” he said.
But, he added, Batman is also a rich jerk “who gets to fly around the city with his fancy toys and interfere with the city’s business and he’s so fucking noble and good and honorable—maybe I hate him.”
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