Theophilus by Bob West

Bob West is an American cartoonist, who created the long-running religious comic strip 'Theophilus' (1966-2002). He created several other Christian comics too. 

Early life and career
The author was born in 1932 in Newbern, a small town in west Tennessee.  During his youth he started copying 'Dick Tracy' and published comics in his high school newspaper. His first job was painting signs for the local Coca-Cola bottler and Art Craft Sign Company, until he entered the military in 1951. As an Air Force illustrator, his comic strips and cartoons were published regularly in both military and civilian newspapers. He worked as an advertising artist and graphic designer, making cartoons for religious publications. In 1955 he attended the New England School of Art. He eventually became a deacon in a church in Orlando. 

In 1966 he created the Christian comic strip 'Theophilus', about a humble devout man in search of truth. During his search he is frequently confronted with arrogant people who consider themselves better than himself. Interestingly enough West didn't spare religious people and leaders either. When Theophilus joins the One True Church he starts questioning some of the more dogmatic aspects of their doctrine. In a controversial plot development Theophilus was therefore excommunicated. The character Sketch and his wife Honey Drawings are alter egos of himself and his first wife Sylvia. The strip was distributed to church newsletters from 6 February 1966 until 19 April 2002, and has been translated in Spanish and French. Despite its long run 'Theophilus' has sometimes been interrupted. As early as December 1967 his publisher considered dropping the series, but due to its popularity with readers it returned. Decades later West quit drawing new episodes, which prompted magazines to rely on reprints. In January 1989 new episodes of 'Theophilus' appeared. 

Other comics
West has also made other religion-based cartoon series, such as 'Brother Fairasee', 'Our Religious World', 'The Evangelist', 'All in the Body' and 'God Said It Long Before'. For a number of years he was editor and publisher of Gospel Teacher, a magazine designed to help Christians be effective ministers and teachers. In 2002, West launched a new strip, called 'Our Father's Children'. To fully concentrate on his new project he quit 'Theophilus'. 

Our Father's Children by Bob West
Our Father's Children

Series and books by Bob West in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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