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Saturday, November 3, 2007

West of Bathurst 231

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Saturday, November 3, 2007
Panel 1: In the title panel of this colour comic, the words "WEST OF BATHURST" are on fire against a black background. "BY KARI MAAREN" is below in red. Casey stands behind the flaming letters, looking slightly baffled as Barbara holds devil horns up behind his head.

Panel 2: Casey and Barbara are in their graduate class on the role of the devil in literature. Their professor, a woman with brown hair and glasses, sits at a small desk arranged in a circle with five other small desks, all occupied by students. Clockwise from the professor, the students are a blond white man, Barbara, Casey, a brown-haired white man, and a black-haired brown woman.

Professor: Out of curiosity: when someone says "the devil" or "Satan" to you, what's the first image that springs to mind?

Blond Man: Paradise Lost.

Black-Haired Woman: Christ's temptation.

Brown-Haired Man: The garden of Eden.

Panel 3:

Professor: Casey? Any of those?

Casey: Well...not really. Sometimes, sure, but generally, I see the folkloric devil.

Panel 4: We briefly get a different angle in this panel. We can see that Casey is sitting in front of a blackboard, on which someone has chalked various notations: "1066" circled, with an arrow pointing to "Norman Invasion"; "642" underlined twice; the declinations of the Latin noun "agricola"; the words "misplaced modifer"; and "pp. Ro," which would probably make more sense if most of it weren't hidden by the brown-haired man's head.

Casey: I mean...what if "the devil" or "Satan" or whatever you want to call him isn't actually in Hell? What if he's a wanderer out in the world?

Panel 5:

Casey: The Miltonic Satan is portrayed as a prisoner. The folkloric devil is free...constrained only by human rules and rituals.  His chains are your chains.

Panel 6: Everyone is staring pretty intensely at Casey by this point. Casey begins to notice about halfway through his next line.

Casey: I like the idea that somehow, the devil is really just like you. It

Panel 7:

Casey [shiftily]: The devil is really just like us.

Barbara [points at Casey]: My idea of Satan is sitting right there.

Alt-Text: I wish the words in my dissertation would burst into flame like that...

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