With Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation on Monday, any good anime and manga fan would ask the natural question: Has anyone made a manga about Benedict XVI’s life?
The answer is, of course!
In all seriousness, a treatment of his life in manga format does exist. Originally developed by Gabrielle Gniewek and Sean Lam as a 16-page one shot for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain, Regina Doman expanded on Habemus Papam! with Lam to create a full-length original English language manga. Doman even provides some insight into the process on the blog for Manga Hero, the company that creates and distributes this manga and other original series.
I have not read Habemus Papam!, but I have read Manga Hero’s other OEL releases. The company has done the unlikely and created captivating and well-crafted series based on Catholic principles and Bible stories. I’ve enjoyed all of their works, though Many Are Called stands out as a favorite.
If Habemus Papam! is anything like Manga Hero’s other works, it’s one that’s definitely worth your consideration – and it’s certainly a timely OEL manga to read in these days of significant activity in the Catholic world.
5 thoughts on “Habemus Papam! A Manga About Pope Benedict XVI”
The one thing I would be wary of is that the current (or is it already former?) Pope isn’t dead yet – could it be too presumptuous to be writing a story about him too soon? If something big happens later on, would they make an addition onto it or rewrite the series? All the same, I am curioius about it!
Well, the manga, I think, is about a year old – it wasn’t written for this occasion, and I’m sure wasn’t meant to be an overview of his life. Otherwise, that’s a good point. As a historian, I’m wary of any chronicle of a life that’s less than 50 years after that person passed! It’s hard to get a grip on one’s legacy, and to know one’s deeds, so soon after a person’s significant period or death.
My guess is that this manga is based on his ascension and selection to the papal office since the title of the volume is the famed pronouncement made when the decision on a pope has been made.
Huh? No kidding!
It’s not manga, but Marvel Comics released one themselves about Pope John Paul many years ago: