SWORD OF MY MOUTH: Apocalyptic graphic novel about the tyranny of angels

Jim Munroe and Shannon Gerard's Sword of My Mouth is sequel to Jim's earlier Therefore, Repent!, a story about the tyranny and horrors visited upon the earth by the angels who come with the Rapture.

All of the pious souls have ascended, and the earth is in turmoil. The left-behinds fall into two camps: those who slaughter and enforce martial law for the angels, and those who join the resistance and fight against God's tyranny.

Ella was abandoned in Detroit by her husband, who went to fight angels in Chicago. She is raising their son alone, and like many, he has been mutated by the wild magic of the rapture, making her the target of derision and fear by her neighbors. Driven from her home by a fire, she takes up refuge with urban farmers who are contending with a plot by Famine, the Horseman, to destroy humanity's food supply and make them more dependent on the angels.

Munroe is a fantastic writer in many media (novels, games, films and comics), and his talents are ably matched by Gerard's stellar illustrations, jagged line drawings that play with time-series and an expressivity of posture to convey emotion with unexpected punch.

Profane and wonderful, Sword of My Mouth and Therefore, Repent! are subversive, smart, and gripping.

Sword of My Mouth





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  1. Is it just me or does that dude in the last panel (Famine, I’m guessing) look almost exactly like Doc Hammer?

  2. Started reading the first book under the impression that it was the anti “Left Behind”. The concept is a great one and I was hoping for a good read. Unfortunately, the authors spoil it by throwing in horror and fantasy tropes by the bushel full.

  3. If “Sword in my mouth” is anything like “therefore repent”, it must be one hell of a good reading…

  4. How weird would it be if aliens were to transporter kidnap all of the evangelicals for a few years as a joke. More importantly how many people would be fooled and convert.
    I actually read the first left behind novel at the library, it is interesting getting a deep insight into their mindset.

  5. The rapture is nonsense for the deluded, it ain’t going to happen. Having horror and fantasy elements in this is fine because that’s what it is, fantasy.

  6. I like the concept and actually had something similar in my mind years ago after reading a few Left Behind. A Christian friend had me read them I an agreed to show him that I really was just a godless heathen non-believer, not just a faithful ready to be re-born once the ignorant of my impending d00m was revealed. That said, the authors ugly little hand written scrawl is making my eyes bleed. It is kind of distracting when I need to squint at a word for a few moments trying to figure out WTF it is. Maybe it is just better on paper, but those images kind of make me not want to get it despite how fun I think the idea is.

  7. What struck me most about Left Behind was that it read as if it were written by a talented seventh grader. This appears to be much more interesting.

  8. Not $15, not $10. $5.

    That way people who want the printed edition can pay the premium. The digital edition does not incur anything like the overhead for printing and distribution. In many cases, I will be inclined to buy both versions. Pricing is key though. Perception of value and convenience.

    1. There you go, authors. Nobody cares how good your stupid little book is as long as they can get it for five bucks.

      One of the weirder post-rapture stories I’ve read was the “That Insidious Beast” series on Something Awful. It takes what you might call a “mixed media” approach (or a WTF? approach if you like things to make sense) to its worldbuilding, and I’m still not really sure what happened, but it’s something to do with TV signals…

  9. Trotsky, the problem is the “Overhead” of making a physical book is about 50 cents. Unless it’s hardcover with something fancy on the front, that adds a $1-$2. All of the other costs go to the production of the item. If you don’t like the idea of paying $1 less for a digital copy, you should be buying physical copies… otherwise you’re kidding yourself about the effort required to develop IP

  10. Looks like the creators of these books are way ahead of me and think like I do:

    http://nomediakings.org/publishing/remember_when_comics_were_cheap.html

    I’m buying that.

    >> In a time when the economy and other forces are making the print pamphlet model unsustainable for many indies, we’re excited to see how this will work. The digital format isn’t going to replace the print book, but it’s an interesting format that allows for cheaper prices and more direct interaction between creators and readers — one we hope to foster by adding commentary.

    See?

    They get it.

    And as a result of getting it, they are going to get my money.

  11. Just to clarify, I am only aware of this artist at all because I read about it at BB in an earlier post and downloaded (and loved) the free digital version of Therefore Repent. I don’t usually buy printed comics at all anymore, not because I don’t love printed comics, but because I have too damned many and they’re a pain to store or transport. So now all digital. Therefore, would never have come across their printed sequel since I don’t usually frequent comic book stores that much anymore. This may be disturbing to those who are still relying on print for their income, or who own brick and mortar comics stores, but I don’t think I’m unique in this regard. Comics aren’t mainstream any more and if there is to be a resurgence of mainstream interest (and purchasing) in comics, digital will be an essential element in that. That’s not even open for debate, in my view.

    And it doesn’t have to be an either/or. There should be multiple versions of this excellent content. Let the consumers then vote with their cash.

    BTW, I just tried to buy the digital subscription via their PayPal link and it told me I cannot use my credit card, though it provides an option for it. I know the card is working fine, has ample credit, so can only assume PayPal is just trying to channel me through their fee maze.

    My point is the App Store really has much to offer in that regard. I just got finished buying about $10 of digital comics on the comiXology iPad app earlier today and it’s a simple process. That’s really the strength of the App Store to content creators. I suppose you’re giving a cut to Apple, but 70% of something is more than 100% of nothing.

    Encountering hang-ups and other impediments like PayPal queer the entire process and keep cash away from the creators. I’ll keep trying, but at some point it’s not worth the hassle. I hope the people that set up that PayPal link had the good sense to try it out to make sure it’s functioning properly.

  12. Thanks for the link, Trotsky. I guess the author is kidding himself about the effort he and his artist put into creating their own work. They’re getting my six bucks.

  13. Here’s how the process went:

    I finally submitted my PayPal payment successfully (with a different credit card. Still not sure why the first one was rejected. PayPal does not give specific information why a card is rejected (e.g. wrong billing address, inadequate funds). It just says “can’t use that card”).

    Jim Munroe responded almost immediately via email. About eight hours later, he sent the appropriate information for me to log in to the No Media Kings website and view the comic. It can be viewed online indefinitely, or one can download the comic in CBZ, PDF, EPUB, or MOBI formats.

    My preference was the CBZ format and I synced it effortlessly to my iPad to view in the Comics app.

    This entire process was obviously much more time consuming than simply clicking “buy” in the Comics app and having the process run through the App Store. I assume that if this book had been listed on the Comics app, Apple would get 30% of the $6 ($1.80), and then, I assume (but don’t know) that comiXology would get an additional percentage on top of that.

    At any rate, I am willing to go through this somewhat labyrinthine process to get this digital version for two reasons: 1) I think the content is worth it, and 2) ideologically, I support the mission of No Media Kings. Having said that, I would have been willing to pay $7-8 (slight premium) for this on comiXology just for the convenience of the buying model.

    I also assume that the PayPal method is not without its fees as well. I don’t know what percentage they get on that $6, nor what the credit card company takes. So, in the end, going with a more formalized, turn-key digital distribution model might be a wash.

    Would I buy this way again? Yes, I would. From this creator. The amount of time I am willing to put into a process like this is directly proportionate to how I feel about the artist and the content. So I decide on a creator by creator basis how many hoops I am willing to jump through. I am more inclined to take the long way around if I feel a measure of empathy or respect.

    Ultimately, this may seem counter intuitive to my preference for Apple as many will say that it is contradictory or even hypocritical that I would even consider going through a corporate front like the App Store, but as we see here, PayPal is at least as odious a conduit for this transaction as Apple (worse, in my experience) so we pick our poison.

    The takeaway for me is this creator is thinking about his distribution and is trying different approaches to provide options to his readership and that’s an approach I highly prize.

    1. Just FYI, as someone that uses PayPal to receive payments: the fees for a lower volume account are $.30 plus 2.9%. So, in your $6 instance, it would be $0.47. If you do higher volumes you may qualify for a discount rate but they don’t disclose what that rate is or what the volume requirements are.

      That said, the hassle and risks of dealing with PayPal are a pain. And I’m sure the “reach” would be far greater with an iTunes app. Hopefully the creators are considering it.

  14. Here’s an additional factor that most people simply eliminate from the process. I happen to be about 15 miles from Meltdown Comics in Southern California. Assuming that they even have these comics in stock, I am going to have to add the cost of 1-2 gallons of gasoline to get to the store and back. That’s my time, plus $3-6. Plus, the cost of the printed versions on top of that.

    Most people don’t do the math on this stuff. In the end, I’m willing to bet that $6 is a more substantial cut for the creators and a savings to me as well, plus the convenience, and a little less pollution injected into our already strained ecosystem.

    Cost of the electricity and servers to distribute this digital content? I would guess much less than the cost of distributing and acquiring the dead tree version. A significant difference.

  15. The following is just my opinion. Please feel free to agree or disagree with it. I have my own views on [Sword of My Mouth], and on religion.
    I go to a Christian church, but I’m not 100% about whether or not I’m a Christian by the church’s definition, or even by my definition.

    If I see reports, that I believe, that Jesus + his original followers made up the Christian religion and it was all fake, I will probably stop going to church and stop being religious. I think the author wrote SOMM as a counter to the “left behind” book series, and I do not blame Mr. Monroe for writing such a rebuttal of sorts.
    Most of the christians I know think that the “left behind” books are a pile of nonsense, and that the books are probably designed to shock non-christians + people who don’t have a religion to join a religion out of fear. I don’t like the left behind books.

    I do not like people who bully, and I think that the “left behind” stories bully people.

    I don’t like the: “ha, ha, do what I say or I’ll beat you up” bullies.
    I don’t like the: “ha, ha, do what my group wants or they will beat you up” bullies.

    And I don’t like the: “ha, ha do what my LB books tell you to do, or you’ll have a horrible life, then you’ll be sent to a Hades with flaming walls, and demons will beat you up” bullies.

    My complaint about the left behind books is that, I think, the books try to frighten people into joining the left behind author’s opinion or opinions on religion. I don’t like it when people try to force me to join a religion, and I think people who never had/choose not to have a religion feel the same way. The left behind books, in my view, try to force people to join a religion. I think that is just wrong.
    I like the boingboing write up on the book, Sword of My Mouth, and I plan to read Sword of My Mouth.

    The characters look realistic and the story intrigues me. It’s a plot seems to say: what would you do in a country where people are murdering each other in the name of a made up god? Would I stay? Would I leave?
    The story sounds like France or a similar nation in World War II. Nazi-like soldiers threaten to kill you if you don’t help them. And Anti-Nazi soldiers, in the same war, treat you the same way+ threaten to kill you. What would I do in such a war zone? I think that’s a cool idea that people can think of when they read the book.

    I think Sword of My Mouth will be a fun and clever book to read.

  16. The story sounds like it could be interesting, but dear me, the lettering is distractingly awful.

  17. Ultimately, this may seem counter intuitive to my preference for Apple as many will say that it is contradictory or even hypocritical that I would even consider going through a corporate front like the App Store, but as we see here, PayPal is at least as odious a conduit for this transaction as Apple (worse, in my experience) so we pick our poison.

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