Johnny Hart died at his drawing table on Saturday, April 7, 2007. It was fitting that the artist passed away on Easter weekend that year; after all, the Easter message had captivated his life’s work for decades.
And as a result of that work, over 100 million people read about the empty tomb in his comic strip, B.C.
Many might look at the Christian messages found in B.C. and think Hart had been a lifelong believer. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. In fact, Hart’s mother and father raised him in a “C&E Christian” (Christmas and Easter) home. Though the faith of his younger years was a bit apathetic, he was always drawn to spiritual things. But after he got married, God sent him to a place where He could really get Hart’s attention: Nineveh.
Nineveh, New York, that is.
The rural property was without television coverage, so Hart and his wife, Bobby, finally decided to purchase a satellite system so they could keep up with the news. A father-and-son team showed up who were also born-again Christians. While installing the system, the duo kept all the TVs in the house tuned into Christian programming. In each room, Hart was met by some of the biggest names in evangelical Christianity. Hart was soon hooked by their message, and eventually, he and Bobby began attending a local Presbyterian church.
It wasn’t long before Hart began infusing the popular comic strip with his newfound faith. Hart’s subtle genius, coupled with the beloved prehistoric characters from his comic strip, produced some of the most memorable glimpses of Christianity found in the public sector. Of course, his desire to take his faith public landed him in trouble several times throughout the years. In fact, the LA Times refused to run any of his strips that included a Christian message.
That was fine with Hart because his comic strip found a home in 1,300 other newspapers. Because of his dedication, millions around the world heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ in everyday ways.
It’s interesting to note that Hart, who fused his faith with his work, came to Christ because of two men who did the same. If Hart could share the Gospel with the pencils of a cartoonist, surely we can share the Gospel with the chalkboards of public school teachers or the stethoscope of a doctor.
Following his death, his comic strip peers produced a fitting eulogy:
How true it is.
Click here for the online report.
Topics Illustrated Include:
Taking a Stand
(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)