As soon as ASBO Jesus came through my front door I started reading it. This book is inviting and the front cover draws you to it. I was slightly disappointed to discover the book was not in full colour; however, this was the single drawback to it. Once I had finished it my husband, notorious for not reading unless absolutely necessary, picked up the book to find out what I have been laughing at.
This book is well thought out and the humour is edgy and, to me, not too offensive. This makes it a great present for women and men and any age – the only requirements being a sense of humour and the ability to laugh at yourself.
Jon Birch sheds light on some Christian truths and some truths we wish weren’t. I related well to these cartoons having observed the amusing situations about churches trying to be cool, Christian teachers teaching half-truths and how we relate to each other and view ourselves. The sad cartoon about Sharon the new Bishop captures a difficult subject with simplicity that makes you stop and think. And Vicar’s wife syndrome is screaming out to be a greetings card for vicar’s wives everywhere – what about Vicar’s husbands though?
At times I wasn’t sure if a cartoon was humourous with Lol-ability or was serious and making me stop and reflect. A number of them made me want to show a friend and others made me want to have an iphone app with them to carry them with me.
ASBO Jesus was brilliant and will take pride of place in my toilet on the bookcase, ready for guests to read and be amused, challenged or affirmed. This is the type of book that you can read again and again; and as I do so now I am reminded of the cartoon about Marcus – timely in the light of the Derren Brown show about healing.
Buy this book for yourself, or as a present or both. I am looking forward to ASBO Jesus – The Second Coming or special mini editions in time for Christmas. And a final request Jon, please bring some of these out as postcards and mugs.
Jess Bishop lectures in Youth Work at Coventry University in the Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies department.