Every once in a while someone will write to me who has found my Joyful ‘toons website, and they’ll say something like “I’ve never seen Christian cartoons before”. Actually, there is a rich history of Christian cartooning, dating back to the late 19th century.
I first became aware of Christian cartoons when I was a kid, in the 1970s. I was a collector of the Spire Christian comic book series, most of them drawn by Al Hartley. There were several issues that featured the characters from the Archie comics: Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, etc. I still have most of them, along with a few comics from other publishers. Then, there were the Jack Chick comic book tracts, which seemed to be everywhere when I was younger. I read several of them on the daily bus ride home from school. But Christian comics and cartoons have been around since even before my time.
An excellent online resource for researching the history of Christian cartoons can be found at the website ChristianComicsInternational.org. They have a web page devoted to Christian Comics Pioneers where you can find a wealth of information on over fifty different cartoonists who have used their talents to serve the Lord over the years. Another website, BibleBelievers.com has a collection of several vintage Christian cartoons by U.S. Abell, E.J. Pace, and Charles Ramsey. You can find the link to the cartoons in the middle of their index page. You can find more cartoons by E.J. Pace at PaceArt/Tripod.com.
I don’t claim to be an authority on the history of Christian cartoons. I’m sure there must be other Christian cartoonists from the past that I am not aware of. If you know of any, please let me know. I would be interested.