- Bingo Hall!
- 21st Century
- For Theology & Church
- Pope Francis Resource Library
- Our Authors
The Grand Inquisitor
A groundbreaking and chilling story of intrigue in the Catholic church
The Grand Inquisitor
The world’s first African pope is elected by a secret meeting of cardinals—find out who is trying to stop him, and why. This first great Catholic graphic novel is an exquisitely illustrated volume that will change the genre forever.
The pope is dead. The Church is split. A rump conclave elects the first Black African pope, a hero who saved his people from persecution in Sudan. But a hostile cardinal kidnaps the new pope at the airport and sequesters him in a mental hospital. To the captive, uncrowned pope "the Grand Inquisitor" reveals a dark conspiracy he has nurtured for 50 years to offer mankind salvation without the Cross. Will the new pope sign on to this "improved" version of Christianity? Will he end up dead? What obsessions join him to his enemy, and make his inquisitor's vision so very tempting?
Written in Miltonic blank verse, this updating of Dostoevsky’s fable will fascinate students of religion, philosophy, and literature.
Reviews and endorsements
“Combines the best of Franz Kafka and Garth Ennis. With chilling and methodical precision, The Grand Inquisitor plunges readers into an eerily familiar near-future world where the gears that move the Church are not greased with oil... but with blood.”
—Dirk Manning, writer/creator, Nightmare World and Tales of Mr. Rhee, weekly columnist, Newsarama.com
“The Grand Inquisitor tells a gripping story about man’s eternal destiny and the human institutions that try, in their flawed and halting ways, to help him achieve it. There is, finally, no more important question, and this graphic novel confronts it with both terrifying honesty and genuine hope.”
—Michael Potemra, literary editor, National Review
“In the 19th century, Dostoevsky’s ‘The Grand Inquisitor’ sounded the alarm about man’s willingness to cede his freedom to totalitarian rulers in return for material and spiritual security. For the 21st century, John Zmirak brilliantly reworks that classic parable in a stunning graphic novel format—written in beautiful blank verse, with spectacular illustrations by Carla Millar—to warn against the more insidious post-modern dictatorship of moral relativism that hides behind a mask of tolerance and tenderness. There’s never been anything else like it.”
—Angelo Matera, publisher/editor, GodSpy.com, Former CEO, The National Catholic Register
“An eerie work, a frightening graphic novel that is three–parts horror and one part hope. In its portrait of a villainous-if-sincere prelate who is behind the destructive changes in the Catholic Church of the past four decades, the work reads like Robert Hugh Benson as amended by Orwell. Blank verse, dark imagery—this is an expression of 21st century Catholicism that may well be the first of an entirely new genre.”
—Charles A. Coulombe, author, Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes
“Stunning blank verse, striking graphics, and a darkly disturbing underlying theological speculation make this intriguing fantasy about skullduggery in the Vatican absolutely unique. Entertaining and thought-provoking for any theologically obsessed Catholic!”
—Roy Schoeman, author Salvation is From the Jews
“At once terrifying and invigorating, The Grand Inquisitor tells an unforgettable story of the Catholic Church in a time of intrigue and betrayal. Haunting and vivid, and not to be missed.”
—Thomas E. Woods, NY Times bestselling author, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.
“The verse is elegant, the images powerful, and the story chilling and insidious. It may keep you up nights wondering if the authors aren’t privy to inside information about a dark conspiracy against the Church. Of course they aren’t—the book is not an exposé but a parable and a warning, a dark portrait of liberal theology run amok.”
—Taki Theodoracopulos, columnist, The Spectator (London)
"An awe-inspiring achievement. Written in spare, supple, and beguiling blank verse, The Grand Inquisitor offers an explanation of the Church's travails over the last generation that is at once breathtakingly inventive and thoroughly believable—as the epigraph makes clear. It casts its piercing gaze toward secularism, Islamic supremacism, and other contemporary challenges for the Church, and concludes with a magnificent expression of abiding faith and hope. This is an imaginative, insightful, and simply beautiful meditation on the reality of the Church and the world, the wheat and the tares before the harvest, and the holy dilemma of the lover of souls. Nothing short of a masterpiece.”
—Robert Spencer, author, NY Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.
“History meets sequential storytelling in a fine new approach to the form. This kind of work should be encouraged and welcomed.”
—Douglas Rushkoff, author, Club Zero-G, and the monthly Vertigo comic Testament