Growing up in Kansas, the hate-mongering picket practices of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church were an almost omnipresent source of annoyance, so I was happy to discover that Oni Press had taken note of the group's noted interest in comic book culture by sending them an envelope full of reading material. What kind of reading material, you ask? Try half a dozen copies of The Auteur #1 by writer Rick Spears, artist James Callahan and colorist Luigi Anderson. They're going to love it!

Masterminded by Oni Press director of publicity John Schork, the calculated mailing may or may not get a reaction from Phelps, who fancies himself a cartoonist. I'm not linking to his website to show you his scrawlings, just trust me.

"It’s chock full of drugs, violence, clergy-themed nudity, subversive ideas about artistic expression and the human condition, and talking sex organs," explained Schork, "Naturally, we thought they’d dig it.”

One of our favorite comics of 2013 as an "Early Release," The Auteur chronicles the fall and... well, further fall of disgraced film producer Nathan T. Rex, who is working to come back from the biggest flop in Hollywood history by any means necessary. Those means turn out to include all the vices you'd expect, plus ones that only the book's team could dream up. It's wild stuff.

The issue is currently available on ComiXology, with the ongoing monthly series set to officially kick off on Wednesday, March 5 in print and in digital formats.

The Westboro Church can be seen picketing a Jeff Dunham performance tonight, which will surely disrupt that ventriloquist's anti-comedy.

UPDATE: The WBC has responded to Oni Press (and me!) with the below Tweet:

WBC Auteur Response

Perverts, indeed!


Oni Press The Auteur Westboro Baptist Church
Oni Press/John Schork

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