Category Archives: Todd M. Coe

Brother Cobweb: visual concepts by Todd M. Coe

(By Alfred Eaker)

Brother Cobweb is a character I created at the age of seven, in a comic book, which I titled “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.” Brother Cobweb was a response/revolt/private protest to what I considered my own personal horror of being forced to attend a Pentecostal church, along with growing up in a dumbed down and oppressive fundamentalist environment. I created that comic from volumes of sketchbooks I produced during endless church services (for eighteen years,  I literally taught myself how to draw during those charismatic anti-ritual rituals). It’s interesting then to see him become an actual horror exhibit in a haunted house attraction. As I used to say (spewing sarcasm) “Amen Brother Cobweb.”

Todd M. Coe’s art for Eaker’s debut novel, “Brother Cobweb.”


Look inside “Brother Cobweb,” the Novel

Brother Cobweb” is now available through Open Books PressAmazonBarnes and Noble, and all major bookshops and distributors. If you want to understand the seed of Trump’s America, travel back in time 50 years and witness firsthand those who empowered him; the religious right white Evangelicals who are in fact Christian in name only talibangelicals hell bent on a self-fulfilled apocalypse…


About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

SNEAK PREVIEW : PAGE 2 (OF 6) OF OUR UPCOMING GRAPHIC NOVEL “THE BROTHER COBWEB CHRONICLES”

Sneak Preview: This is the second page of our upcoming graphic novel ‘The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.’ We are proud to announce that the First volume will likely be available in print and electronic editions in the Spring 2021. It follows on the success of our first novel ‘Brother Cobweb,’ published by Open Books Press. Written by myself with illustrations by the incomparable Todd M. Coe, it will surely give you another perspective into the ‘Brother Cobweb’ universe that our readers are already enjoying.

‘Brother Cobweb’ the novel is now available through Open Books Press, Amazon, etc in both Kindle and Print. Click here to have a taste of the kindle version of ‘Brother Cobweb’ and see for yourself if you like it .

As always, comments and shares are more than welcome. Just leave a message, and I will do my best to come back to you as soon as possible.

Look inside “Brother Cobweb,” by Alfred Eaker

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

SNEAK PREVIEW : PAGE 1 (OF 6) OF OUR UPCOMING GRAPHIC NOVEL “THE BROTHER COBWEB CHRONICLES”

Sneak Preview: We are proud to offer you a glimpse of our upcoming graphic novel ‘The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.’ Here is the first page, for you to start getting a taste of the tone and aesthetics within it. We are glad to announce that the First volume will likely be available in print and electronic editions in the Spring 2021. Written by myself and illustrated by the incomparable Todd M. Coe, it will surely give you another perspective into the ‘Brother Cobweb’ universe that our readers are already enjoying.

The graphic novel follows on the success of our first paperback novel ‘Brother Cobweb,’ published by Open Books Press. We are grateful to you, our readers, as you are making this whole adventure possible with your support. We have been humbled by your response to it.

‘Brother Cobweb’ the novel is now available through Open Books Press, Amazon, etc in both Kindle and Print. Click here to have a taste of the kindle version of ‘Brother Cobweb’ and see for yourself if you like it .

As always, comments and shares are more than welcome. Just leave a message, and I will do my best to come back to you as soon as possible.

 

Look inside “Brother Cobweb,” by Alfred Eaker

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

BROTHER COBWEB NOVEL NOW PUBLISHED AND AVAILABLE (KINDLE AND PRINT)

Now Published and available (Kindle and print) Through Open Books Press, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles etc : Brother Cobweb by Alfred Eaker and illustrations by Todd M. Coe

All Calvin Elkan has ever wanted to do is escape his mother and her Pentecostal church, the Lighthouse. Calvin is eternally at odds with the brutal abuses and ignorance of his upbringing in a right-wing evangelical sect in Ohio. Under the guidance of his great-grandfather, he turns to art and music to escape his mother’s blows and the grip of the Lighthouse. He spins the dark world around him into a satirical comic called The Brother Cobweb Chronicles. After high school, Calvin moves out and enrolls in art school, finally free of his oppressive childhood home.
But after a brush with death, Calvin realizes escape isn’t enough.
Through his artwork and a newfound sense of spirituality, Calvin works through the emotional trauma and distances himself from his past only to uncover yet another ugly secret from the Lighthouse—a secret that makes him question everything.
Brother Cobweb is a coming-of-age saga with a misfit, paradoxical artist at its center. Alfred Eaker’s debut novel seeks to change perspectives through innovative language, dark humor, and marginalized subculture. A surreal and provocative odyssey, it is sure to strike a nerve as it exposes the abuses and hypocrisy of an all-too-familiar Midwestern evangelical church.

Look inside “Brother Cobweb,” by Alfred Eaker.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Amaya Engleking: Advanced review for “Brother Cobweb”

(Amaya Engleking, poet, Gospel Isosceles)

As with his surreal and mystical paintings, Alfred Eaker’s Brother Cobweb portrays both the beauty and the horrifying distortion in the search for self-identity and purpose, all while having been deeply entangled in the swampy roots of a kitschy, hamburger-helper, “slut-for-Jesus” brand of Pentecostalism. And Eaker makes us laugh. A lot. After all, there’s no point in sitting through a holy ghost-inspired three-hour episode of Sunday evening service if you can’t add a few ‘wtf’ guffaws to the caterwauling. But be sure to chew your minty fresh “Testamint” first!

The true gift of Cobweb, however—apart from the gratifying interludes of musical abstractions, for the novel has more (and better) music recommendations than a hipster in a vinyl store—is our young protagonist, Calvin Elkan’s sense of religious adventure. While the typical post-modern hero would rationally turn one’s back on God and religion after suffering abuses and hypocrisies in their name— receiving accolades from the world while cloistering oneself in a bubble of unimaginative atheism—we get to experience the faith journey through the thoughtful artist spirit, which is a more rewarding story. In order for there to be divine justice, moral atonement, and maybe even hopeful happiness, Eaker invites all sincere wayfarers to consider a revelation of Calvin’s: “The Church needs me more than I need it.”

***

If you find this review intriguing, why not having a look inside “Brother Cobweb”?

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

Advanced review for our novel, Brother Cobweb (Catherine Swan Reimer Ed.D., Counseling Psychologist, PhD)

(Catherine Swan Reimer Ed.D., Counseling Psychologist, PhD)

“Terrorists — usually thought of as enemies of a country — can also be found within families who have access to terrorize a helpless child daily. A child is defenseless and depends on family members for their very survival for emotional, physical, and spiritual needs in their human development.

Sometimes, it takes a lifetime to integrate these abuses that cause post-traumatic shock, similar to what veterans suffer. Alfred Eaker describes how despite abuses caused by one of his primary caregivers, he learns to survive. In his book, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker describes Calvin’s daily trauma and how he chooses creative means to escape the horrendous abuse on a young psyche.

The book is full of surprises, intrigue, and courage of a young boy who despite odds of becoming like his abusers ascends above cruelty and allows his artistic gifts to become the saving grace that touches the integrity within to lead the way to his wholeness and inner growth. His book is a gift to not only the reader but to the one who shares his beautiful soul evolving in the light.

***

You can taste it for yourself by looking inside “Brother Cobweb.”

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

Mada Jurado, Novena News: advanced review for our novel, Brother Cobweb

(Mada Jurado, Journalist and Community Manager at Novena News)

I first encountered Alfred Eaker’s work through his contemporary Catholic paintings.  They undoubtedly set my expectations up for some sort of direct, colorful explosiveness in his writing from his debut novel, Brother Cobweb; a novel that he has worked on for over twenty-five years. Instead, I was blown away by a naked prose, devoid of superfluous ornamentation, that submerges the reader into the darkest of themes.

Make no mistake, though; as a gifted artist, Eaker knows how to use boldness and tone to weave a claustrophobic, violent reality that will trap you in a cast almost exclusively populated by increasingly sinister characters from a Midwestern Pentecostal church. He masterfully portrays the spiritual disintegration of evangelical abusers in a way that will lead you to offer them heartfelt absolution and forgiveness. Sublimely, Eaker takes you where he needs you to be.

As the horrors intensify, a ripping epiphany begins to unfold against the canvas of the story: what doesn’t lead to breaking the cycle of violence will only perpetuate it. And here’s where the real talent of his artistry shines as Eaker draws a very personal spirituality of individual liberation and redemption through responsibility, which includes accountability of across the board religious abuses-from Mormonism to Pentecostalism and Catholicism. 

He shows us how, even in the most horrendous physical and emotional situations, we can all tap into our inner self, and find within ourselves the means to stop spraying our poison onto others or punishing them for the pain we feel. His words contain such a direct and brutal message that it’s impossible to remain indifferent; you’ll feel the same raw energy and transforming power as a gaze from any of his painted portraits. Art at its best.

***

If you find that the review resonates with you, why don’t you give a go to the first chapters of the novel?…

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

Early Review for our novel, Brother Cobweb by Jason Pannone

(Jason Pannone, Reference & Cultural Assets Manager, East Hartford Public Library, art curator)

Alfred Eaker’s story is a harrowing tale of violence, abuse, lies, and conflict — yet it ends in hope. There is redemption: in art, beauty, friendship, love, and God, where, in the midst of sin and the wreckage of life, the light of grace pours abundantly through the cracks and crevices. Eaker’s control of the language and emotional power carries the reader through to the place where the peace that surpasses all understanding dwells. Highly recommended.

***

You can find out for yourself, by having a look at the first chapters of the novel here…

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

Early review for our novel “Brother Cobweb,” by Fr. Justin Belitz OFM

(Fr. Justin Belitz, OFM)

Artists have the uncanny ability to recognize the beauty in challenging and difficult life experiences. This is exactly what Alfred Eaker has done with this novel. Calvin is raised by a dysfunctional and abusive family.  His lone confidant is his grandfather, the only member of his family to understand and support him, and the one who passes on an appreciation of art and music. It is Calvin’s skill and understanding of the fine arts that gives him the strength to move into a stable and productive adult life.  

Interwoven into the story are psychological, theological, ethical, and religious dimensions that call organized religion as well as social and moral structures to accountability. These deeper aspects of the story will challenge readers to reflect on their own lives and to develop the empathy we all need to make our lives ever better and better.

This story has motivated me to review again the Mahler Symphonies!

***

If, like Fr Justin, you feel motivated to review art or artists, why don’t you start by reading the novel that inspired him?…

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

Early Review for the novel Brother Cobweb by author Cheryl Townsend

Opening with the ranting of a Pentecostal preacher into the mind of seven-year old Calvin Elkan, who in lieu of attention, creates art in a drawing pad as his derrière numbs atop a hard pew. A caricature of near monster features, Brother Cobweb is born, a minister of pseudo-satanic lunacy.

Growing up in a blue collar home with a younger, innocent brother, his over-worked, typical father, religiously crazed mother, and beacon of sanity and hilarity great-grandfather, Calvin is juxtaposed to creativity and suppression as the mother battles for his sinking soul against anything not in praise of God. Might I add that those battles were truly such. Abusive, spiteful and manipulative, mother Nancy was “Carrie’s” mother to the nth degree.

Needless to say, great-grandfather “Pop” (an atheistic Jew) is the comic relief in this drama. Calvin, still grappling with what to believe, is steadily leaning alee from the absurd. The ensuing disgust of his my-way-only mother is simmering like the fires of Hades. Bonding through music and creative imagination, Pop and Calvin sequester solitude in a bedroom off limits to the tyrannical mother.

When Pop passes, there is no safe place for Calvin. The abuse intensifies, as even his passive father defers to Nancy’s rages. But there is music. Sweet movements to quell. Savage beasts be damned!

Making it to art school, with scholarships, Calvin is instructed to study the predecessors of his preferred era. Professor Hillcrest nurtures. Calvin learns and flourishes. After a final attack from his mother, he moves out, barely surviving on meager wages. Life feels hopeless, he succumbs to despair.

Early unused cover art for the novel by Todd M Coe

Finally finding his niche with a group of artistic friends, Calvin gets into a gallery and begins a new phase of life. There is a woman whom he begins to hang out with and eventually relents to marrying her out of her bad home life. But it’s not for him. She is not the one.

Always there are men of religious beliefs that filter in, good or bad, to steer him. A life of subjugation renders him easily persuaded, but he does hold fast to his anti-stance against any holy rolling, tongues spewing ravers, welcoming the company of two Catholic priests.

Revelations surface, secrets expose themselves, attempts to rectify are extended. Calvin finds his soulmate, his place, and his release. As happy as such a life can be expected, there is a resolved ending. A hip hip hurray with even a resounding amen!

Snips of theological insight, musical and artistic education are an added bonus to an engaging read that should assuredly make you think hard on your own spiritual path. When and if Calvin creates his own church, I hope one comes nearby.

***

If you find this review helpful, you might consider giving a go to the first chapters of the novel here…

About Cheryl A Townsend:

Cheryl A Townsend is a poet, photographer, and previous editor/publisher of Impetus/Implosion Press and owner of cat’s Impetuous Books. 

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online: