“Brother Cobweb” is on a quest to find the ideal Literary Agent/Publisher.
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The “Why”of Brother Cobweb
Although much of the novel is inspired in part by actual events, I took the Dali Lama at his word: “We don’t need more success stories. We need more storytellers.” Of course that still doesn’t fully answer the why, which is holding the abuses of religious fundamentalism and patristic oppression into accountability, while finding a meaningful path past what seems like insurmountable life challenges. Ultimately, those challenges are mere surface and Brother Cobweb’s weapon of choice is that which fundamentalism inherently lacks: An artistic imagination.
Synopsis of the 2018 novel, “BROTHER COBWEB”:
Seven-year-old CALVIN ELKAN is obsessed with drawing, but his art takes the form of protest when he opens a drawing pad and creates the comic-strip character BROTHER COBWEB while sitting on the wooden pews of his mother NANCY’S Indiana Pentecostal church. Satirizing her preacher HARRY DUSHANE, Calvin’s art takes flight.
Possessing a spiritual bond with his eccentric German Jewish grandfather; POP, Calvin is introduced to a magical world of Leonard Bernstein, Superman, Wagner operas, Charles Darwin, and a mermaid bride. Pop’s imagined paradise is Calvin’s inspired sanctuary from the tongue-speaking fascists of the ho-de-ho, backwoods sawdust-on-the-floor LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH.
A near-death experience threatens to be Calvin’s snake in the garden, but through the intervention of REVEREND JIM JONES, the expulsion from paradise is temporarily averted. Calvin’s actual fall from grace arrives on Christmas day with the death of his beloved Pop. With the floodgates of sin opened, Nancy attempts to white-out Calvin’s protector when she begins subjecting her son to horrific abuse.
Pushed down by a spiritually bankrupt religion, the evangelical status-quo, and thug in place of a mother, Calvin zig-zags in and out of a self-fashioned station of the cross; complete with swirling biblical-like plagues, an angelic protector from a Christmas view-master reel, apocalyptic revelations, art galleries, betrayal, mystery schools, arson, haunted house attractions, and murder. Struggling to evolve through the horrors of hypocrisy, Calvin finds himself in forever shifting sanctuaries while seeking his Eden of the sacred feminine.