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

Sneak Preview: The First Page of “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles,” our Graphic Novel version of our novel: “Brother Cobweb,” which is now available through Open Books Press, Amazon, etc in both Kindle and Print. The First volume of the graphic novel will likely be available in Spring 2021 (we are relaunching the novel in fall). Written by myself with illustrations by the incomparable Todd M. Coe

Open Books and Amazon order links with syopsis etc

http://openbookspress.com/books/brother-cobweb.php
https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Cobweb-Alfred-…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

Interview Novena News : Alfred Eaker, author of ‘Brother Cobweb’: We, the laity, are the Church, not the hierarchy. It needs us prodigals.”

Alfred Eaker, author of ‘Brother Cobweb’: “We, the laity, are the Church, not the hierarchy. It needs us prodigals”

Alfred Eaker, author of ‘Brother Cobweb’: “We, the laity, are the Church, not the hierarchy. It needs us prodigals”

 

 

 

 

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

Sneak Preview: The First Page of “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles,” our Graphic Novel version of our novel: “Brother Cobweb,” which is now available through Open Books Press, Amazon, etc in both Kindle and Print. The First volume of the graphic novel will likely be available in Spring 2021 (we are relaunching the novel in fall). Written by myself with illustrations by the incomparable Todd M. Coe

Open Books and Amazon order links with syopsis etc

http://openbookspress.com/books/brother-cobweb.php
https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Cobweb-Alfred-…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

 

Amaya Engleking, poet, Gospel Isosceles: Advanced review for the novel, Brother Cobweb

 

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.”

Amaya Engleking, poet, Gospel Isosceles

Advanced review for our novel, Brother Cobweb (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 abuses caused by one of his primary caregivers, 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.”
— Catherine Swan Reimer Ed.D., Counseling Psychologist, PhD

*Chapter 8 illustation Todd M. Coe

Novena News’ advance review for our novel, Brother Cobweb

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.

Novena News, Mada Jurado

Early Review for our novel, Brother Cobweb by Jason Pannone

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.

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

Early review for our novel “Brother Cobweb,” by 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!

Fr. Justin Belitz OFM

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.

 

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.

 

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

*Early unused cover art for the novel by Todd M Coe

Early Review for Brother Cobweb by artist/author Michelle Moore

Alfred Eaker’s Brother Cobweb is a unique coming-of-age story that explores religious fanaticism, childhood powerlessness, the reverberating effects of abuse, and other influences that shape the adults we ultimately become. A tale of resiliency, reconciliation, and redemption, with plenty of ass-kicking and comeuppance along the way, Brother Cobweb is a powerful account of self-discovery that will resonate with readers long after the final pages . . .

 

Michelle Moore, Artist and author of two poetry chapbooks: The Deepest Blue (Rager Media) and Longing for Lightness: Selected Poems of Antonia Pozzi Translated from the Italian (Poetry Miscellany Press). My poems, interviews, and reviews have appeared in many publications, including Commonweal, Heavy Bear, Apalachee Review, Black Dirt, Rattle, Penguin Review, and White Ink: Poems on Mothers and Motherhood published by Demeter Press.

*This is early, unused cover art for the novel by Todd M. Coe