In the gospel reading from Luke 5, we find the famous “fishers of men” narrative. In that passage, there’s a revealing emotional moment: Simon (later renamed Peter) drops to his knees after the second (and successful) fishing expedition and says … Continue reading “I’M A SINFUL MAN”: SUBVERTING TRUMP’S APOCALYPSE
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. It’s interesting then to see him become an actual horror exhibit in a huanted house attraction. As I used to say (spewing sarcasm) “Amen Brother Cobweb.” Continue reading Brother Cobweb at “The House Of Shadows”
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. Continue reading Brother Cobweb: visual concepts by Todd M. Coe
Brother Cobweb was released by Open Books Press this Easter. The novel revolves around a Midwestern Pentecostal church and family, but it is broader in its criticisms, reaching from the seeds of Mormon abuse out into Catholicism and its wider social structures. Continue reading Interview Novena News : Alfred Eaker, author of ‘Brother Cobweb’: We, the laity, are the Church, not the hierarchy. It needs us prodigals.”
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 Continue reading BROTHER COBWEB NOVEL NOW PUBLISHED AND AVAILABLE (KINDLE AND PRINT)
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. Continue reading Amaya Engleking: Advanced review for “Brother Cobweb”
Terrorists — usually thought of as enemies of a country — can also be found within families who have access to terrorize a helpless child daily… Continue reading Advanced review for our novel, Brother Cobweb (Catherine Swan Reimer Ed.D., Counseling Psychologist, PhD)
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. Continue reading Mada Jurado, Novena News: advanced review for our novel, Brother Cobweb
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. Continue reading Early Review for our novel, Brother Cobweb by Jason Pannone
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… Continue reading Early review for our novel “Brother Cobweb,” by Fr. Justin Belitz OFM
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. Continue reading BROTHER COBWEB, The Novel by Alfred Eaker (April 12, 2020 Open Books Press)
I frequently get asked “Why Catholic?” by diverse self-proclaimed demographics; Evangelical Protestants, Rad Trads, and that sector of atheists who can be just as either/or in thinking as religious fundamentalists. I can think of no more apt and meaningful a symbol than Mozart as an initial gateway as a response to that question, although there is more to it than that. My introduction to artmusic was at a young age and while I started off with the standards (i.e. Beethoven and Wagner), by my late teens and early twenties, I was venturing into the more modern terrain of Bruckner, Mahler, … Continue reading ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF MOZART’S DEATH: WHY CATHOLIC?
BROTHER COBWEB AT THE HOUSE OF SHADOWS Continue reading BROTHER COBWEB AT THE HOUSE OF SHADOWS
With my lifelong painting of idiosyncratic (or heterodox if one prefers) iconography, I suppose it was inevitable that I paint a last supper. This mural, titled “Brother Cobweb’s Last Supper” will be used for”The Church Of Brother Cobweb” haunt at the Gresham, Oregon HOUSE OF SHADOWS for the West Coast Haunter’s Convention this May and its October haunt… Continue reading “BROTHER COBWEB’S LAST SUPPER ” AND “BROTHER COBWEB’S TENT REVIVAL,” house paint on wood panels ©2017 Alfred Eaker
Brother Cobweb on the short bus to perdition ©2015 Alfred Eaker
When I moved to Portland, the last thing I expected was to get involved in another haunted house attraction. However, upon seeing an advertisement for the full contact House Of Shadows seeking a casting director, I contacted the owners: Ashley Ries, Nathan Fultz, and Troy Carpenter. In the previous full contact haunted attractions I had worked, my primary position was in casting and I often assisted in commercial painting. However, when I involuntarily was expected to assist in building, it was a case of oil meet water. After my initial interview with the House Of Shadows team, I was elated to discover that the House Of Shadows wanted me strictly for casting.
I soon found that The House Of Shadows redefined a new meaning in Full Contact, being far more intense than previous experiences. Their numbers (three to four times higher in Oregon than previous locations) reflected West Coast taste for amped contact. Over the course of pre-season (and getting down to the wire, as usual) I volunteered to assist in commercial painting as well. During the next two weeks, I was able to engage in much dialogue with Nate Fultz and discovered that he too sprang from an intensely negative evangelical background.
The Demon Frogg, on Brother Cobweb’s Bus To Perdition at the House Of Shadows, Gresham © 2015 Alfred Eaker
With Nate, I shared slivers of my Brother Cobweb narrative, a novel I am working on. The title character was a comic strip I created in the early 70s, which was my private, horrific parody of the visiting evangelist preachers who frequented my mother’s Pentecostal church (one of whom was Jim Jones). Shortly after that, Nate viewed my online video performance of the character and asked me something, which took me by surprise: “Alfred, would you be willing to perform the Brother Cobweb character on the bus?”
The bus is the customers’ passage into the attraction, not within the haunt itself. Still, I was initially skeptical. “I thought this was straight up traditional horror?” “Alfred, you and I both know damned well that charismatic fundamentalist shit is true horror.” Nate was not only right, but his proposal was one of such obvious simplicity, that the idea might have flown over my head a few years back. I agreed to perform the character. Needeless to say, there were a few provoked patrons, but Portland has a solid reputation for embracing weirdness and the reception was far more positive than I could have imagined.
Naturally, I tweaked the character to fit part of the haunt’s narrative, which was relatively easy given that we had zombie go-go dancers, demons, and fortune tellers. All of these are iconic elements of fundamentalism’s wave of hysteria run amok; anti-superstition superstition.
Although I have not done performance art in a public setting for years, this was akin to a jumping back in the water experience. Many of the crowds erupted into applause after I grabbed a patron and engaged them in Brother Cobweb’s Holy Ghost Takin’ Over The Service Dance. I could never have done this performance in the midwest, so it was a helluva lot of fun (although requiring plenty of throat lozenges). Better yet, the experience was exhilerating enough to gift me a reshaped ending for the upcoming novel. Included here is a visual scrapbook from our 2015 House Of Shadows season (with our Christmas haunt as well).
Frogg, Demon from the Bowls Of Hell ©2015 Alfred Eaker