Amadeus was able, "with a lot of mortification," to "put off doing this book for a couple of years."
But in the monastery, immersed in philosophy and theology, he found that he wanted to share the riches of the Truth with the friends he had known before entering his new life.
"Originally, I wanted to write it out as a letter with a few drawings, like the illustrated manuscript traditions," he related.
But finding that "too boring," Amadeus said, "finally I broke down and decided to do the whole thing as a comic strip because that's what I'm good at; that's what I do best."
"The Truth is Out There" betrays a familiarity with the pre-Christian tradition of philosophy – Plato and Aristotle – as well as the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Amadeus said the comic format is "just the way I know how to get my thoughts, my ideas out," and that "the harder the idea is, the more helpful it is to draw it out."
Part of his motivation in drawing the graphic novel was to convey the beauty of the Church's faith, and Amadeus said that beauty – whether made by man or God – is meant to draw us to the Creator.
"The beauty that we create is obviously taken from the beauty of nature. And the beauty of nature is a reflection of God; that's his work," he said.
"I don't think there is a better way to draw hearts to God, to Christ. That's where all the beautiful churches and artwork, all those things we hold in such high regard…that was inspired by the beauty of nature to return to the beauty of God."
Bishop Gregory J. Mansour, of the Maronite Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn, has written that "somehow the words 'comic book' and 'intellectually challenging' don't usually go together, but they do in 'The Truth is Out There' by Amadeus…Thank you, Amadeus, for presenting the journey from the prison walls of our mind to the exhilarating freedom of the truth in such an exciting way."
Amadeus' book was published by Catholic Answers in May, and is available at Amazon for $9.32.
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He intends to write another comic novel, this time about salvation history, called "The Big Picture."
Carl Bunderson is managing editor of Catholic News Agency. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Colorado Boulder and a BPhil from the Pontifical Lateran University.