Drawing God

A graphic novel about the Hebrew God, a collection of cartoons about Jesus, and a comic strip about the Holy Ghost

“Studying the Torah at Hebrew day school,” writes Liana Finck, “I thought of it mostly as a portrait of one childlike (and therefore relatable) character full of feelings and desires: God.” Let There Be Light is a marvelous exercise in visual hermeneutics. It tells the story of Genesis as a graphic novel, incorporating sparks of insight from the Talmud and a solid feminist streak. (Also, there are mermaids and unicorns.)

Like Finck, the God of Let There Be Light is a woman. She’s an artist who creates the world to stem the tide of her immense loneliness. She’s brilliant and kind and tends toward depression, especially when she finds that humans aren’t as great as she’d hoped. She struggles to see her image in them. They insist on believing that she is “a stern old man with a beard”—so much so that she eventually pretends to be one.

From the start, there are problems with God’s artwork. Lilith, created from the soil with Adam, rejects his patriarchal view of the world and slinks away. God creates a more subservient woman, this time from Adam’s rib. Later, Lilith (in the form of a serpent) visits Noah’s wife and proclaims: