For over two years, visitors to the Answers in Genesis website have enjoyed a laugh (and received biblically sound teaching) on Mondays when a new After Eden debuts. Today, we’re celebrating the 100th After Eden cartoon!
Before After Eden
Dan Lietha, the talent behind After Eden (and many of the other visual aids Answers in Genesis uses) began working for AiG on a part-time basis in 1995. Two years later, he joined the AiG staff full-time.
In the summer of 1999, Dan, who had been illustrating a monthly cartoon (Creation Wise) for the Answers Update over the past several years, began thinking about doing a web-based weekly cartoon. He wanted to provide an entertaining way to illustrate the creation/gospel message and draw readers to the AiG website, so that they could find answers to many of the questions facing today’s Christian.
After rejecting several ideas, he landed on “After Eden” as the name for his new cartoon feature as it succinctly orients the reader to its premise—dealing with life after Adam sinned (although a few have featured Adam and Eve in their “pre-Fall” state, too!). After Eden premiered (left) in January 2000.
Dan compares After Eden and CreationWise, “CreationWise is my meaty, hit-the-reader-between-the-eyes, ‘sermon’ cartoon. After Eden is the entertaining ‘candy’ cartoon that still has nutritional value!”
Some have criticized the use of cartoons by a ministry with a serious, scriptural message. To these critics, Dan responds:
The purpose of After Eden (or any of my images) is not to make fun of, be disrespectful of, or mock the biblical truths they portray (although I realize there are many irreverent and unconscionable cartoons in circulation). My heart as a Christian cartoonist is to convey a biblical message in a humorous way, perhaps causing people to say, “Hmm, I never thought about it that way before.”
Cartoons can be very successful communication tools and we find in the AiG ministry that they sometimes reach people faster than words alone. The Bible itself commends laughter (Proverbs 15:13, 15, 17:22; Job 8:21; Psalm 126:2).
Here’s What After Eden Means to You . . .
The response to After Eden (which consistently ranks in the top ten pages viewed on the Answers in Genesis website) has been overwhelmingly positive, as the following representative comments show:
- “Great cartoon! Your style is creative and hard hitting, but gets the point across without bludgeoning the reader. I look forward to more.”
- “I’ve been trying to bale hay, but every time the forecast is for sunshine we get rain. Your cartoon [see “Accurate Science?” at right] fits my situation perfectly. Thank You.”
- “I would like to let you know how I appreciate your comic After Eden. It brings the truth of creation and the need for good science across in an easy to understand way. I want to encourage you to continue to use your gift for the glory of God.”
- “It is so great to see your weekly cartoon on the Answers in Genesis website! My name is Rachel and I am a freshman in high school this year. School is hard spiritually because evolution is so crammed down our throats. Answers in Genesis gives me the answers I need to uphold my faith in God and your cartoon brings some humor to a matter that is actually very serious. Thank you for letting God use you in this way!”
- “I just wanted to say that your cartoons are hilarious . . . and the best part is they’re true. Keep up the good work.”
- “I really liked your latest website cartoon [see “He Was There,” right], with the baby Jesus answering the well-known Ken Ham question with, ‘Yes! I was there!’ It distills a lot of much-needed Bible teaching into a small space. Besides that, it made me laugh for a good minute. I hope it will be in your high-resolution archive soon, because I want to use it in my talks. Keep up your good work!”
From church bulletins in America to sermons on Genesis in New Zealand, the Lord continues to use After Eden to drive home the truth that we truly live “After Eden.” Dan concludes, “God has been most gracious in allowing me to make my living by creating tools that cause viewers to be confronted with the truth in His Word.”
We trust you will continue to enjoy After Eden in the months and years ahead.