In a visually saturated world, sometimes the simple things are the most striking.
The first time I saw a Dharma Comic, I didn’t notice the art work. I was browsing online, and saw a picture called “The Path to Trust.” It demonstrated the internal conflict of falling in love: the process of fearing, letting go and becoming open. In a few boxes, it conveyed a beautiful spiritual insight from a very human perspective. It was a blend I’d never seen visually represented before and it moved me.
Leah Pearlman, the creator of Dharma Comics, became an artist unintentionally. The ideas for her comics started to come to her in “download” fashion (“download” being a term used in spiritual circles to describe an idea or thought that comes from the intuitive, creative mind, as opposed to thinking mind), and initially she didn’t have any artistic skills or experience. All she could draw was matchstick figures, so that’s what she did.
The more comics she did, the more refined the characters became. Looking at them now, the characters are completed nuanced, expressive.
“A value I hold very dear” Leah says, “is ‘See what is, and honour it.’ If you want to go somewhere or get better, you first really have to honour where you are, and then take the next little step. “
This message applies to Leah’s willingness to begin drawing before being an artist, but is also reflected in the message of the comics.
The comics are rooted in that space between understanding spiritual concepts and being able to put them into practice—an in-between space that is rarely honoured and yet is the place most of us on spiritual paths are at. It’s that place where the light and shadow meet… and it is a very real space.
Perhaps that’s why the comics make me feel so much.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Yolanda Barker
Editor: Renée Picard
Illustrations: via the author with permission from artist