Prayer Requested, Christian Northeast. (Drawn & Quarterly) $15.95
Google the title of Northeast’s new book and you’ll find it, together with a few hundred thousand websites offering a few million opportunities to request prayer. Northeast’s book, not unlike Kevin Huizenga’s Sermons #1 and Sermons #2, plumbs real church life to find inspiration. Northeast’s is perhaps further from personal experience, as his back cover and first page attest: “Prayers I found on the internet.” What’s most telling about the book, which contains some truly incredulous requests—including my favorites, “Please pray for my financial situation to improve, I need a car and insurance, also to see my kids, and I need a set of Uillean bagpipes,” and “Please can someone pray God helps me find a job which is suited to my abilities and that I can do? Ideally a cloakroom attendent.”—is how common the average request is, when contextualized in contemporary religious America. Northeast’s drawings, collages, and lettering are consistently interesting. They manage to be humorous without crossing into overbearing condescension. My suggestion for the sequel’s title? God’s Eye is on the Sparrow.