Saturday, 17 November 2018

Finnian and the Seven Mountains: A Review

I have been a fan of comic books since boyhood. After my Father died, we had little money for such luxuries, but my 'brother from another mother', my best friend, Dwight Valentine was luckier. He was able to afford every DC Comic issued, and he bought them all.

As I grew older, I continued to read comic books, discovering translations of Tintin and Asterix as an adult. So, when I saw this  new comic about St. Finnian of Clonard, I 'purchased' it immediately on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

Now, before I get to a discussion of the story and artwork, I have a confession to make. I am totally confused! As I mentioned in my review of  The Last Monks of Skellig Michael both these books are by Philip Kosloski, and I probably should have read them in reverse order, since the story of Finnian takes place on Skellig Michael, so familiarity with the island would have helped appreciate the comic. 

However in the comic book, Finnian, who I assume is the Saint Finnian of the review in the National Catholic Register, begins his quest on Skellig Michael, where the Abbot assigns a monk named Brendan to be his 'Navigator'. Assuming, as seems logical, that this is St Brendan the Navigator, we've got some problems.

First of all, St Finnian of Clonard founded the monastic settlement on Skellig Michael, which makes it difficult for a young Finnian to arrive at a monastic settlement already on the island. And according to his Life, St Finnian taught the 'Twelve Apostles of Ireland' in his monastery of Clonard, of whom St Brendan the Navigator was one. So, we seem to have a young Finnian arriving at what seems to be a well established monastic settlement that he founded, and an older monk, whom he taught, assigned as his navigator. 

Another, very serious problem is dating. The introduction to the comic book opens, 'Terror reigns in Ireland in the ninth century.' I'm sure it did, being the time of the Viking raids, but both St Finnian and St Brendan the Navigator had been dead for three centuries by then!

At any rate, since this is issue #1, I'll be certain to buy the next issue, if only to try to make sense of the story!

The story looks to be shaping up into an adventure story, which is not at all unlikely. The Irish monks of the period, whether the sixth or the ninth century, were known to go on 'pilgrimage' teaching as they went, until founding a monastery in which to settle down. Thus, the Monastery of St Gall, founded by an Irishman in Switzerland.

The artwork is well done. I am reminded of the Classics Illustrated series of comic books that were popular with nerdy lads like me in the 1950s, and also of the Sunday newspaper comic strip Prince Valiant, probably more popular when I was a boy than now.

I am delighted to see this series come out! As I said in my introduction to the review I shared, 'I love this! As the Culture of Death uses all forms of media, so should we.'

If you like comic books, and are interested in supporting Catholic writers and artists, I suggest you buy this first issue of the series, and keep an eye out for issue #2.


  1. Thanks for your review! Just as a clarification, our intention was to make a comic book "inspired" by St. Finnian, St. Brendan, and the monks of Skellig Michael. The genre is "historical-fiction" meets "fantasy-adventure." I am not sure why the NCRegister labeled it as a comic about St. Finnian, as I didn't tell them it was.

    Anyway, thanks again for your support and please forgive us if the history is a little "off"!!

    God Bless!

    1. Thank you, Sir! I am no longer confused, and I look forward to the next issue!


Comments are subject to deletion if they are not germane. I have no problem with a bit of colourful language, but blasphemy or depraved profanity will not be allowed. Attacks on the Catholic Faith will not be tolerated. Comments will be deleted that are republican (Yanks! Note the lower case 'r'!), attacks on the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ (I know he's a heretic and a Protector of Perverts, and I definitely want him gone yesterday! However, he is Pope, and I pray for him every day.), the legitimacy of the House of Windsor or of the claims of the Elder Line of the House of France, or attacks on the legitimacy of any of the currently ruling Houses of Europe.