The Unexpected Adventures of Supermonk

Yesterday I said that mindfulness makes us all superheroes. I didn’t realize how true this was, until… this cartoon by Hungarian cartoonist (whose name is?) appeared, inspired by the teachings of Ajahn Brahm.

39 thoughts on “The Unexpected Adventures of Supermonk

  1. wow I’m so glad you liked it :D

    I made this comic a year ago for a Buddhist class I was attending at my university

    unfortunately the teacher didn’t appreciate it as much as you did and I almost failed the class

    still I didn’t mind, I had a lot of fun drawing this, Ajahn Brahm’s teachings have helped me trough hell literally

    I am also translating his book, Opening the Door of your Heart, but I can’t find a publisher in Hungary :( they either find it “too philosophical” or “simply not serious enough”…

    • Hi, umm, is it ‘Sed’?

      Great to hear from you. Please tell me that you’re studying Buddhism at the University of Awesome! It would be so cool, it must be true.

      As for rejections by publishers, Harry Potter was rejected 12 times, so there. Just put it on Lulu!

    • :D the name is Richard, my blog is about school life and the University of Awesome is a fictional institution, where the story takes place.

      I never knew Harry Potter was rejected so many times :) Now I can try looking for more publishers, because the worst thing that can happen is that I break the world record.

      And last night’s dhamma talk was one of the best ones so far!

    • Hi Richard, i thought the comic was great and funny. I loved the fact that there are nice Dhamma teachings too! Honestly, the part where supermonk was kind to the ‘evil guy’ & praising him on the death ray nearly brought a tear to my eyes! Reminds me that hatred never ceases with hatred, but by love. Then the evil guy turned nice! The rest of the comic made me laugh :) so nice mixture of entertainment and Dhamma :)

    • Dear Sedthh,

      Knowing Ajahn Brahm well I am sure he would have no problems with that; in fact, I think he’d be thrilled! But just to make sure I’ll ask him in person and let you know in a couple of days time.

      With metta.

    • I have checked with Ajahn Brahm and he is quite happy for you to illustrate the translation, cover and/or content. The Indonesian version of this book was actually illustrated by a local Indonesian artist, and it then went on to become a bestseller. Ajahn Brahm was right there on the bookshelves with Dan Brown and Harry Potter! It’s all about successfully adapting a product for the local market. So go for it and see what happens.

      With metta.

    • Dear Bhikkhu Brahmali,

      I’ve found your talk about filial piety to be very touching and useful. Can I please ask for a dhamma talk? If you have the time, could you please give a talk about how one could/should spread the dhamma to people who are not interested in buddhism? I am trying hard to teach my parents some basic dhamma, but I often end up just pressing my ideas on them, and annoy them. I do not want to convert them, but I can clearly see some of the problems they will have to face again and again, because of their attitude towards the world and ways of doing things. However, it is almost impossible to talk about guilt, forgiveness and letting things go, if one does not believe in rebirth, because one could easily perceive the world as a dog-eat-dog one, where we only have one go and that’s it.

      Thank you very much, in advance!

  2. Hi Richard

    not sure if it has been noted here yet, but Ajahn Brahm absolutely loved supermonk – he printed out some copies to show all the Bodhinyana monks & also people in Perth, at Dhammaloka. He’s in Melbourne now for the Vesak celebrations & I can guarantee that AB will be showing it to all & sundry there. I put the comic strip into a PDF document for AB, and he has been emailing it all over the world. So you have made AB very happy – good karma for you!

    BTW – I also thought it was terrific – Supermonk is one of the funniest & coolest things I’ve read in a long time. Congrats.

  3. Dear Michael,

    Something wrong with my computer, I cannot see anything. :(

    Could you please ask Dania to send the Supermonk files to me, too?

    Much metta,

    dheerayupa

  4. Hi Sedth

    …and that is probably not an easy feat.

    The only little thing I was a bit uncomfortable with was the female ‘sterotype’ ie the blonde with big …. yeah; it would be great to have some strong women quietly venture into your adventures some how, some day.

    You may risk loosing some of your audience but it would be great to be able to leave sexual sterotypes for the talentless who can only sell their stuff on the `sex sells’ mantra.

    In alot of the shows on TV (at least in the West) the women are actually martial arts experts and are heros too.

    Kind Regards

    Daisy

  5. That’s an awesome comic – so funny, it made my day :) And may I respectfully add my 2 cents on the “female stereotype” – it didn’t bother me at all. To me it’s just a comic strip, with stereotypical caricatures after all. (Look at supermonk! And the pointy chin and whiskers on the bad guy. IMHO the Damsel in Distress is well drawn! Good work, Richard!

    Maybe for readers who feel that the female strength is not well represented, you can draw a SuperNun comic next! ;)

  6. On a note about female stereotypes in this comic:

    If Super Monk, the Evil Guy, and the Butler defied their stereotypes but the women in the comic still had large breasts and blond hair,then I would say that there’s a problem. But since everyone played their role and became stereotypes as well, then yes, we, as the reader, can look into this phenomena as having substance, or rather, meaning something greater than what it merely is.

    So, Daisy, the entertainment industry isn’t just one big joke at all. That’s jumping to a conclusion without substantial evidence.

    However, if this does not please, always remember: this too shall pass.

    By the way, for whatever it’s worth, I really enjoyed your comic and would love to see more coming.

  7. Hey Richard,

    You have done an awesome job with this Supermonk comic, I got to know about it from Ajahn Brahm himself during a retreat in Phuket in June.

    Its funny and entertaining! I like the way you weaved in the Dhamma and classic “Let it go”, “This too will pass”.

    Well done! :)

  8. yes indeed actually to be singled out above all others by Brahm and be a ‘favourite’ and treated as special is in itself amazing – especially considering all the effort and work other people do and have done for years and years –

    Maybe he should become a Vajrayana Buddhists – you know they take their special little favourites and nuture and spoil them rotten and treat the rest like they should be lucky just to have access to the special little favourites -

    • Dhamma,

      Shirley didn’t say that Ajahn Brahm was singling anyone out as a favourite!

      She just said she heard about the comic from him while she was on retreat. I can imagine him telling all the retreatants all about it…all about the comic that is! He does have a tendency to give credit where credit is very much due.

      I know he genuinely enjoyed the comic. Not long after it was ‘outed’ here, I was at Dhammaloka one Saturday afternoon after the mediation and as I was passing by a group of folk sitting at a table (having a post meditation cuppa tea and “catch up”) on my way into the Library, Ajahn was coming out of the Library. He had a copy of the comic in his hand and with a rather delighted expression said to me, “Have you seen this?” Grinning broadly, I responded with, “Yeah, it’s really good!” I went on into the library and he went on to show the folks at the table, who I found like to sit there and exchange jokes ( ! :) )

      Ajahn doesn’t have favourites. He treats everyone one the same. I rarely get a chance to speak with him but when I do, he treats me with the same kindness and respect that I’ve seen him treat everyone else with.

      With Metta

  9. I agree with Kanchaha. I don’t think Ajahn Brahm has favourites; however, whoever is talking with Ajahn Brahm will feel that they are ‘special’ or ‘important’. It is the effect we all have when we encounter Ajahn Brahm since he does what he preaches:

    Q: When is the most important time?
    A: Now

    Q: Who is the most important person?
    A: The one you are with.

    Q: What is the most important thing to do?
    A: To care.

    Find time to talk with him and you will understand unconditional kindness. He accepts you no matter who you are or what you have done.

  10. Dear Dhamma,

    I forgot to add that I was at the retreat in Phuket. He simply mentioned what happened (someone wrote a comic) with a big smile. He did not show that this person or that person is his special disciple or favourite.

    However, I would like to thank the comic writer for making our beloved Ajahn happy.

    We all are special, and so are you.

    With metta,

    Dheerayupa

  11. By the way – is there a rule that says if you ordain someone you have to live with them – well if there isn’t there should be – that way all the men who ordain the women THEY think are so great can live with them..

    New Buddhist rule: you ordain them you live with them

    • Geez what happens to anicca, dukkha, anatta?

      or should it be nicca, sukkha, atta?

      Psalm 24
      For a solemn entry into the sanctuary

      Mt 5:8 The clean hands and pure of heart, 4
      whose heart is not set on vanities,
      who does not swear an oath in order to deceive.

      Peace _/\_ (i’m running for cover now;-p)

    • I actually thought the Suttas were really boring at first but I am not too sure now..no one would want to make a joke of them or take them too lightly… but actually characters like Annicca the Vulture Killer or son of the Vulture Killer sound abit like they are staight out of a comic book..although possibly using the suttas for comic books is not allowed ….but honestly with characters with names like that maybe the Buddha would have been a good comic writer himself!

      I bet even the most talented comic book writers would be hard put to come up with a Annica the Son of the Vulture whatever.

      When is the next installment.

      Best wishes

  12. Hey,
    I really enjoyed reading your comic combined with lovely teachings of Ajahn Brahm – good job!!! :-)
    Looking forward to more :-)

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