AMERICA'S LONGEST RUNNING CHRISTIAN SUPERHERO STRIP
* THE CARDINAL comic strip other Cardinal-related material are all ministries of Sunday Comics Ministries of Grayling, MI, a not-for-profit organization.
Kurt J. Kolka
Before there was Bibleman, there was The Cardinal! (Bibleman just had a better promotional agent.)
On March 4, 1990, cartoonist Kurt J. Kolka was granted the opportunity to create a Christian comic strip for a newspaper through an arrangement with his church. The chance was a dream come true for Kurt. "Cardinal Adventures" debuted in the Northern Star to an audience of about 20,000 readers across three counties in Northern Michigan.
His concept was to create a Christian superhero strip featuring a hero who put his faith in God as he ministered to others and put an end of to evil in his city. Like mainstream superheroes, The Cardinal had a cast of reoccurring characters to build the adventures and drama around. Each story had a biblical principle within it.
By summer 1992, The Cardinal began appearing in his own annual publication. This time the comic reached to 12 counties and eventually some Christian bookstores in other states across the Midwest. Northern Michigan is a tourist destination. The free "Cardinal Adventures" newspaper was placed in gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, bookstores and other places where it would be picked by tourists from other states, as well as local readers.
The printed comic ran for 16 years, until the Recession hit after 9-11. The print edition were replaced the next year by a webcomic, which rebooted the series. "The Cardinal" appeared on ComicsSherpa, a webpage of GoComics.com.
The Cardinal ran for another 10 years there, reaching readers around the world. Most of them were older, newspaper readers.
During his 16 years of appearing both in print and online, The Cardinal also appeared in many other publications and on other websites, both local and globally.
When GoComics closed down their ComicsSherpa site in 2018, Kurt took a break from cartooning. He continued to publish reprint books with Cardinal stories in them and have older Cardinal stories posted online at North Michigan Christian Voice.
In the meantime, Kurt has developed a new Cardinal series which will appear on this site, the North Michigan Christian Voice site and other places in the months to come. Watch for an announcement when the new series begins!