By Orson Peter Carrara

Spiritism in comic books, a new way of taking the Teachings to children

Marcelo Tibúrcio Vanni (photo) is an active member of the Spiritist Movement in the Brazilian city of Niterói, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. He graduated at the EBA-UFRJ Arts School and has helped disseminate Spiritism in an innovative way, through the production of comic books, which are short and very accessible, as he explains in the following interview: 

How was your first contact with Spiritism? 

I sought Spiritism because of health problems that were affecting my family.

Which aspect of Spiritism strikes you the most and why? 

I think it’s the atmosphere of empathy surrounding it. I’ve always felt embraced in all Spiritist Centres. 

How did you come up with the idea of producing comic books or graphic novels to help disseminate Spiritism? 

It’s a long story. I was really keen to help the cause through my work and then I looked for a media I was familiar with, a newspaper (O Correio Espírita). I eventually began illustrating the articles that were published. And at some stage the editor, Saulo de Tarso, asked me to prepare a whole page only with pastimes. One day I suggested adding a cartoon and then some comic strips. So, without giving it much thought, I began drawing cartoons for texts written by Irmão X, the spirit. The final product was very good and I began publishing a blog called Quadrinhos do Invisível (Cartoons of the Invisible). I produced some 15 comic strips in 15 months. Then I tried and failed to get the authorisation of the Brazilian Spiritist Federation, FEB, to produce a graphic novel based on Nosso Lar (Our Home). Someone then told me that those works were now in the public domain and I went ahead, producing the first Quadrinhos Fraternos (Fraternal Comics). To cover the printing costs, I sold ads at the bottom of the strips to Correio Espírita and other institutions. I was then able to publish the first issue. We were in 2017.

Can readers find that material online? 

I sell the comic books in print, posting them to any location in Brazil. The ones I sell online are the PDFs of the pastimes. They are more disposable and can be printed locally by the Spiritist Centres according to their needs and demands. Some comic books have been adapted to videos, which are available on YouTube. If you want to watch them, click here-3.

How do you select the content? 

I can only work with books that are in the public domain. So I focus on The Gospel According to Spiritism and The Spirits’ Book. My inspiration comes from the Gospel in the Home, which I’ve done for many years. I write down the passages that could potentially be adapted into comics as I read passages from these books. 

Do you do all the work yourself or do you get help from other people?

I do everything, but very often my wife helps me with the manual work, which consists of organising the comic books to be posted. 

What have you learned from this experience?

I get a lot of attention from the readers. It’s interesting because as an illustrator I’ve always had to deal with all kinds of people. But in Spiritism the interaction I get with readers and clients is always a great source of joy. 

What else would you like to share with our readers from your years in Spiritism?

Even though I wasn't born into a Spiritist family, I’ve always believed that in the survival of the spirit. My father, who was a cobbler, used to tell me in a very natural way a story. He was once stuck with a technical problem, something he wasn’t able to solve. He then met my grandfather in a spiritual unfoldment, in a dream. My grandfather, who had passed away, had never taught him the job in life. He did it in that dream. My father went back to the workshop the next morning and was able to do the job. So, despite my initial fears, I eventually adapted well to Spiritism. 

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

The Quadrinhos Fraternos (Fraternal Comics) aim to fill a gap, which is to provide good quality, easy-to-read material to help the dissemination of Spiritism. The material produced is faithful to the original books of Spiritism and can be accessed in any location. That’s why I produce very thin, four-page long, comic books. To avoid tiring the reader, the comics can be used during lessons and can be easily understood by a wide range of people, including children who’ve had little education or deaf people. A comic book can be read anywhere. It doesn’t require electric light, a radio or TV set or a mobile phone to be accessed. So my goal is to deliver the message of the five books of Kardec to the highest possible number of people at the lowest possible cost. 

Leave us with your final thoughts.
Thanks for this opportunity! My WhatsApp is + 55 21 995570536. My Instagram is @quadrinhosfraternos. I als have an online shop - click here-1 and I’m on Facebook - click here-2-, Twitter and YouTube - click here-3.

You can browse the catalogue by clicking here.

We’re not the Disney studios. I’m on my own. So I will be the one interacting with the readers who contact us through the internet. 



Leonardo Rocha -



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita