The Catholic Cartoon by Joshua Masterson

“The Catholic Cartoon” is an online comic strip written and illustrated by 19-year-old Joshua Masterson of Volo, Ill. A product of Catholic homeschooling, part-time produce clerk and the fifth of 10 children, Mr. Masterson has attracted tens of thousands of followers on Instagram since his first comic in April, with each post regularly getting hundreds of likes. 


“It is just good, wholesome humor, which is something we do not have a lot of,” said Mr. Masterson in an interview with America, explaining his reasoning behind the strip. “[Nowadays] it is just a lot of crass, inappropriate, impure humor.”

There is also occasional commentary on current events of interest to Catholics. Mr. Masterson had Father Otto in one single-panel weekday comic celebrating the overturning of Roe v. Wade and a Sunday strip where Father Otto expresses concern over an altar server’s joke about a gun in church.

The widespread closure of newspapers—or their transition to website-only publications—has affected Catholic media as well as the industry as a whole, including many comics that traditionally depend on newspaper syndication.

In a media environment normally hostile to print storytelling, Mr. Masterson thinks he may have found an underexplored avenue to share his strip. “Churches still do bulletins [in] print, so I thought it would be cool to have my comic strip be in those bulletins, and it can be something a little special,” said Mr. Masterson.

So far, he is in talks with his local parish of St. Peter’s Church in Volo, Ill., and two others across the country to test the waters in having the strip appear once a month.

The cartoonist, still in his teens, has already developed a pleasing cartoon style.

America Media, “provider of editorial content for thinking Catholics,”
has a feature article about Joshua Masterson and his The Catholic Cartoon.

Joshua and his comic have a website with an archive.

© Joshua Masterson