In his "Letter to Artists," Pope John Paul II put liturgical art as perhaps the highest expression of the creative gift. But he noted that all art has value as it pursues the artist's vocation of bringing beauty to the world. He even noted that "bad art" has a place, it shows us a world without God.
Artistic expression covers a lot of ground. I have never been one to suggest that one expression is better than another. The Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles at Pentecost, giving them gifts that allowed them to speak to the people of the world in their own language, in a language they know by heart. The Holy Spirit also gives artists gifts that allow them to speak to people in a language they know by heart. Everyone will be drawn back to God in different ways. Some will be drawn by the priest and his sermons, others will be drawn by the artist that reflects the splendor of God and brings hope and joy to His people.
Different artists have different skills to reach different people. And as we heard from St. Paul, there are different gifts but the same Spirit. Just as no one can say Jesus is Lord without the working of the Holy Spirit, no one can paint Jesus as Lord without the working of the Holy Spirit. That makes all images of Jesus as Christ and Lord valid.
We should not dismiss any artistic fruit as trivial or irrelevant. Liturgical artists lift people's hearts and minds to God during the liturgy, landscape and portrait artists have the opportunity to depict their subjects glowing with the light of God. And then there are cartoonists. I have heard from cartoonists who sometimes think their work has no value in the service of God. They could not be more wrong. The best way to illustrate this is with an example. Charles Shulz, the creator of Peanuts, was also a devout Christian. He created a number of Christian cartoons that were collected in a couple of different volumes. This is one of his cartoons.
In addition to making us smile this cartoon opens the door for a deeper reflection on relationships, marriage, and commitment. This also turns our hearts and minds to God in a unique way.
All of us have been given gifts to bring scattered humanity back together. There are people who can only be reached by our unique use of these gifts. If a single-panel cartoon can cause even one person to reflect upon their lives in relationship to God then it is invaluable.