Nerd of God

As a kid, Ian Christiansen spent more time playing video games and watching Star Wars than he did studying his Bible. When his parents suddenly decided to take him to Sunday school for a little religious education, the line separating the Death Star and Hell blurred. Jesus and He-Man were interchangeable.

“I would come home having just learned about the parting of the Red Sea, and immediately re-cast my heroes from cartoons, fantasy films and video games in all the main parts because they seemed more immediate, more thrilling, more powerful and terrifying than all those people in robes sandal-stepping their way across the verses of Exodus,” Christiansen says.

Christiansen interprets that childhood whimsy through his art in “Book of Dork II,” which is on display and free to view at SideBar Phoenix. He’s a bit of an expert on blending the real world with cartoons, as a former illustrator and current freelancer for Disney. (Though his show is notably more edgy than the phallic palaces in The Little Mermaid.)

Fri., Oct. 7, 7 p.m.-midnight; Oct. 8-31, 4 p.m.-2 a.m., 2011
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Christina Caldwell