Jesus and Mo is a four-panel webcomic that follows the lives of two modern-day prophets, named Jesus and Mohammed. The only other regular characters are an unnamed atheist barmaid who argues with the two when they visit their local pub, and Moses, who shows up from time to time.
Most of the strips satirise some aspect of religion such as specific myths, arguments for the existence of God, and recent news stories relating to religion. Unsurprisingly, due to the main characters, the satire tends to be focused on either Christianity or Islam, but often the jokes are more general.
The strip is the creation of a British author who uses the pseudonym Mohammed Jones for fear of reprisals. It started on 24 November 2005 and received a significant spike in readers the following February as a result of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.
This comic provides examples of:
- Author Tract: Go ahead, guess.
- Author Avatar: We'll give you three guesses as to whom.
- Bold Inflation
- Couch Gag: About the only thing that ever changes from comic to comic visually is what exactly Jesus and Mo are reading. Sometimes it's just the Bible or Koran, but often it includes a simple headline joke on its own.
- Culture Justifies Anything: A common opinion of Moses.
- Crossover Cosmology: The Christian version of Jesus alongside an Islamic prophet.
- Cut-and-Paste Comic: Just about everything has been reused, there are about four settings (Bed, Living Room, Bar, Park).
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Everyone calls her barmaid.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Subverted. Although Jesus and Mohammed are real, there is no evidence that God exists, or that Jesus or Mo have a divine nature.
- Jesus does still have those holes in his hands from the crucifixion, though...
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The main characters, to the point of sharing a bed. And occasionally bathtub.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: The barmaid is only seen as a speech balloon coming from behind the bar.
- Hypocritical Humour: Generally consisting of Jesus and Mo accusing the barmaid of something, then going on to do exactly that.
- In cases where the hypocrisy is so obvious as to need no punch line, it is punctuated with an irony meter breaking.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!Barmaid: "Mother Teresa was a hypocritical, cruel, fanatical, greedy, dried-up old prune."
Mo: "You have a point there."
Jesus: "She should have moisturised."
- Measuring the Marigolds: Jesus and Mo accuse the barmaid of this.
- Only Sane Man: The Barmaid, when she's present. If a strip aims to mock Islam, then the Christian Jesus is the voice of reason. If the strip targets Christianity, then Mohamed can be the voice of reason.
- Puff of Logic: In one strip, Jesus started to fade away when Mo pointed out all the other mythological saviors born of virgins, and that he might not have even been a historical person.
- Spoofed with Their Own Words: Jesus And Mo will often quote something recently said by a real life religious apologist, putting their words into the mouths of the title characters. The original article is generally linked to in the commentary, with the writer listed as "guest scriptwriter".
- Stylistic Self-Parody: The barmaid claims that no intelligent designer would draw the characters that badly.
- Shaped Like Itself: The barmaid considered talk of "made-up religions", "false prophets" and "imaginary deities" to be this.
- Strawman Political: The barmaid is always right, while Jesus and Mo are hateful idiots.
- They're idiots, certainly, but they're not drawn without any sympathy. Nor do they entirely lack self-knowledge.
- This may be, in some cases, merely a necessary side effect of a four panel joke comic. It's hard to fit in the full theist argument, the full atheist response, AND the joke in four panels.
- The barmaid is always right when she appears. If only Jesus and Mo are present, one of them will be right depending on which religion is being made fun of.
- Moses exists to represent more liberal theologians. His views are shot-down by whomever, or occasionally when obviously wrong or dishonest, adopted by Jesus or Mo.