'The Painter of Pancakes' transformation

I'm a big fan of brinner: breakfast for dinner. When I found out about this addictive website called Jim's panckes, I lost a good 15 minutes of productivity. Let's just say pancakes could be categorized under "a few of my favorite things."

So I was excited to read more about Dan Lacey, "The Painter of Pancakes," even though I might not display his art in our family room. Lacey is well-known for creating portraits politicians with pancakes, including ones of the Obama naked on a unicorn.

Jon Tevlin of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune profiled Lacey in one of his recent columns, focusing on Lacey's battle with Orly Taitz, a woman who is attempting to prove that President Obama was not born in the United States.

There's one section, though, that made me pause because of its lack of clarity.

Before his pancake paintings gave him notoriety, Lacey was a conservative evangelical Christian who drew an online cartoon called "Faithmouse," which promoted conservative ideas that often angered liberals.

Not anymore. "I quit," said Lacey of his political leanings. "I sent in my notice and no longer belong to the Christian right."

I have all sorts of questions about this. Did Lacey leave his faith, and/or did he stop being a conservative? Did his "Faithmouse" cartoon have anything to do with faith?

I looked around Lacey's website a little bit and found some more details.

Faithmouse is the name of a Christian cartoon I began drawing about a decade ago. A few years ago I had something of a mental and spiritual breakdown, decided to make the cartoon Catholic, and then I decided to paint instead. I still draw the cartoon a little. My paintings sometimes horrify my family.

So is Lacey Catholic now? He links to a quote in about some of his old cartoons.

I like his Faithmouse comics a lot, especially after Dan started to expand beyond his original conservative mission and explored themes like the sexual fantasies of gay Catholic clergy, Faithmouse's naughty sister, etc. Dan doesn't do much Faithmouse now; his pop culture paintings (pancakes, naked Obama, etc.) are so popular, I guess he doesn't have much time for the comic.

So what contributed to his mental and spiritual breakdown; is he religious now? What's with the (seemingly respectful) portraits of Billy Graham and Mother Theresa? Does his religious affiliations still motivate him at all, even if he's left the "religious right"? I know this is a column, but I would expect something reported to give a little bit more explanation if Tevlin feels its relevant to the story. Otherwise, it's more confusing than revealing.

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