Saturday 23 November 2013

When the Bible is a comic.

I am not sure at what age I started identifying the Bible as a brick volume of thin pages filled with two columns of small type. This is what it is, isn't it? Generally speaking, the Bibles that I have owned all looked almost the same - whatever the language. Medieval Bibles, of course, are in a completely different class - and that is not only for the quirk in the margins and fantasy monsters in the borders.

Here is 12th century manuscript Bible of Stephen Harding . Folio 13 features the story in a format of a comic. I have not managed to find out much about the manuscript - it is held at Bibliothèque municipale de Dijon and some scanned folios can be found HERE.

Here are some more recent renditions of the Bible as a comic.

Manga Bible - a spectacular publication of the best manga drawing. 
A five-volume manga series based on the Christian Bible created under the direction of the non-profit organization Next, a group formed by people from the manga industry. Though first published in English, the books are originally written in Japanese and each volume is illustrated by a Japanese manga artist. Each book is adapted from the Bible by Hidenori Kumai.

And then there are some comics.
A few are rather edgy/risque/fresh, while the others are roughly interchangeable (to my comic-untrained-eye) that use the same style as all those other Christian books promoted in the windows of the Christian booksellers.

by Robert Crumb (very restrained!)
 Nominated for three 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 

 by Nestor Redondo - DC Comics (1975)

 by Nestor Redondo - DC Comics (1975)

by Jeff Anderson and Mike Maddox
(resembles DK encyclopaedia, unfortunately)

by Sergio Cariello
(whatever the reviewers may say, it still looks like the cover has been designed
by somebody who spent too much time in the Christian bookshops
- and who loves Photoshop as himself)

"This action-packed rendition of the world's most awesome story 
will capture and draw you into all the excitement" 

by Silver Dolphin Books (looks interchangeable with many others)

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