Friday, January 08, 2016

Comic Book Hero Bible

The Lion ComicBook Hero Bible, by Siku, Richard Thomas & Jeff Anderson
(Lion Hudson, 2015), hb. 192 pp.

This is Bible story book meets Marvel Comics. According to the publisher, this is the first Bible retelling to engage with and challenge the superhero genre. Here is an excerpt of the publishers description:

The Lion Comic Book Hero Bible is a dynamic expression of the Bible's depth and power, produced in the style of Marvel Comics. You've heard of Spiderman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Now meet Earthman, Lawman, Warrior Man, and many others. With dynamic illustration using a range of styles, Siku (Old Testament) and Jeff Anderson (New Testament) bring the Bible stories alive for a new and graphically sophisticated generation.”

The Bible does indeed have grand, epic stories and this fact is often missed by potential Bile readers. I heartily welcome efforts to help people grasp the power of the biblical stories. This retelling is generally faithful to the text, though of course it must be selective and move fast. At points I think it captures well the dramatic realities of the story. However, in general, I fear the truths of the text get lost in the medium. Is it really helpful to portray Deborah as a warrior with a spear known as “the Iron Maiden”(that's her just to the right of center on the cover picture)? Were the giants referred to in the OT, including Goliath, animalistic? It is not always clear when they present a character in a factual way or take some artistic license for another purpose. To their credit, they do make clear that Jesus is the ultimate hero of the biblical story.

In the end, I cannot recommend the book. It could be fine, but it manages to over-dramatize. I would commend instead The Picture Bible, which I have commented on previously.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Job in Poetry and Pictures

Illustrated by Todd Shaffer
(P&R, 2015), pb., 32 pp.

If you have read this blog for any time you will know that Douglas Bond is one of my family’s favorite authors. I had the opportunity to read the text of this new book a good while back, so I was eager to see the finished product. It did not disappoint.

Bond faithfully retells the story of Job in poetic form. The rhyme and rhythm makes the reading even more enjoyable as well as memorable. My younger children loved it! Then, Shaffer has done a good job capturing the feel of the story in his illustrations. The only character who Is not presented in the appearance of the Ancient Near East is Satan who looks like a mad professor from today!

The book closes with an original hymn by Bond which makes the Christological connection with Job’s expectant hope of a Redeemer. There is also in the back a list of difficult words explained, a quiz, and some questions for thought.

This is a great book for families- fun, educational and enriching. We warmly commend it to you.