Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.
MANGA BIBLE and ACTION BIBLE - COOL!!
So a teacher friend of mine asked me if it would be cool to have these new ACTION BIBLES in her classroom. Along with this are also the MANGA BIBLES, also for potential classroom use. This is what I think.
The Action Bible is COOL! It's Bible stories written in Comic book/graphic novel format. It combines excellent artwork with fast paced story telling, which the comic book format makes possible. This is what varying frame sizes and flow of action permit. Its a cool read.
The Manga Bible is also cool. Again, its the Bible, only this time drawn as Manga art (a particular style of Japanese act, typical of Anime cartooning). Again we have visual action, drawn in a exciting way, making the stories of the Bible REALLY come to life. It's COOL!
What I like MOST about these, is that it makes the Bible's accessible, particularly to young people. These stories have always been cool and exciting - the first Superhero stories really - but over time and repetition, they're traditional format can lose some of that impact.
But these are VITAL stories. They're OUR stories. How important is it that, not only our young people, but EVERYONE, know these stories - and if these pictoral Bibles make that knowledge accessible, then in my view, this is a step in the right direction.
Nonetheless, they aren't perfect. It must stated that these can NEVER be considered REPLACEMENTS for the actual Bible. A great deal of the Bible is left out of both of them. Many details are omitted. This is okay, so long as its understood, and so long as these stories can lead one to take a look at the actual Bible and see what's there. As Bible suppliments, they're great. But they aren't Bibles.
Also individually, the Action Bible's artwork is good, but not great - not as good as some of the best comic artists out there, such as Quitely, Lee, Jurgens - but its better than most average comic books. Also strange is the placement of the book of Job, right near the beginning, given that Job was likely one of the last books written in the Old Testament.
I would say that the artwork is better in the Manga bible - its artwork style gives more room for interpretation and expression. But its all black and white, and the book itself is small - giving the reader less opportunity to enjoy it.
But I like them. My endorsement is no Episcopal Imprematur mind you - but as a Catholic Educator, I would endorse them, and encourage their use, to help teach kids about the Bible, and lead kids TO the Bible.
THE ACTION BIBLE. Text © 2010 David C. Cook. Illustrations © 2010 Sergio Cariello.
THE MANGA BIBLE. Concept and Art by Siku. Script by Akinsiku.© 2007.