Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Messiah: Origin by Matt Dorff, Mark Arey, Kai Carpenter

book cover
Messiah: Origin
by Matt Dorff (Adapter),
Kai Carpenter (Illustrator),
Mark Arey (Translator)

ISBN-13: 978-0310431619
Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: October 9, 2013

Source: Review copy from the publisher provided through Booksneeze.com.

Book Description from Booksneeze:
Origin, the first adventure in the Messiah graphic novel series, was translated by Father Mark Arey exclusively from ancient Gospel manuscripts. His work has produced a narrative harmony that weaves the four Gospels into a single continuous story, of which Origin is the opening chapter.

The magnificence of this foundational literature is realized through the exquisite and enchanting illustrations of artist Kai Carpenter. Adapted and edited into graphic novel form by Matt Dorff, with letters and title designs by Carlton Riffel, Origin illuminates the story of Jesus' birth and early life through gloriously detailed and inspiring imagery.

My Review:
Messiah: Origin is a graphic novel version of the Bible that covered Jesus' birth to right before Jesus is baptized by John. It's more like a series of paintings rather than a comic book, and the paintings are very expressive. Some illustrations are of Old Testament events that are being referred to or are related to the main gospel text, but most are of the events occurring in the gospel narrative.

Some details in a few of those illustrations are not historically accurate, but I suspect most people won't notice or care. It's certainly more accurate than most children's illustrated Bibles. I was also uncertain about what theology was intended by some of the pictures, especially the use of stars and comets in pictures referring to God.

The text was translated directly from the ancient manuscripts, and the text was directly from the Bible, which is not true for most graphic novels. The authors combined the accounts from the four gospels to make one chronological account.

Since the author used words like "epiphany," "queried," and "blazoned," I suspect the target audience is adults rather than children. The artwork also seems more worshipful and sometimes symbolic rather than intended to engage children.

My only real negative comment about this book is the cost. When you can buy the awesome The Action Bible by Sergio Cariello--a hardback graphic book covering the entire Bible and suitable for both kids and adults--for about $18, why would someone spend the suggest price of $20 on a slim paperback volume covering only a few chapters of the Bible? Luckily for Zondervan, most bookstores are selling Origin for about $13, which is more reasonable.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt provided by Christianbook.com.

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