Thinking Out Loud

November 2, 2009

Genesis for the Comic Book Crowd

Filed under: books, cartoons — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:57 am

Time Magazine began the week joining other media who have noted the publication of The Book of Genesis by 66-year old American comic book illustrator Robert Crumb aka R. Crumb. In a November 1st online story, the magazine said:

R. Crumb - The Book of GenesisCrumb’s manuscript is — for a man who has said he doesn’t believe Genesis is God’s word — oddly reminiscent of those produced by monks before printing presses: a faithful, verse for verse copy, painstakingly rendered. He hardly needed to change a thing; Genesis offers a smorgasbord of the kind of behavior Crumb is given to portraying: the persistent, colorful, depressing failure of humans to not give in to their baser desires. It’s sufficiently literal that cultural conservatives could hardly be offended, but it has more than enough supernatural events, betrayals and epic storylines to satisfy the comic book reader.

Despite the above, the book is not selling through comic book stores, Crumb’s traditional core market.  That might have to do with the content and the price; the book retails for $24.99 U.S. in hardcover.

The story also links to a review by the more Evangelical Ben Witherington III, who writes at Beliefnet:

…This super-lapsed Catholic has decided to depict scenes from all 50 chapters of Genesis, with the emphasis on verbatim. Those of us who knew a bit about his snarky past were holding our collective breath… The kudos for this book are also coming in from other quarters–Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and chronicler of pop culture thinks Crumb is successfully translating the Bible into a new medium… In the end Crumb after long debating how to depict God (as a bright light???) fell back on the old stand by–God as the old white guy with the long white beard. I wonder what the Mormons would say about this Genesis.,

Contrast this with Crumb’s other works which include the Hot ‘n Heavy collection which introduced readers to a number of characters including the not-so-religious Fritz The Cat.

Don’t look for copies of this at Family Christian Bookstores, though it would be interesting to see if they would order it for a customer.

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