Incarnation and The Christ Vol. 1
Kingstone Media has two versions of the of the birth and infancy of Christ. The first is the Incarnation written by Art Ayris with art (pencils and inks) by Claude St. Aubin. Superb inks by Randy Emberlin and bright lively colors by Ronda Pattison combine to make this book a beautiful visual package. This is, perhaps, the book I like most of the Kingstone line. St. Aubin does excellent spacious layouts that elegantly tells the story of the Nativity. The pace is right on and the amount of dialog doesn’t overwhelm the visuals with excessive wordiness. In this book are short historical paragraphs about the main characters. The text of the Christmas story from Luke and Matthew and brief creator bios round out this issue. While a second issue is suggested (“The God-Man”) according to Ayris this series was discontinued.
The Christ Vol 1 goes over largely the same material presented in the Incarnation. Ben Avery provides the script and Sergio Cariello pencils and inks with Zach Mathesy covering the lettering and coloring for this book. While the Incarnation is very elegant (even monumental) in its visual appeal Cariello’s art is more earthy (perhaps more personable) and Avery’s script emphasizes the humanness of the events. At the conclusion of the main story is a 8-page “The Magi’s Story” that delves into the background of the Wise Men who journeyed from the East and visited Jesus as a small child.
I’m hard pressed to find out which version I like best. Both the Incarnation and The Christ are terrific and are worth collecting and reading and passing along.
In 2006 Mike Pearl of No Greater Joy ministries produced a graphic story volume called Good and Evil which selected numerous stories from the Old and New Testaments and Church History. This wasn’t a strict Bible adaptation comic but more of an extended gospel tract that presented God’s plan of redemption (See my review in AO #137). The Beginning, Moses, Exodus and Elijah are all excerpts from Pearl’s Good and Evil book. There are plus and minuses to this approach. One plus is that we see Danny Bulanadi’s excellent artwork in color. Clint Cearley does an excellent job with the coloring which enhances Bulanadi’s pencils and inks. This is especially noteworthy in the Moses and Exodus comics. In the Moses comic Cearley effectively uses a brown cast through the story to convey the oppressive nature of the Israelite enslavement in Egypt.
The Revelation comic is written by Art Ayris and since Danny Bulanadi also does the pencils and inks this book looks like an excerpt from Good and Evil —but isn’t. While Bulanadi does a masterful job on the artwork the book both in the written adaptation and visuals doesn’t live up to its potential. Trying to shoe horn the epoch changing cataclysmic events of the Apocalypse into a 32-page comic book with its awesome and spectacular visual images is an exercise in futility. Ayris should have given this book a much greater play visually and allowed Bulanadi to do his masterpiece of his career. Some years ago Canadian artist Leo Bok produced an extended comics adaptation of the same material which allowed for the visuals to capture the truly cosmic and universe changing happenings of the future when God sits up his eternal kingdom.