This is written by Marvin Olasky, the editor in chief of World Magazine. This is a true graphic novel that starts out slowly--setting the stage. It is a future drama where Olasky extrapolates current trends-showing us what the world might be like 40 years in the future. Olasky is clearly enjoying himself here--he is coming from a reformed view of the future (not a premillenial dispensational one). There are plenty of future gadgets (children display them at their classroom’s show and tell time). Society is even more sexualized than currently. An open and lascivious female pornographer is running for the U.S. Senate.
The main plot is the public response to the Bumans who are genetic hybrids of humans and binomos (a modified chimpanzee.) Olasky takes chances with his characters one of whom is a US Senator, a Christian, who is being set up in supposedly compromising situations by political opponents. His son is stirring up strife by assaulting a Buman girl.
Brian Williamson does a more than competent job with the numerous conversational dialog scenes. This book has lots of talking heads--but the sparse action scenes are more effective because of their infrequency. Many secular super hero comics often have story length fight scenes. This book is different. It has content, characterization and plot development. Olasky is growing his characters by putting them into difficult situations. I look forward to the concluding chapters of this true graphic novel.
The Last Convert of John Harper
This is the story of a Scottish-born minister living in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He made the ill fated voyage aboard the Titanic and was one of those who perished in the frigid North Atlantic where the passenger ship sank. This story tells of his birth, entrance into the ministry, marriage and how he came to be on the Titanic. His dying witness to a fellow castaway who survived proved important in the man’s conversion to Christian faith. Gabrielle Andrade overall does a good job depicting the fashions of the Victorian/Edwardian times presented in this story. The artwork is quite, modest, reverent, safe yet the panel/page layouts are varied and fit well with the respectful tenor of the story. The artwork moves the story along well even if the narrative is basically a quite one--except for the actual sinking of the huge passenger ship, Titanic. This is a book that perhaps would have done very well when the major motion picture came out in the late 1990s. Whether it will attract much attention at this point we’ll have to wait and see.
Hope and Horror
Hope and Horror, a graphic novella, is technically not a Kingstone Media comic but it can be ordered from their web site (Kingstonemedia.com). It is produced for the Voice of the Martyrs ministry in Oklahoma. The story is about a young Christian Indonesian couple, Methu and Adel, whose village is attacked by well-armed Islamic Jihad warriors. In the ensuing conflict Methu is separated from his wife. She is captured by the extremists and is lead into captivity where she is forced to marry a Muslim with whom she has a baby. Menthu and Adel are later re-united and he accepts her and the child and affirms his love for them. The story from true events is written by Ben Avery with art by Rob Woodrum.
In this reviewer’s opinion the least effective series put out by Kingstone Comics is the Babylon series First the positives. Aryis faithfully adapts the Biblical accounts primarily from the book of Daniel that details the life of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and how his reign affected the lives of the Jews who were forced to immigrate to Babylon after the 586 BC fall of Jerusalem. Daniel, Shadrech, Meshach and Abed-nego are a part of this story. The most disappointing aspect of this series is that it is basically a talking heads comic. While Mario Ruiz is a very competent artist his reliance on using facial shots of characters pontificating made for a rather boring comic. While the characters are well drawn they are stiff and the layouts are monotonous. There needed to be more variety and imagination in the page/panel layout. There is a fourth issue to come out in the future.
In summary Kingstone Comics is a very well-packaged, well-illustrated and well-written line aimed at the Christian Book store market. My hope is Kingstone is a God-ordained roaring success. .