If we went for a coffee today, I’d be gushing about Kingstone Comics. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of these guys. I feel like I’ve been in and around Christian books all of my life and I feel like I’m an early adapter of Christian comics. Somehow we ended up with a copy of the Bible in comic strip when I was a kid in the late ‘70’s. I read it through twice and still remember some of the pictures that went along with specific stories.
A few years ago, Sergio Carriello did the graphics for “The Action Bible” which all my kids have read or at least had access to. It’s a beautiful update to the old “Picture Bible” that I had.
But, these are not the complete Bible, they are abridged and sanitized versions of the stories in the Bible. They are also “books.”
Enter Kingstone Comics. Years ago, Art Ayris was volunteering with the bus ministry at his church, First Baptist of Leesburg, Florida, and because of all of his interactions with unchurched kids, he was always looking for great materials to get to them.
Eventually, he wrote his own comic book. And, to make a long, beautiful, amazing, miraculous story short, I saw the warehouse and distribution center last week for well over 100 different comic books, compilation books, regular books and even a couple of movies that they have done.
They have had a lot of help, between investors, key Board Members, supportive church leadership, superb staff, excellent writers and over 60 artists, including Sergio Cariello and others who have drawn for Marvel/DC. Their product is beautiful and engaging, inspiring and they were busy. One good problem they have is keeping up with translation opportunities for other languages.
When I was there, the most popular comic book was the story of “Vladimir – The Prince of Russia.” It’s the story of someone the Lord used to bring Christianity to Russia. As I’m writing this post, I’m about halfway through it. Yes, it’s quite the story, and it is told well. They have a whole series fo comic books on significant people in Christian history including the Martyrs.
While I was there, I was astounded to see a comic book for each book of the Bible. Revelation is a popular one, and I loved seeing what these artists did with the descriptions there.
Another series that caught my eye was the “101 Questions.” It is almost complete. It’s a series of comic books that answer tough questions (think apologetics) about Christianity. I have read the 4th book in the series and it was refreshing for me to see how these timeless truths are being conveyed in a beautiful and engaging way.
But, as the title says… this post is a book review of “The Book of God – How We Got the Bible.” This was the first product that I opened and read. It is by Ben Avery and Javier Saltares and consisted of four parts and an epilogue all about the Bible. It covers the production, process preservation and proof of the Bible. You have to understand what a difficult task it is to tell this story. It could be really, really dry, with dates and technical terms and stories from ancient history with cultures that we are completely ignorant of.
But, this was so well done. Seriously, the content is college level. But, the delivery is kid level. I’ve read several resources on this topic, and there were things in this comic book that were not only new to me, but effortlessly communicated in a clear and understandable way.
I was further impressed by the artwork and overall outline and strategy for this book. This is a needed and desireable resource for Christians of all ages. I wish I knew about this when I was purchasing resources to stock “The Upper Room at Calvary.” This would have been very, very popular.
If not, check it out.. and buy at least one of them to enjoy yourself. And, then, join the hundreds of people that have been buying them for their churches, schools, friends, kids and grandkids. While I was there, they told me about a woman in her 80’s that has been purchasing and reading them for herself.
For me, I’m intrigued by the Martyr’s, that’s an area I’d like to know more about, and I’m enthused about learning about them through the genre of graphic novel.
If you already knew about Kingstone, would you let me know how and why and what your experience has been in the comments?