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The first adventure in The Last Adam graphic novel series, Firstborn was translated by Father Mark Arey exclusively from ancient Gospel manuscripts and weaves the four Gospels into a single continuous story, of which Firstborn is the opening chapter. In embarking on this journey, readers will find that by pairing ancient verses with original imagery, new life is breathed into the accounts of Jesus’ story as expressed through the gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
About the Author
Matt Dorff adapted the English translation of the Book of Revelation into a graphic novel script. He also oversaw the design and illustration process for the 16 months of production. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California Cinema School and has had over 30 of his movie scripts produced for film and television. Father Mark Arey is currently the Director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as well as a principal translator of the Holy Synod Committee for translation of Greek liturgical texts.
Number of Pages: 208
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 X 1.00 (inches)|
Origin, the first adventure in the Messiah graphic novel series, was translated by Father Mark Arey exclusively from ancient Gospel manuscripts. Father Mark, who also translated the Book of Revelation, brings a lifetime of deep study and biblical training to this monumental endeavor. 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 (also the Book of Revelation), with letters and title designs by Carlton Riffel, Origin illuminates the story of Jesus' birth and early life through gloriously detailed and inspiring imagery. In embarking on this journey through the pages of Origin, you will find that by pairing ancient verses with original imagery new life is breathed into the accounts of Jesus' story as expressed through the gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Matt Dorff adapted the English translation of the Book of Revelation into a graphic novel script. He also oversaw the design and illustration process for the 16 months of production. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California Cinema School and has had over 30 of his movie scripts produced for film and television.
Father Mark Arey is currently the Director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as well as a principal translator of the Holy Synod Committee for translation of Greek liturgical texts.
The CaptainSpruce Grove, ABAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5MyBookLook - Messiah:OriginJanuary 3, 2014The CaptainSpruce Grove, ABAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3MyBookLook Breakdown:
Sometimes the Word of God can become mundane and boring. Sometimes black and white words do not bring a Living Gospel to life like it should.
That is where Messiah: Origin comes in.
With words chosen and crafted by Mark Arey, beautiful illustrations by Kai Carpenter, and formatted and edited by Matt Dorff, Messiah: Origin sets a foundation for a new story.
The story of a Savior coming to Earth for the good of humanity. The story of a Man that was so much more than that. But this is just the beginning...
When I heard about this book, it was described to me as a "Graphic Novel". As a comic book lover,I jumped at the chance to read a Christian comic book, presumably about Jesus. While it was about Jesus, it is not a "Graphic Novel". This is a collection of wonderful paintings put to the words of Scripture. There is nothing wrong with it, but it was not what I was expecting. I am excited to see how the art and words will flow into the rest of the Jesus story.
If you enjoy unique art and the Word of God, this may be for you.
I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Debbie from ChristFocusHarrison, ARAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Graphic novel for adultsNovember 19, 2013Debbie from ChristFocusHarrison, ARAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 3Meets Expectations: 4"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.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.
Pastor AlCarleton Place, ONAge: 35-44Gender: male3 Stars Out Of 5Good but not GreatNovember 12, 2013Pastor AlCarleton Place, ONAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 2Meets Expectations: 3Summary
"Messiah: Origin" is the first "Graphic Novel" (not "Comic Book") series that uses visuals and biblical language to tell the story of the life of Jesus Christ from John 1 ("In the beginning was the Word_") and His birth to the inauguration of his ministry at his baptism by John the Baptist.
A Word about Scripture in Media
Since the very beginning artists have been trying to capture the big stories of God's people in various kinds of media. I'm a visual guy (in an increasingly visual age) and I'm a big fan of different kinds of media. I appreciate the hard work and dedication these artists take in presenting their telling of the "old, old story". The benefits of experiencing scripture in many forms (sculpture, paint on canvas, film, drama, dance, comic book, etc.) is that they can open our eyes to new interpretations and insights into familiar stories.
I've read a few versions of the New Testament set in graphic novel format â€” and I've learned to appreciate the differences. The beauty of a graphic novel is the nuance it brings to the text. The artists are forced to ask themselves questions we may never have thought of: Who was looking at whom? What expression was on their face? What does Jesus look like when He's praying aloud? What does an angel really look like? Each artist makes their own decisions and those come with their own risks, rewards and revelations.
The first thing I will say about "Messiah: Origin" is that though Zondervan is promoting this as a "Graphic Novel", it really isn't. "Messiah: Origins" is more of an artistic experiment where a bible translator put words over an artists pictures (or vice-versa). It lacks the flow and story-telling of a traditional Graphic Novel. It's almost as though the translator sent a series of disconnected e-mails saying, "Can you please make a piece of art based on this sentence?" It's more like walking through a gallery than reading a story.
That said, here are some strengths and weaknesses:
- The greatest strength of this book is that the artist (Kai Carpenter) makes some bold decisions and interpretive choices that certainly give the reader something to think about.
- The sentence structure of the translation is simple and the art is very colourful and emotive, using lots of contrast and rich tones. Many individual frames lend themselves to taking time to meditate on what the reader sees. This book has some very good art.
- The author's translation is a little jarring at times (using "lust of the flesh" instead of "will of the flesh" for John 1:13, or using the word "fetus" instead of "baby" in Luke 1:41, for example). Not wrong, just different than I'm used to. I couldn't decide if this was a strength or a weakness, but since it made me mentally process the message of Bible in a different way, I'll call it a strength. Some of the decisions seem really strange though.
- The chapters entitled "The Fulfilment of the Law" and "Adoration of the Magi" were excellent! Great flow and storytelling, beautiful, complimentary art, and meaningful translation.
- Many pages do not not seem to be Kai Carepenter's best work. Some pages are stunning, but others seem rushed and incomplete. His on-line gallery contains some beautiful artwork, so I know it's not a matter of skill-level.
- Much of the art is disconnected from the meaning of the text it's supposed to be expanding on. There seems to have been some shoehorning going on.
- Some of the artist's decisions, if interpreted a certain way, border on heresy. For example, John 1:1, "In the beginning He was with God." has a picture of a baby made of stars (Pg 21). Is this the birth of Jesus (which would be unbiblical), or an artistic representation of the birth of the cosmos? A draft of this book would have done well to be sent past a theologian or two â€” and maybe a biblical historian.
- The storytelling is weak. If you didn't know the story of Jesus already, you would be lost as to what was going on most of the time.
- The artist seems to take Mary's Magnificat and points it at the the veneration of Mary in the Roman Catholic Church. That's not what "From now on all generations will call me blessed" meant.
Would I buy or recommend this book? No, I wouldn't. The weaknesses outweigh the strengths. However, I would gladly hang many of the pictures (with text) on the wall of my office.