bible survey
BSL Publishing BSL Publishing

Christian Comic Books

316 comic logo Ahhh, the digital age.

One media God is using to reach the younger generation is Christian comic books. As much as the internet has aided satan's various schemes, God has also used it to further his kingdom.

Thanks to the internet, a good Christian comic book is readily available to any home or business that has a computer and an internet connection.

In fact, I was inspired to write my own independent Christian comic book. 316 was the realization of a dream. I'm very excited to bring this story to you. If fan support exists for this comic, I have at least two more parts that I would like to bring to you.

The trick is, finding a story that doesn't sound like you're being preached to; and they can be tough to find.

Being an author and a Christian, I understand the problem. As a Christian, you want to use your talent to encourage, or attract, others to God. As an author, you want to tell a compelling story.

A lot of times, all people need to see is a hint that a story is pushing belief in God, and they tune it out.

So, what do you do?

You do what you've been told - by God that is.

There are very talented individuals in the story-telling community, and the internet has allowed the work from that talent to be spread across the world.

As artists (I include authors here), if we begin with the knowledge that the secular world isn't exactly falling over themselves for a Christian story, it won't come as a surprise if we don't make a million dollars on our project. However, if we work hard, tell a good story, and trust God with the details, people will begin to pay attention.

The following pages include reviews and outlines of Christian comic books that I've read and felt are decent stories. I may also include the odd comic book that isn't necessarily "Christian", but is created by a professed Christian, and fits the contents or overall theme of the Bible Stories Library Comics section.

"This page exists to introduce independent Christian comic books. If it weren't for God using comic books for major influence, I probably wouldn't be the writer I am today."


Visionland Studios

visionland logo I was introduced to the Christian comic books genre through Visionland Comics. So it's only fitting that I begin my Christian comics review section with a comic from that publisher.

AngelDreams follows eight highschool students and how they deal with various issues "life" throws their way. Unknown to them, they all have one demon and one angel assigned to influence their decisions.

Plot:
Simple good verses evil. Good angels battle it out with bad ones to influence human souls.

Characters:
The humans are all highschool students, except for one. Each has his/her own set of problems, and weaknesses which come into play throughout the story.

Angels are not your typical winged, white-robed guardians. Very colorful, some almost alien looking. A very modern take to the concept of angels. Being a fan of Star Trek, I could certainly relate to these characters.

The demons are very powerful beings. They seem to have more help than the angels, and the results show. This isn't surprising as the prince of this world has been given dominion over all. It is easy to believe the influence that demons have over the human characters in the story, very reflective of real-life.

Story:
Modern dialogue. Action-packed. Great battle scenes between the angels and demons. Mark captures demonic influence amazingly well - very artistic representation.

NOTE TO PARENTS: I don't recommend these stories for children because of graphic content, and references to "cuss" words. It is defintely a teen/young adult story. Although, I'm 35 and I enjoyed it...not sure what that means!

AngelDreams #1 angeldreams cover This issue was self-published. A very good introduction to the characters and story. The story opens in the middle of some action, and keeps rolling.

Click the image to the right to view the first three pages of the comic (755KB). You will require Adobe Acrobat.

AngelDreams #2 angeldreams cover Visionland comics decided to team up with Megazeen to publish this issue. A new look and feel, a slight change in artwork, and voila, a brand new comic. After I read this issue for the second time, the story and characters started coming together for me. An excellent followup to the first issue!

Click the image to the right to view the first three pages of the comic (1500KB). You will require Adobe Acrobat.



Calvary Comics

calvary comics logo You know, it's been quite some time since I've actually sat down to enjoy a good comic book.

Since I've found the folks at http://www.christiancomics.net/, I've been able to do just that...and the icing on the cake is, the stories are Christian-based.

My latest comic research has led me to Alec Stevens, owner of Calvary Comics. Alec has a wealth of knowledge and experience in graphic publishing. He has been working in the field since 1985, at the ripe ol'age of twenty.

Alec began his career with secular publishing, working for such giants as the New York Times, but has since turned his attention to Christ.

And I, for one, am glad that he did.

Alec's portrayal of one of the most beloved Christians in India is astounding.

Sadhu Sundar Singh lived a life of humble servitude to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He spent the greater part of his youth battling inner demons, and his outward behavior was indicative of that raging battle. As a young adult and beyond, his Christian faith propelled him into many difficult situations.

If you are looking for a true life, heart-wrenching Christian story, this story is a must read.

Review Comments

March 20, 2008

Story:
Sadhu Sundar Singh

Artwork:
Alec could not have chosen a better style of coloring for this story. Like the main character himself, the colors are peaceful and serene. Alec is a master at shading, and chooses colors wisely to match the emotion of the scene. Excellent work.

Plot:
This is the true story of Sadhu Sundar Singh, so to give plot details would ruin the reader's experience. That said, the intense persecution and divine intervention that Sundar Singh experienced in his life was matched only by the apostles themselves.

Characters:
Since this is non-fiction, character development is not really a factor in the story. However, Alec captures feelings, thoughts, and actions of Sundar Singh wonderfully.

Alec must have really done his homework for this story. The various characters that Singh encounters in his travels are portrayed, for lack of a better term, accurately. Obviously, we weren't there to meet the people to know what they looked like. However, the features of each character matches his/her setting, personality, and mood exceptionally well.

Fantastic character art.

Story:
The story takes us from Sadhu Sundar Singh's childhood, right on to his mysterious death. At any given time, Alec could have stopped to expand on a part of the story, but for the sake of time, he wisely chose to keep the story moving.

Honestly, 45 pages is hardly enough space to tell a story such as this. Singh experienced so much in his life, that it would take a volume of books to get into any level of detail.

He truly counted it joy to suffer for Christ.

Overall:
The artwork captures the emotion, characters, and life of Sadhu Sundar Singh exceptionally well. Singh's life was interesting, and makes for an exciting, emotional read.

If you are sensitive to any form of violence, and don't want your children exposed to it, you may want to look through the story before you let your children read it. The story is written for young adult / adult age group.

Visit Calvary Comics here. You will also find a link to purchase this comic on that site.

Sadhu Sundar Singh

sadhu sundar singh cover An excellent portrayal of the life of a humble servant in Christ. A compelling story, rich characters, and excellent artwork.

Click the image to the right to view the first three pages of the comic (462KB). You will require Adobe Acrobat.



Velvet Nightmare Studios

velvet nightmare studios

Imagine living with an idea churning about in your mind for years. You imagine scenes, phrases, panel layouts, plot points, the list goes on.

Now imagine not having the ability or skills to get those ideas down on paper. How frustrating would that be? Very frustrating. And this writer can attest to that statement!

Basically, you have two choices when faced with this problem: 1) Hook up with someone who knows how to do it, and is willing to do it. 2) Learn the craft yourself.

Learning the craft herself is exactly what Cassandra Reyes decided to do a few years ago. After many years of practicing, learning, reading, and watching others, Cassandra decided to strike out on her own and publish her very first comic. She literally started from nothing, other than an interest in drawing and story telling.

Now, Cassandra is owner and operator of Velvet Nightmare Studios - the company which produced Jackket Knightmare, the comic I will be reviewing today.

Jackket Knightmare is the story of Tom. A man who was physically abused by his father as a child until the age of eight when he was adopted by a pastor. Years later, Tom must deal with the sudden loss of his adopted father, while trying to convince a skeptical Church committee to allow him to take the reigns as pastor over his father's church.

Meanwhile, a vigilante calling himself Jackket Knightmare appears on the scene, who is bent on protecting children from abusive adults. Though his true identity and origin are unknown, his ties with Tom may destroy everything Tom has worked so hard for.

Review Comments

April 12, 2008

Story:
Jackket Knightmare

Artwork:
Christian Goth. It was refreshing to read a comic done only in ink. Although colors can bring out so much emotion, I think Cassandra does very well in that department using other tricks of the trade.

If you like extreme closeup panels, with various facial expressions, etc. you need to pick this comic up.

As of this writing, Cassandra is still learning her craft, and after only three years of drawing, I think she's doing a great job. A lot of work goes in to planning shots, and designing scenes.

Characters:
I'm really looking forward to the development of the Jackket character. He seems so calm and has a "this-is-my-job-and-I-accept-it" sort of attitude. I'd compare him to John Constantine. He just...goes about his business.

We don't see a whole lot of Tom, but I'm also looking forward to see how his character develops. He seems to have a bit of a self-esteem problem, which is understandable, seeing as he was given up for adoption at a young age.

Story:
I got lost in a couple of places. Upon talking to Cassandra, it basically came down to "writer assumption". This can happen to anybody, especially starting out. Basically, the writer has an idea in his/her head and only puts half of it on the paper, assuming the audience can figure out the rest. I've seen it many times, and the cool thing is, you have the ability to talk with this author to get the other half of the scene, which helps a lot.

Other than that minor detail, I think Cassandra has something special here. I hope she sees it out to completion.

Visit Velvet Comic Studios here. You will also find a link to purchase this comic on that site.

Jackket Knightmare

jackket knightmare cover

Jackket Knightmare is Cassandra Reyes' bold first attempt at comic book publishing. She has a great concept, and interesting characters. It will only get better from here.

Click the image to the right to view the first three pages of the comic (461KB). You will require Adobe Acrobat.