Loading
July 09, 2010
Paul: Tarsus to Redemption
By Catherine Morkert *

By Catherine Morkert *

Salisbury, Matthew and Sean Lam. San Rafael, California: ATITUQ. 2010. ISBN 978-0-9826538-0-7.

When I first saw "Paul: Tarsus to Redemption," written by Matthew Salisbury and drawn by Sean Lam, I had my misgivings. I have read many different manga (graphic novels from Japan) in my life, but I’ve never read an American drawn comic book that claims to be a manga. This alone discouraged me, since I’m a bit prejudiced against Americans trying to “rip-off” the style of Japanese manga-ka (comic book artists).

However once I started reading, the style actually grew on me. Sean Lam, the artist also did a very good job in depicting expressions and in conveying the personalities of the characters through his drawing. He incorporated many of the effects that manga-ka use to show exactly what the character is feeling, such as shock or anger. His action scenes were also well done.

Of course another thing that interested me about this book was the subject matter. I have seen a manga-style bible in the book store before, but I’ve never picked one up to seriously read it. Unlike the bible, this particular book centers around one person in the New Testament, St. Paul. I thought this was actually sort of silly, because if someone wanted to read about Paul, why not just open the Bible?  However, I must admit that a child would be more likely to pick up a comic book rather than the Bible. So, the object of trying to get children interested in the Bible was a valid one. However, just because manga is gaining popularity in America doesn’t mean kids are going to pick it up solely because it was drawn with the manga style in mind.

Once I started reading the book, I found that the dialogue was very poorly written and fragmented. A children’s bible would not only be better for learning to read, it would also make more sense and be more comprehensive in its coverage. The book was not very true to the story of Paul either. For example, it was missing the part where Paul is cured of his blindness. While it later referenced the event, it did not chronicle its occurrence or emphasize its significance.

While the goals of the writers, artists, and editors are laudable, -the are seeking to familiarize children with stories from the Bible- it does not seem to me that the best way to achieve this goal is to exclude parts of the original bible story in order to bring readers to the source material itself.

ATIQTUQ, the company that published this book, aims to create more manga-style comic books in the hopes of telling good stories that center around Christianity. Sadly, these goals are not going to be realized if their books are written like Paul: Tarsus to Redemption. Comic books are made of two-halves: the first is the purely visual, which depends on the art. The second is the interaction between the characters, which depends on the dialogue. If one half is lacking, the entire book is a failure. Although the art in this book was well done, the craftsmanship of the dialogue effectively kills any desire to actually purchase this book, or to recommend it to others.

Catherine Morkert is a junior at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is majoring in Communication Arts. She enjoys reading manga and watching anime.
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
19

Liturgical Calendar

October 19, 2014

TWENTY - NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 22:15-21

Gospel
Date
10/19/14
10/18/14
10/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 45: 1, 4-6
Second Reading:: 1 Thess 1: 1-5B
Gospel:: Mt 22: 15-21

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/19/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 22:15-21

Homily
Date
10/19/14
10/18/14
10/17/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: