Jul 9, 2010
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.