Saturday, December 17, 2005

MARKED: The Briefest Gospel Gets The Comic Book Treatment...and it PETRAS!

Okay, so you got my little joke. Petra. Rock. "It rocks!"

I can be lame as anybody else.

Fortunately for me ('cause I paid for it) and for you ('cause you should run to buy it and glowingly review it) Steve Ross's fresh take on the shortest gospel is not a disappointment. I only just read it and I want to read it again. (No, really. That's not just hype. I do.)

I heard about it on Chris Well's nifty blog--a site not-too-coincidentally linked on my sidebar, to your left there, as "Chris Well's Nifty Blog," because it's his and his name is Chris Well and it's nifty and it's a blog. (Say those last sixteen words in squeaky falsetto a la the Python sketch about the dinosaur theory that featured Cleese in pinched-faced drag.)

With my newly revived interest in well-done comic books--er, graphic novels--I had to rush to and get MARKED, which sounded like something I should sample. (Yes, I know. I'm a book junkie. I've learned to accept it and move on with my life with tomes in hand.)

It arrived yesterday. I read it today.

It's terrific.

MARKED is clever. It's got attitude. It's got gentle moments of compassion. It's got strong visuals that mix a bag of emotions together and toss them at you. It's got humor. It captures the essence of what the evangelist wrote: a very active Son of God, a very troubled world, imperfect followers, even more imperfect antagonists, wisdom, courage, mercy, grace, death, and victory over death.

I recommend it.

I dare you not to laugh at mad-eyed John the Baptizer and the running headlines that cover the main events of that prophet's activities--even as you'll be horrified (rightly so) by the front page spread of his demise and its timeliness given some of our recent front page news. I dare you not to be thrilled at some really fine creative moments, such as the Gadarene's encounter with the Christ or the incident of transfiguration on the mount. I dare you not to feel ferklempt over the incident of Christ's meeting with the leper. I dare you not to holler, "Cool!" every few pages. And do tell me if you've seen the resurrection handled anywhere quite like this, ever. I haven't. I had to actually stop and ...STOP. No, really, I had one of those blank moments of, "What?" And I had to think. I like when creative folk make me stop and think. I like when creative folk stir things up. Steve Ross achieves this with MARKED.

The Mir's thumb is way up.

(As opposed to the thumb of the Jesus on the cover of MARKED, whose thumb is actually pointing to his right, my left, and a bit down. Well, it's a good cover. Go see.)

Note: You can also play, "Find the famous person" with this. Can you find a great black leader? Can you find the is-he-dead-or-isn't-he rocker? Anyone else?

I have no idea how to do that book-cover-icon-link thingie to amazon (or anyplace else), so just click on whatever links to MARKED I have around this post if you wanna read other reviews or just, ya know, buy it. :)

And since I've already mentioned Chris Well's Nifty Blog (thrice), I wanted to mention he's got an interview with R.K. Mortensen, author of LANDON SNOW & THE AUCTOR'S RIDDLE posted there. If you like Christian fantasy fiction of the YA variety, you may want to drop by, read the interview, and see if the book is up your literary alley. Or your kid's. Or your niece's or nephew's.

And if there's anyone of any age in your family who can read pretty well and needs to see the gospel presented innovatively, or if there's anyone in your circle who loves comics, or anyone who fits both those "if there's", give him or her or them MARKED.

It's the holiday season. Books make kicking gifts.

But you knew that, because you read my FIFTEEN COMMENTS ON BOOKS below, right?

Books petra!

MIR UPDATE: TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHROUGH--I have figured out how to do that icon/amazon thingie. Voila:

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