Go behind the scenes for a massive new dramatization of the Bible in comic book form.
Kingstone Comics was born out of founder Art Ayris’ desire to explain scriptural truth and provide healthy entertainment to kids. With this goal in mind, Art and a group of DC and Marvel Comics artists have succeeded in creating the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible to date.
Kingstone has spent years adapting the Bible into comic book panels, and now all that work has been assembled into The Epic Bible: God’s Story from Eden to Eternity (Wander).
In this interview, Art offers some background details of the project, talks about their target readers, and explains what makes “comic book storytelling” special.
What led you to form Kingstone Comics?
When I was working as a children’s pastor over a large flock of unreached, unchurched kids, I struggled to find materials that connected with them and also taught the Bible well. Out of this need, the idea for Kingstone was born.
What made you and your team want to create The Epic Bible?
The credit for The Epic Bible lies with the publishers at Tyndale. My team at Kingstone spent seven years creating an expansive three-volume graphic novel of the Bible, but they saw the need for an accessible, single volume version.
What kinds of readers do you have in mind for this rendering of the Bible?
Our readership is very eclectic! Both boys and girls read comics in equal measure these days. We have also seen a lot of interest from men in the 20-40 age range, middle and high schoolers, grandparents buying for middle aged kids, those with reading issues and sensory issues (we have many deaf who purchase). As a pastor and a publisher my eye is on the one out there that does not understand the Bible and seeks to know spiritual truth.
What is special to you about the comic book style of storytelling?
It’s true that “a picture is worth a thousand words”—comic books can convey more meaning and content in a shorter space. The format can invite greater engagement from readers through the interplay of words and images. It is also an excellent, needed medium for those who are illiterate or semi-literate, E.S.L. learners, and those who struggle with reading due to special needs or attention disorders.
The Epic Bible doesn’t cover every part of the Bible, but it covers the central narrative arc of redemption. Why is it important for readers to recognize this overarching narrative and how does The Epic Bible help them do that?
In all its various parts and variety of genres, the Bible is ultimately one story—God’s story of salvation. The Epic Bible provides a visual journey through God’s story from the first book of the Bible, through God’s working in the nation of Israel, the coming Messiah and the coming kingdom of God.
Sometimes we miss how action-packed the Bible actually is in our usual (typical) reading. What were some of your team’s favorite scenes to bring to life for The Epic Bible?
These may be unexpected choices, but we especially enjoyed working on the story of Job and the story of Jonah. I think Job was my personal favorite!
Can you tell us about a few of the artists and writers who worked on The Epic Bible? Where else might we have seen their work?
Ben Avery, one of our lead writers who worked especially on Job and the Gospels in The Epic Bible, worked with Marvel Comics. Kyle Hotz, who worked on Joseph, Jude, and Revelation in The Epic Bible, worked with Marvel, especially on comics of The Hulk and Captain America. Javier Saltares also worked with Marvel, and you can see his art in The Epic Bible’s sections on Paul, Jeremiah, Isaac, and Jacob. Chris Ivy, an inker for Kingstone, worked on Spider-Man comics. Danny Bulandi, who worked with Marvel on Captain America comics, also worked especially on the Genesis, Exodus, and Judges sections of The Epic Bible.
Were there any stories or characters that were particularly difficult to render artistically?
The throne of God was a tough one. There is so much metaphor and majesty surrounding the description of it in the Bible, so we worked hard to do it justice.
How did the process of creating The Epic Bible change and grow the team at Kingstone?
It developed patience! It took us much longer than we expected to complete the artwork and meet the high standard of quality we had set for ourselves. This project also gave us the gift of teamwork and partnership with Tyndale—they built the cathedral, we shoveled a lot of bricks and mortar.
What is your hope for readers of The Epic Bible?
I hope that readers will see the light of the Bible in a new way and want to embark on or continue an eternal adventure with Jesus.
Visit the Kingstone Comics page:
The Epic Bible: God’s Story from Eden to Eternity
Kingstone Media Group
Get swept away by God’s awesome story in this riveting graphic Bible. The Epic Bible tells the central story of the Bible, with dramatic, full-color art created by some of DC and Marvel’s best comic book artists. Whether you’re reading the Bible for the first time or looking for a fresh perspective, The Epic Bible’s cinematic storytelling will make God’s Word come alive.