About this project
★★★★★ Miss the Kickstarter? Find us at WordforWordBibleComic.com ★★★★★
"Frank Miller's 300 meets The Passion of The Christ." This 128-page graphic novel includes all the words of The Gospel of Mark, unedited and untamed!
The Bible is the most influential and best-selling book of all time, yet many people haven't actually read it. Now there is a new way to read the Bible unabridged, the new graphic novel series: The Word for Word Bible Comic.
This is, of course, not the first comic to portray Biblical stories. But unlike its predecessors, it will not abridge any of the text or attempt to "reinvent" any of the stories.
The WfWBC combines the words, chapter and verse, with in-depth historical research to make the illustrations as accurate as possible. Therefore, aspects of culture, history, locality, ethnicity as well as meanings, subtleties and emotions are conveyed instantly, unlike Bible commentaries and encyclopaedias which can take pages to explain the same level of detail.
- "Indeed, one might argue that The Word for Word Bible Comic is actually a more authentic presentation of the Bible than our bare printed texts, which invite us to fill a visual vacuum by supplying pictures in our own imagination of people and events."- Rev Dr Christopher R. Smith (Author of “Understanding the Books of the Bible” Study Guides from IVP. Doctorate in Historical Theology and the Bible.)
In this fast-paced visual age of instant movies and tv-on-demand, this series intends to grab the attention of those unlikely to sit down and read a dusty old book, let alone the Bible.
Some may be surprised to learn, the primary consumers within the exploding comics market today are not children but men aged 27-36 and women aged 17-26 (Comixology survey '13). This series targets that market by simply using the multifaceted and often bloody ancient narrative, without simplifying it, watering it down or attempting to repackage it in a child-friendly way.
The method we use to retain all the text is to take the words rendered redundant by the illustrations and place them inconspicuously between the panels. (see below)
This will be the fourth instalment and our first New Testament book! We've run two successful Kickstarters in the past, so we are experienced at fulfilment, shipping cost and have tried to set realistic completion dates.
Please find sample pages at the bottom of this page.
Using the best scholarship available and a range of sources we have tried to link the event to as specific a time period as possible and include much historical detail. For example, at the start of the “Judges” period chariots have four spokes in the wheels, half way through the three centuries technology moves on and chariot wheels have six spokes.
Another example is found in the pottery, which is different and distinct to each period and nation. This level of detail is intended to immerse the reader in the story, helping to contextualise the world that these people lived in. Also, the range of styles, fashions and traditions give a richness that text alone will lack. Another element is the correct ethnicity of the heroes and their enemies, to help understand the spectrum of people found in the Bible. All too often we see a Western Jesus or expect the characters to act like people of our own culture or nation and forget this is, for the most part, a Middle Eastern account.
Lastly, maps interspersed into the story help pinpoint the action and also highlight the times that significant events happen on the same turf or nearby to other significant events. For example, the site where Abraham offered his son and the link with the later story of God offering of his own son.
Unlike any other comic rendition of the Bible, this one will be completely unabridged. Are you frustrated by film adaptations of your favourite books boiling down the story to nothing and missing out the character development and some of your favourite parts? By keeping all the words and not rushing the story this graphic novel aims to keep the pace, social intricacies, surprises and even humour of the original text.
You can see from the example images that all the words (even “he said” and descriptive elements) are still included into the comic but subtly in the 'gutters'. These generally appear as dark grey on medium grey. The intention is that if you are reading it as a comic, you could ignore these bits. However, if you want to read them to see what the Bible text includes they are present and legible.
This also means that no parts of the stories are overlooked or avoided. For example, the Levite's concubine (Judges 19), Jephthah's sacrifice (Judges 12), or brides for the Benjamites (Judges 21). All parts of the story are important and, in my experience as an illustrator and comic fan, it's the details that help you understand the full story and characters.
This graphic novel will not shy away from any issue the Bible addresses. Unfortunately, due to the corruption of mankind, these issues include violence, kidnapping, cold-blooded murder, even rape and infanticide. This work will not glamorise evil of any kind, nor will it be explicit or dwell on these things, but it will cover all the lessons that the Bible teaches.
This comic will come with an 'age 15+ advisory' notice. Parents of younger teens may be happy to give the book to younger readers but this will give a good idea of the content and maybe even encourage rebellious 13 and 14-year-olds to try reading it.
The aim of this is to bridge the gap between illustrated children’s Bibles that use a soft touch to tell God’s story and the harsh and shocking events of the Biblical text, which not only encourages and instructs but also ‘cuts to the heart’.
Find this info in FAQs at the bottom of this page including the headings DOCTRINE, TRANSLATION, AMBIGUITY, VIOLENCE, NUDITY, PORTRAYING GOD AND ANGELS and RESEARCH NOT TRADITION
IN BRIEF - Where there is 'interpretation' or 'hermeneutics' it is in keeping with a general Christian orthodoxy rather than a specific doctrinal agenda.
IN SAFE HANDS: We also have published Bible Scholar Rev Dr. Christopher R Smith, (author of IVPs "Understanding the Books of the Bible", Doctorate in Historical theology and the Bible) on heresy watch. He will be helping with the interpretation and exposition, as well as checking over the finished images.
PERMISSION – As standard, the permission to display the images for the comic in public, (such as alongside a sermon or teaching) are withheld. You may add a donation of £10 to receive written permission to use the images (see more add-ons below).
The money we are raising is going to be used primarily to fund the artist working on the project full time to produce the comic within 18 months, (hopefully less). Also, the payment per-page of the two supporting colourists. The cost of the reward fulfilments, print costs and fees are also a factor.
£15,000 will really be making this book on a shoestring for us, but it's the absolute minimum we believe we can do, (bearing in mind that give a wage of about £7,000 for to last 18 months). We are hoping to hit at least £20,000 to ensure it will be more plain sailing.
MAXIMISE YOUR SUPPORT
“Blessed Altruist” Digital only – Fulfilling physical rewards like books and prints obviously eats into your pledge, if you would be equally happy with digital rewards only this would greatly support this fundraiser meaning all but the fees and tax will be used to support the project.
“True Altruist” (Gift) – If you want to support the project but wish nothing but a thank you in return you can make your pledge a gift, meaning all but the fees will be used to support the project. There is no tax because you haven't purchased anything, (as a “gift with reservation of benefit” up to £3000).
ABOUT THE REWARDS
Below is a table to help you visualise the rewards options. For the text description, see the list on the right-hand side.
Choose a reward level from the list on the right to get all that stuff, then increase the money you pledge by the amount indicated below (Item Cost + Postage to your location), and send us a message to with what you've added so we can keep a record of it and check it for you.
If what you want is not here just message us. For example, if you want 5 copies of one book for a group study, don't hesitate to let us know.
In the collector's editions, each one is numbered individually. You will get one of the first 100. They are signed and have a unique hand-drawn sketch on the inside cover.
When this comic is as big as Harry Potter, you'll have one of the first printed, first editions. Here's a picture of one from the limited edition Book of Judges available here...
Restrictions on appearing as an extra in the “YOU IN THE BIBLE” reward - *** Please read this entry carefully and contact me if you are thinking of going for this level *** Firstly if you have glasses you will appear without glasses. If you have a very modern hairstyle your style will be interpreted into a more natural look or maybe covered up. The decision on where you feature will be my choice to best fit the story. You may be a good person or you may be a bad person, dead or alive.
Restrictions on the “SPEAK IN THE BIBLE” reward - *** Please read this entry carefully and contact me if you are thinking of going for this level *** All the restrictions above (though your likeness will at least start out alive). If you are white you may appear to be more tanned than normal to fit in with a Semitic ethnicity. Most male roles will have beards, so outside of that, if you do not have a beard one may be assigned to you. As this is a set text I can only accept people who can fit into the roles available, based on age, gender, look etc. The decision on where you feature will ultimately be my choice to best fit the story and your appearance but if you contact me we can discuss the options.
Please tweet, share, tell your friends who like comics and Christian friends because how can they believe in the project of which they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to tell them? ;)
Twitter - https://twitter.com/WforWBibleComic
Pinterest - https://uk.pinterest.com/wforwbiblecomic/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/wordforwordbiblecomic/
Below are sample pages, but before that this video shows you how the different Gospels may use the same images from time to time and how that will work.
Risks and challenges
Many of the digital rewards are ready to send out already once the campaign finishes.
The only challenges I can foresee is anything that could delay the fulfilment of the finished printed book, like printer troubles, illness or injury etc. But God willing, we will get the finished products to you on time and in good order. We have left ourselves a comfortable amount of time to create the book so we will be setting realistic expectations, having learnt from the previous KS.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter FAQ Theology and Christian Concerns How do I know it's accurate to the Bible, and that I should back it?Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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