Recommendations: Jonah and Job by Kingstone Media

Kingstone Media has been on my radar for some time. The company advertises in some of the newsletters I receive, and the available bits and pieces of content provided always impress me. When they recently made one of their books available for free in digital form, I downloaded it without hesitation. Once I read the piece, I was intrigued; the comic seemed tailor-made to people like me–folks who value worthwhile storytelling as well as media that speaks to their faith.

Courtesy of Kingstone’s PR department, I have several of their books to review over the next few months (Hooray!), but today I’ll start with two single issues from the Old Testament: Jonah and Job.

The free comic in question was Jonah, and Kingstone media has provided their own take on the character, his flaws, and his ministry. Fortunately, this artistic exploration honors the well-known text as I have read it in the Scriptures.

Long story short: The opening panels set the tone by establishing the historical context behind the story. We then launch directly into the familiar beats of the Jonah narrative, including the Lord’s calling the prophet to action, Jonah’s flight from it, the ensuing misadventures, and ultimate fulfillment of the mission.  If you’re familiar with the story, you will not see any new territory specifically, but you will get to see the expected events in a fresh way, which is a primary reason adaptations exist. They provide us new insights to familiar content, and as someone who adores the Scriptures and seeks to better know them, this type of work strikes a chord deep within me. Plus, the publishers go out of their way to include some additional information in the final pages to bring further context and credibility to the story–solid “bonus material”, to be sure.

Given that Kingstone has been in my peripheral for some time, I was excited to have engaged one of their books, and further, I was ecstatic that it was this good. So, I reached out to them regarding my writing, blogging, and my desire to review more of their work.Which brings me to Job, another admirable piece of work, which is about as faithful as it could be in comic form. The writers frame the story as it occurs in the text, with Satan’s challenge in heaven and Job’s suffering on earth, the latter half of which is explored almost entirely of conversations.

Reading the story of Job in this format, I was amazed at how much a visual interpretation informed the dynamics. I’ve often felt the text of Job moves like a play, and this adaptation affirms that reading. In its faithfulness to the text, the comic commits to pacing and cadence not unlike an ongoing discussion, a choice which can be difficult to sustain. Ben Avery, Jeff Slemons, and others at Kingstone Media have done so, making for a fine take on the classic story.

I enjoyed both of these books. Jonah was better served by the comic medium than Job, though the latter certainly has its moments. Either way, both stories were made fresh thanks to the artistic approach offered by the creators, who clearly respect the source material as true and worthy of fine craft and storytelling.

So-called Christian Media is always dismissed as a ghetto of subpar enterprises for Believers by Believers. But take the Pepsi Challenge of comparing these to any other mainstream comic release, and the presentation, design, and content will make the grade. If you are a Christian who enjoys the medium of comics and wants to share that medium with others, support your brothers and sisters in Christ, support the comics of Kingstone Media.

I have several larger books to review over the coming months, but as of today, at the very least I wholly and highly recommend dropping a few bucks on these single titles.

 

 
 
 

About C.J.:
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