I Wanna Be Literated! 114

I Wanna Be Literated! 114

Thursday, 16 June 2016

A critical evaluation of Apocrypha Now! by Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler.

The folks over at Top Shelf Comix know what the comics-reading public wants, and that’s a witty retelling of the Apocryphal writings of the bible. You know these Apocrypha and Gnostic books? They were the stories of the bible that history deemed unworthy to include in the official cannon, for some reason. They were considered redundant, or false, or their authorship doubted. Whatever the case may be, they’re interesting as hell.

If you want the full scholarly approach to these books, then you’re better off with a book by Bart Ehrman who does a pretty stellar job in his books to discuss these writings. What Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler have done here is take a different approach and, since we’re dealing with bonkers kookoo stories to begin with, they decided to take a more witty and absurdist slant to these stories. Think of something like the Daily Show; they’re true to the stories, but the punchlines are exaggerated.

Compiled in a double-column tiny text bible style, Apocrypha Now accomplishes what it set out to do and does it remarkably well. The writing is funny and faithful to the point that you don’t know where the original writings begin and Russell ends. Wheeler breaks the monotony with some great New Yorker style cartoons of the characters and some occasional, more in-depth comics a la R. Crumb.

Apocrypha Now sticks to its guns with a talented team and delivers as a thoroughly enjoyable book.


Apocrypha Now is out now. Buy it here on Amazon. https://www.amazon.ca/Apocrypha-Now-Mark-Russell/dp/1603093699

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