Summary: The Gospel of Matthew tells the life of Jesus Christ and how He is the promised Messiah to the Jewish audience the gospel writer and apostle Matthew, intended it to. So you’ll read from time to time references from the Old Testament to support what Matthew wants his readers to know. As for the comic this is a literally the Gospel of Matthew in comicbook form using the NIV. Nothing added or taken out. In fact it has a map and additional articles (with Pillario’s artwork and real images) at the back including a gospel presentation.
Cover Art: Like what I have said, Matthew’s intent target in writing this book are the Jewish people. So it’s evident that you’ll find some a bit of Jewishness on the cover (the candlesticks and scroll found in the synagogues). I like how Pillario place it behind Jesus creating a halo.
Artwork: Pillario’s artwork reminds me of Mike Mignola’s style. It’s not for everyone but I’m in for this kind of illustration. Even if it’s a cartoonish type it can hold up the emotions in the story. His art is all up. In some parts he can turn those non action, monologue scenes interesting (for example the Sermon of the Mount). In some instances, it’s more of narrative carrying it through than the artwork.
There are one page stunner artworks that you’ll pause and stare for awhile. There are a couple of them inside. Those are the wow moments you shouldn’t miss in this comic. Some panels also have these attention grabbing art. Another I would like to note are the spiritual beings (angels, the Holy Spirit represented as a dove, demons and Satan) are not drawn the usual stereotype way. Folks who are demon possessed here are a bit creepy.
Artworks for dialogues and expressions of the characters that does have hits and a bit of misses in some parts.
Storytelling: So I wouldn’t dare argue with the writer of this book (see the credits, LOL). I will just concentrate in a few points. I’m not a fan of the NIV but using this translation in this book is a good one. Never knew the reading is a smooth flow and understandable. It makes you want to pick up an NIV and read it.
Lettering: I love how Pillario manage to put all the Bible verses into each speech bubbles and caption excellently and cleverly. It a painstaking task to avoid being too cluttered or the accompanying artwork will suffer. If the art is boring in these places with lots of speech bubbles at caption, the result will be the same. I think Pillario did strike a balance between the text and art. If this is not done it will eventually turn off the readers. And mind you that this is done by Pillario alone (except for the script and the colors).
Speaking of turn offs, I think the length of the book which is 240 pages could add to the turn off list, but I’m glad there are these “chapters” to help you pause. Actually, you can finish it in one sitting because it feels like your not reading a Bible.
Extras: The map and additional articles in this book are sort of the “appendix” of this book and are helpful. The gospel presentation is just what every Christian needs if he intends to give it to a non-believer.
Word for Word Bible Comic: The Gospel of Matthew takes Bible reading to another level. The narrative and artwork are accessible and engaging at the same time entertaining. This is a result of the meticulous passion of Pillario to present the Word of God word for word, including it’s historical, cultural and geographic fidelity in a format that people don’t seriously consider a legit literature or art form. The fruit of that work is “Bible” that you won’t just devour in one sitting but move you to pick up the Bible itself and read it.
I’m ready for more of Pillario’s books!
5 out of 5
Get your copy of this comic here.
(Simon Amadeus Pillario provided a digital copy for this review.)
(Did you like what you read? Did this article helped you? Then you can share some love by buying me a coffee).