This is borderline being an illustrated novel, as opposed to a comicbook. The drawings are more illustrations of what is occurring in the text and don't impact the story telling.
This could be an issue for
enjoyability, but I still respect Crumb's dedication to doing a
straight-up, no words changed adaption. The illustrations occasionally
have some image that is humorous. They also depict the text in ways that
the reader wouldn't necessarily imagine. So, we almost get two books
here: a nice translation of The Genesis (without the archaic language of
some translations, or the watered-down New International Version - the
standard edition at most Churches I've had the misfortune of being in)as
well as avoiding the two column printing style that's difficult to
The reason to buy this book is to get a glimpse into the
head of Crumb: we see what he's seeing while reading the book. The
first, obvious, occurrence of an interesting illustration of the text is
the Garden's serpent being depicted as anthropomorphic; thus, when God
condemns snakes to move on their bellies, the serpent loses his arms and
legs (as opposed to a more traditional illustration that would
necessarily suggest that God either condemned the snake before the
snake's actions or condemned the snake to never evolve).
many parts of Genesis are insanity. Like Noah living till 950 years old.
But it is an interesting historical document (of the history contained
in the book, which must be taken carefully; but, more importantly, it's a
document of how the ancients understood their own history).
an odd state of affairs that a comicbook like "The Action Bible"
receives the Christian Book Award, but this book, a more honest
rendition of the bible, is overlooked. Crumb's Genesis was beaten out by
"The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? the Answer That
Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World" which is about some
rich dude who gets paid to go to a poor country and listen to poor
people then tries to help them out financially while pushing Christian
ideology on everyone with cherry-picked quotes from the new testament.
recently checked out the Kingstone Bible comic adaptation. It's written
by a diehard Christian writer and starts with Genesis. The very first
line was altered (to reflect a more Christian approach to the Old
Testament, God is described as happy being alone and he is described as
being a being of three parts). It's ridiculous that a non-believer
respects the Bible more than all the other religious adapters have. I'd
love to read more word-for-word adaptions as I find well-researched
illustrations help me understand the physical world the Bible depicts.
I'd also recommend for anyone interested in another Bible adaption to check out The Book of Revelations by Matt Dorff and co
do a word-for-word adaption of that strange book. The illustrations
make the reading more entertaining if not necessarily making the book
easier to understand.