Story and Art by Tzvi Lebetkin
Edited by Michelle Goode
For Rats and Crows Publishing
As a comic book fan I have a few genres that always stick with me; and no superheroes are not one of them. I will give anything a shot that falls under the sci-fi, fantasy, or religious genre. All three usually have something different that I enjoy and being a guy that spent a few years in a private religious school I can appreciate something that takes time to look at the bible and the many different stories within to pull inspiration. The bible is full of material primed to be re-imagined or explored from a comic book lense and Lebetkin holds nothing back as he dives head first into some old testament stories. I pledged to the Kickstarter for the trade, mostly because I trust anything Rats and Crows, but also because of the name; Biblical: Bible Stories for Atheists, Creationists, Rationalists & Rogues. I had a feeling that this book would be something special and boy was I correct.
The book starts with a story about King Nimrod and the Tower of Babel but it takes a second to piece it all together, even for someone like myself that is familiar with the bible because it’s so well written. Lebetkin leads with a small glimpse of the tower and eases right into the story but the style of writing is as if the reader is there in that world and Lebetkin lets the story unfold naturally. What makes this so well written is the fact that, at least as far as I can tell, the people and places are all correct and follow the biblical stories while the dialog and the action are fairly speculative. Not speculative in a way that denotes any sort of falsehood but speculative in the way that it has to be to be told. Since there are no real lines of dialog in the bible the creativity of Lebetkin’s storytelling is on full display and his ability to make established characters interesting on a level outside of the original context is pretty admirable.
Lebetkin ran into a problem many of us face while trying to create a comic book. He couldn’t really find anyone willing to collaborate with him on his idea. Luckily for Lebetkin he had enough talent and desire to just draw it himself. I have to admit that Lebetkin’s art skills are not up there with his writing skills, but it’s pretty darn close. Lebetkin shows pictures of the people he uses as muses for the characters and his interpretations are spot on. After seeing the pictures and the art I gained a new level of respect for Lebetkin. Not only did he challenge himself as a writer to tackle something as large as the bible but he challenged himself to become an artist on a publishable level and he succeeded on both fronts marvelously. Not to mention the fact that it’s lettered really well too, and I mean really well, there are some spots with dialog balloons and action lettering where I had to go back and make sure Lebetkin was the only name on the creator list. For a first time effort with little experience Lebetkin has delivered a top notch effort.
Biblical just had a successful Kickstarter and will be available soon at Rats and Crows Publishing website.