Bible in comics

In the XXI century we are all used in the comics and its aesthetics does not surprise us. But how do you feel about the Bible in the comics? In some points it could be too choking, but also it is the most clear and simple way of speaking with new young generation on its language. American artist Robert Crumb did it in 2009 publishing absolutely commercial pictures of Bible stories but he did not change the Bible texts quoting it verbatim.

Chapter-one-of-The-Book-O-002450 crumb-genesis-ch4sm


Robert Crumb was influenced by two points in his childhood: from the one side, he was from the Catholic family and, from the other side, his older brother, Charles, introduced him to comics. Together they created Foo, a three-issue comic book that had some success within a network of fanzine enthusiasts. After high school, Crumb started to work as an illustrator of greeting cards in Cleveland, but his pictures were never so cute as the buyers liked. The first LSD experience totally changed his style, he moved to San Francisco and began to publish psychedelic cartoons in underground newspapers and started his own independent venture, Zap Comix, in 1968.



Crumb soon became popular for his characters such as Fritz the Cat, a sexually adventurous huckster, and Mr. Natural, a bearded, sybaritic mystic. He also made autobiographical comics. That was a story of his own anxieties and unorthodox sexual fantasies. In the mid-1970 he was already well known and made a lot of comics but also his one-page comic “Keep on Truckin” was co-opted as a slogan for 1979s hippie optimism so it brought him much more renown. In 2009 he published his most ambitious work – a graphic novel of all fifty chapters of the book of Genesis, which took nearly five years to complete. In his illustration of biblical text, Crumb forgoes his satire and irony, and instead lets the story stand without interference: all its sex, violence, Edenic nudity remain uncensored. Each word of the biblical text is saved, he just sometimes focuses on that moments which Bible leaves a bit brief. This project includes 207 pages of black-and-white drawings – a bright vivid illustration of one of the world’s best-known stories, in which the sacred is talked in the most simple and clear language of images.


  1. January 1st, 2014

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