Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book #27

The Big Book of Martyrs, by John Wagner & various artists. Graphic novel.

There are many entries in the "Big Book" series, from Factoid Books, an imprint of DC Comics. These black-and-white comic-style books have covered Conspiracies, Urban Legends, Hoaxes, Weirdos, and Thugs. And so despite the religious nature of the stories in this volume, there is enough weirdness, drama, and blood for this topic to fit the series.

The 50+ martyrs who are profiled here range from the biblical (John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul) to the modern (Maximilian Kolbe and Edith Stein), the famous (Joan of Arc and Thomas More) to the obscure (Phocas and Wilgefortis). But what they all have in common is that they died for their Christian faith. And most of these deaths were quite grisly.

In addition to the wild and crazy stories, the art in the book is interesting, as a different artist was used for each of the stories, so every four pages or so there is a definite change in the art style. For me, the work of Lennie Mace, Joe Orlando, Colleen Doran, and Dave Devries stood out, although much of the work was very strong.

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