Review by Win Wiacek
In the 21st century a new world has dawned where comics can be considered both art forms and high-ticket commercial artefacts, where the big comic has been reborn as a full-on item of merit. In 2012 DC’s oversized 1975 presentation of Bible stories was reprinted as an oversized (262 x 345 mm) commemorative hardback edition.
It was an all-new project written by Sheldon Mayer and designed and edited by Joe Kubert and planned as the first instalment in a graphic interpretation of the entire Bible. Yet the 1975 edition was the only adaptation. Apparently readers prefer costumed saviours above all others.
Artist Nestor Redondo was a major star in his homeland: a deeply religious man who’d already produced Bible as well as international movie adaptations and standard comics fare. Contributing to Christian comics would be a lifelong passion. He was superbly accomplished and renowned in Filipino comics long before starting to work for DC, and to pick just one achievement, MGM were so impressed by the art on his 1953 adaptation of Christian epic Quo Vadis that they offered 24 year old Nestor a US job and residency. He declined, thinking himself too young to leave home yet. Anyone interested can see the surviving artwork by searching online for “Nestor Redondo’s Quo Vadis”, and you should, because it’s frankly incredible.
Stories from the Bible have been a part of US comics since the earliest days of the industry, but they have never been so beautifully illustrated as in this book. Included herein are loving interpretations of The Creation, The Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel, The Generations of Adam, Noah and the Flood, The Tower of Babel, The Story of Abraham and Sodom and Gomorrah.
Also included are single-page information features ‘Digging into the Past’, ‘School Days in Bible Times’, ‘The Ziggurat’ and ‘Soldiers in the Time of Abraham’ all illustrated by Kubert, but the true star is the passionate beauty of Redondo’s, lush, glorious art.
Whatever your beliefs, this is work that you simply cannot be unmoved by and truly should be aware of. Even if there isn’t a comprehensive collection of his work – yet – this single work stands as a lasting tribute to Nestor Redondo’s unparalleled talent. If you venerate beautiful pictures telling stories, you must see this book.