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Book of Mormon to be published in comic-book form

from the strange-twists-on-missionary-work dept.
I was dumbfounded to learn that a comic-book version of the Book of Mormon will supposedly be hitting stores this October. The Golden Plates: The Shape of All Things is the creation of Mike Allred, a church-member and 14-year veteran of the comic book industry. (Pictures here, here, here, and here.) Allred describes it as "It’s A Wonderful Life meets Conan the Barbarian," and even thinks of it as "a tool to make The Book Of Mormon ... more accessible."

Now I don't mean to be a party-pooper here, but does this seem a little uncouth to anyone else? People already accuse the Book of Mormon of being a work of fiction, do we really need to go out and portray it that way too? To me it just seems like this will do more harm than good. (Thanks to A Soft Answer for the link to this story.)


uh..I thought they already did this and called it the book of mormon reader. I remember I got one when I was baptised and remember it seeming just as boring as the real thing.

(I have since changed my views about the BoM being boring - but what do you expect from an 8 year old kid?)

Don't Knock it!

Why do people think that Comic-style art is some how lesser? What makes Arnold Friburg’s art any better? His people are just as unrealistic; no woman would ever have wrists that large! And why are impressionistic water colors more approved of than stylized caricatures? Perhaps it is that the American public has been conditioned by historical circumstance to believe that Comic Art is not a legitimate way to tell or re-tell a story. Or perhaps it is that LDS culture often stagnates art in the name of a personal point of view not found in the doctrine.

I have studied art, literature and communication and I work in the information professions and as a professional I must point out that this form is a legitimate way to communicate the Gospel. It has been proven that people internalize information in at least 8 different ways (Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences) and a majority of people are “visual” learners. What better way to make sense out of a book that is written in an archaic language than to provide imagery that will allow them to visualize the text and context of the stories and doctrines being provided. Many people in this world are not skilled readers, yet the Book of Mormon in comic form could still be understandable and enjoyable to them. The comic narrative style opens more doors of understanding than any other medium. If you read through the posts on one of the links provided you will find a number of people picking up the book on the merit of the art alone, what’s to say that won’t change a life.

The comic book or graphic novel (terms are relatively interchangeable) is a ingenious form, with a highly developed structural use of Text and Image found in no other medium;the typography itself is a work of art. In comics a unique set of codes and conceits are used; a visual language. The difference here is that you can still enjoy it without truly being visually literate. The Book of Mormon and Bible have been made into films, film strips, a vast array of still images, and one only has to go into Deseret Book to see all the other books that have been written on the subject. Why not this artistic form? The comic image breaths life into a narrative, that for some is flat and unreal.

While yes, there is the Book of Mormon reader, it is not a graphic novel or comic book. There is no artistic layout and the “reader” is designed as a scripture for young children (and controlled by the Church Organization). Comics demand a intelligence in the readership that often is not to be found in someone under the age of 12. Many comics are for those age 15 and up. Allred’s imagery draws you in and is not filtered or stamped for censored approval. You see the violence and the spirituality that is real life. You are drawn in and become part of the events, not a passive, half asleep, member in the back of Sunday school with no desire to comment when the teacher asks a question.

I’m not saying that we should use these in church - I might just because I can, but do not discredit them as a work of art and a tool in the Lord’s hands. What have you done with your talent’s of late? I’m sure Allred will be blessed for his dedication and work.

Robin D.

If you want to learn more about the Comic Books and Graphic Novels try these source:

Bitz, Michael. The Comic Book Project: Forging Alternative Pathways to Literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 47.7 (2004): 574-86.

Bongco, Mila. Reading Comics: Language, Culture, and the Concept of the Superhero in Comic Books. NY: Garland Publishing. 2000.

Gorman, Michele. Graphic Novles and the Curriculum Connection. Library Media Connection 22.3 (2003): 20-1.

MacLachlan, Gale and Ian Reid. Framing and Interpretation. Melbourne University Press. 1994.

Pustz, Matthew L. Comic Book Culture. University Press of Mississippi. 1999.

Schwarzt, Gretchen E. Graphic Novels for Multiple Literacies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 46.3 (2002): 262-5.

Silberman, Vanessa. Comic Imagery No Laughing Matter For Today’s Artists. Art Business News. 30.8 (2003): 44,46, 48.

Varnum, Robin and Christina T. Gibbons. Ed. The Language of Comics: Word and Image. University Press of Mississippi. 2001.

Wright, Bradford. Comic Book Nation: the Transformation of Youth Culture in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2001.

Have you ever read the Book o

Have you ever read the Book of Mormon? For those who are Mormon love it. I do. If you don't think that it is such a great idea then give the illustrator some tips on how those who are not Mormon would like to see in it so they would want to become readers.

here's another example of a s

here's another example of a serious comic.

Wow. Well said.

Ok. I'm convinced. Thank you.

My only concern with the idea is that people might laugh at it merely because it's a comic book, and for a lot of people comic books just have that stigma about them--a stigma perpetuated by characters like the comic book store guy on the Simpsons.

I just get the impression that the average American views the comic book as something that isn't to be taken seriously, so when they see a Book of Mormon comic book they'll probably just roll their eyes. Do you see what I'm saying?

I don't actually see comic books are a useless form of art or communication, especially after reading what you have to say about them. Hopefully the Book of Mormon in comic book form will introduce a whole new group of people to the gospel--a group who's probably never been exposed to it before--which will definitely be a good thing.

wow ... that's a great use of

wow ... that's a great use of the comic book medium to communicate a story.

I guess I can see that it's possible to do a wonderful job with the Book of Mormon as well.