cover image The Manga Bible

The Manga Bible

Siku, . . Doubleday/Galilee, $12.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-385-52431-5

One wouldn’t imagine that Siku, onetime artist for postmodern bloodfest Judge Dredd , would be the ideal choice for a manga-style graphic novel adaptation of the Bible, but not many pages have passed before it becomes clear that the Bible is, in fact, the perfect material for him. This audacious little book doesn’t make much effort to be authoritative and include every last Old Testament begatting or bloody massacre. Instead Siku presents jazzy and irreverent riffs on the good book, leaping brazenly over whole reams of material and scattering behind numerous “Want to Know More” tags directing readers to more explanatory chapter and verse. The action is breezy and flip, drawn in a sharp and Anglicized manga style. The dialogue is not just laced with humorously incongruous Britishisms (“My maths has never been very good!”) but with slangy passages worthy of the CW Network (Cain to Abel, “Whassup, bro?”). Although the book (already a hit in the U.K.) is being released via Doubleday’s Galilee imprint and is clearly targeted at youthful believers, it makes little attempt to sanitize the grottier aspects of the source material, as witnessed in the scene where a crowd of Sodom’s citizens bellow, “Bring out those men so that we can rape them!” (Jan.)