Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins, recently announced The Book of Revelation, an adult graphic novel with translation by Fr. Mark Arey and the late Philemon Sevastiades, adaptation by Matt Dorff, and illustrations by Chris Koelle, produced by Chris Diamantopoulos. It was released on October 11 in time for New York Comic Con. As described by the company:
Fr. Mark Arey is a priest in the in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and provided, with the late Sevastiades, an original translation of the religious text. Actor Chris Diamantopoulos, who played Moe in the latest Three Stooges film, served as a producer of sorts on the project, while Matt Dorff was the artistic director, helping to balance the text and imagery created by renowned Christian artist Chris Koelle.
Michael Tresca (MT): Tell us about your company.
Zondervan (Z): We are the creators of a graphic novel version of The Book of Revelation, the 27th book of the New Testament. Mark was the translator, having translated the ancient Greek manuscript into English. Matt is the adapter, he took the verses and created a script that detailed the visual narrative panel by panel.
MT: Was this your first Comic Con?
Z: No, we took the book to San Diego Comic Con in July.
MT: Tell us about The Book of Revelation.
Z: Collaboration between a Greek Orthodox priest, a film & TV writer and an evangelical Christian artist. The combination led to a unique creative chemistry that mined the deeper narrative elements of the book. We did things that had never been done, like visualizing the Lamb as an animal/human hybrid and showing the Beast as a fictional Roman emperor, and the Whore of Babylon as his empress. We transformed the text into an immersive visual narrative while retaining every word of the original’s 404 verses.
MT: How was your Comic Con experience?
Z: Great experience, a lot of interest, people mostly surprised at the high quality of the artwork and the storytelling. Heard this the most: “The Book of Revelation as a graphic novel? What a GREAT idea! Wonder why no one thought of that before…”
MT: What type of geek will be interested in The Book of Revelation?
Z: A church-going geek with an interest in Biblical narratives would probably be the primary reader, but we believe non Church-going geeks who are fascinated by fantasy epics such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones would also be very interested in this book. The Book of Revelation is the granddaddy of all fantasy narratives (and in this case fantasy doesn’t mean fictional). Revelation has evil dragons and monstrous overlords and heroic warriors and gore galore.
MT: What was your favorite aspect of Comic Con?
Z: The best place outside of Halloween night to see adults wearing wild costumes. And we love hobnobbing with talented illustrators!
MT: Where can fans find you next?
Z: On bookstore shelves and with online retailers starting November 6.
MT: Where can we find out more about you online?
MT: Any other information you’d like to provide?
Z: If you intend to purchase a book online, please do so on November 5th, the day before it goes on sale in physical bookstores. We are trying to get our numbers up on that day so we can launch atop the bestseller lists!
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