The Action Bible

A comic book version of the Bible? Yes, please! When I saw that this book was coming out I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I’ve been a lover of comic books and graphic novels since I was a child and this book would have been very well read if I were to have had access to it as a child.

The Action Bible
Illustrated by Sergio Cariello
David C. Cook
September 2010

Nearly 750 pages of fully illustrated, full color Bible stories come to life in the Action Bible published by David C. Cook. As the subtitle suggests, dozens of stories from the Bible come to beautiful life, through the excellent illustrations of Sergio Cariello, in biblical-chronological order to tell God’s Redemptive Story.

It is important to note that this is not actually a “Bible” in the sense that it does not contain the complete text of the Scriptures nor does it illustrate all of the sections of the Bible. (Which makes sense as many sections are not good fits for being made into a visual story medium like graphic novels. The epistles are examples of this and are, for the most part, skipped over.) Instead this is a collection of short illustrated stories of key historical figures and events from the historical portions of the Bible.

If I had one complaint about this book it would be that there isn’t a clear distinction between the historical and metaphorical / apocalyptical portions of the Bible which led to many stories being portrayed literally when they should have been portrayed figuratively, if possible. For instance, Jonah is swallowed by a giant “fish” depicted as having massive teeth and a nasty glare, and the dragon in Revelation is shown visually fighting against a floating-in-space Jesus instead of interpreting the symbols as apocalyptic literature. At times, this book becomes too wooden interpretively for my tastes. Fortunately, this book is for a different target audience altogether… and with them it is a smashing success!

This book exists for one reason: to get young people, most likely young boys, to read and become familiar with the stories of the Bible. Something that they would be highly unlikely to do if they only have access to print versions of the Word. And on that point it is singularly successful. I read this book to my young son while flipping through the pages and he was enthralled. He wouldn’t let me stop! When he learns to read I have no doubt that he himself will not stop.

The Action Bible fills a need that has been too long neglected. It is a very well made and illustrated book that every young boy and many young girls should have on their shelf. I highly recommended it to anyone who enjoys graphic novels and especially those who are or have children who are reluctant readers.


Scott Asher is the founder and administrator of BookGateway.com. Along with his contributions to BookGateway, he reviews for the commercial site BuddyHollywood.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on current events and Christianity.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Originally Published at BuddyHollywood.com