In January, comic readers should prepare themselves for the second coming because Jesus is back! That is he’s back in the pages of Tim Seeley’s “Loaded Bible 2: Blood of Christ,” a 48 page one shot from Image Comics and the sequel to this year’s “Loaded Bible Jesus vs. Vampires.” CBR News spoke to Seeley about the book, which returns readers to a post-apocalyptic world plagued by Nosferatu, where the reborn son of a carpenter is mankind’s last best hope for survival.
When the first installment of “Loaded Bible” was announced, it caused a stir among people who weren’t sure what to expect or weren’t willing to give the story a chance. However, when “Jesus vs. Vampires” was releasedm Seeley was surprised at how well the book did and some of the letters of praise he got about his story. “I really didn’t know what to expect going in to ‘Loaded Bible: Jesus vs. Vampires.’ For all I knew we could do anywhere from 3 copies to 20,000,” Seeley told CBR News. “We came in around 10k, which ended up being really good for a 4.95 comic. I did get a few angry letters – a few to me and a few to Image Comics. It seemed like it was mostly uptight reactionaries who hadn’t even read the comic. Those letters are good for laughs. But, more surprising was that I got three letters from actual ministers and priests who liked the comic. In general, I was really pleasantly surprised to find people were willing to try something before they judged. ‘Loaded Bible’ gave me new faith in humanity.”
Like “Jesus vs. Vampires,” “Loaded Bible 2: Blood of Christ’ is an idea that’s been percolating in Seeley’s head for awhile. “When ‘Loaded Bible’ was conceived oh-so long ago, it was this whole epic story,” Seeley explained. “In ‘Jesus vs. Vampires’ readers only got the first chapter. So, this second chapter is just another piece of this big, crazy, conceived- while-bored-in-Wisconsin story.”
The second chapter of “Loaded Bible” has been designed to be new reader friendly. “I set the story up so you can pick up this one and be okay,” Seeley explained. “But, y’know, you’ll enjoy it more if you’ve read the first one. That whole rigamaroll.”
When “Blood of Christ” begins, Jesus is far from okay. He’s still coming to grips with the shocking revelation of his true origin, which was revealed at the end of “Jesus vs. Vampires.” “‘Blood of Christ’ picks up within a few days of ‘Jesus vs. Vampires,’ with a huge riot in Vatican City and Jesus out alone in the desert,” Seeley said. “At this point Jesus is sort of a wreck – he’s been raised to believe he was going to save the world, that he was unique and special, only to find out that everything he’s ever believed is a lie. So, he’s trying to figure out his place in the world.”
Jesus’ quest to find that place will also serve to further define the post-apocalyptic world that Seeley introduced in the first “Loaded Bible” one-shot. “This story is a sort of parallel story with half taking place with Jesus in the wastelands, and the other half dealing with what happens in Vatican City after the people discover they’ve also been lied to,” Seeley said. “The story expands on this world, but I tried to do it in a very logical way – as we go farther out, we see more of what’s out there, or rather, what’s not out there.
“The first one was about setting up the world, and introducing the characters. This one is more about advancing the characters along and coming up with more creative ways for Jesus to kill vampires,” Seeley continued. “It’s about a man who was treated like the second-coming having to come to terms with the world he lives in, as well as figure out what something like this means to his own faith.”
Jesus won’t be the only character trying to figure out how to move his life forward in “Blood of Christ.” “In this one, we really see the development of the other cast,” Seeley explained. “Jesus, Father Parrish, Lilith, Sistine – these are the main cast, with some falling on the bad guy side, some on the good and most in the middle.”
Characters may be wrestling with big decisions in “Blood of Christ,” but the story isn’t only about soul searching. Seeley has made sure to pack the issue with heaping helpings of action scenes, by having Jesus deliver divine ass-kickings to two sets of enemies. “The main villains in this story are actually a group of Bounty Hunters,” Seeley said. “But of course, there are lots and lots of vamps. Big ones, small ones.”
Like, the first installment, “Loaded Bible 2” will also blend kick-ass action sequences, humor and some thought provoking insights. “It’s more of the same,” Seeley stated. “I think that’s something that I want the whole series to have – a mix of serious political commentary and funny ways for vampires to blow up.”
The tone of “Blood of Christ” might be the same as the first “Loaded Bible” story, but the look of this chapter will be different from the first because a new artist will bring all the exploding vampire action to life. “Mark Englert [the first book’s inker] is back, because I can’t live without him,” Seeley explained. “But, the penciler on this is none other than Mike Norton of ‘Runaways,’ ‘New X-Men’ and ‘Gravity.’ Yeah, don’t ask me how I pulled that off – it was a combination of begging and hard liquor.”
Seeley hopes this second one-shot will be met with the same sort of reaction the first received. He’s got plans for plenty more post apocalyptic adventures of Jesus and would love to bring them to readers for some time to come. “I have ‘Bible’ planned as a, uhmm, quint-logy! Five, 48-page books. That’s for the main story anyway. I wouldn’t mind doing an ongoing story though, after the main tale kind of more like Conan, with Jesus wandering the world and fighting covens of vampire nuns with big hips like a Frazetta painting. [laughs] We’ll see how readers like ‘Blood of Christ’ first, right?”