Official Press Release
There's a quirky thing about fiction: it's obsessed with the truth. Onerecently popular television show claimed "the truth is out there." And whohasn't put on their best Jack Nicholson voice and shouted "You can't handlethe truth!"? But come this September, Metron Press is going to look for thetruth in a rather unusual place-a bar. And they are going to find it.
Testament, a new graphic novel written by Jim Krueger with art by a stellarteam of creators, will record what is uncovered in a place named J.J.'s, abar where you can get answers to questions; questions you may not haverealized you even needed to ask. When a lonely man goes in looking for solace, he gets more than just a stiff drink-he gets a first-class introduction to the most widely read book in history, theBible.
No, Testament is not a Sunday School Primer, though it does present some ofthe more popular, as well as some of the more obscure, stories from the OldTestament. It's a graphic novel filled with drama, wisdom, wit, and moresocial and personal relevance than today's standard comic book andtelevision fare. As project editor Mario Ruiz puts it, "There's so much morerelevance to the stories of the Bible than most people are aware. The Bibleis really a chronicle of how God has related with men and women from allwalks of life and in every situation. The problems we face today are reallyno different than what people faced back then."
Mario knew that to carry off such an ambitious project, he'd have to get awriter with unique narrative talents. Enter then Jim Krueger, whose work onEarth-X and The Clock Maker brought a new level of innovation to sequentialstorytelling. It was a perfect fit. "These are the stories that have formedour society," Jim crowed. "They are responsible for three major religions.They have formed our very understanding of story, irony, hope and despair.There isn't a superhero in comic-dom that doesn't owe something to thesecharacters and stories. How could I not write this?"
And with Jim on board, Mario lined up a cast of the greatest artists incomic books, fine art and commercial art to bring the stories of the Bibleto life. "I started with Bill Sienkiewicz," beamed Mario. "Here's a guywhose art has been seen by millions of people; he's done comics, albumcovers, movie posters. Plus he's doing some of the art for another upcomingMetron project. Getting him on board gave us a good anchor."
>From there, the list of artists goes into the stratosphere: Steve Rude,George Pratt, Bo Hampton, Kent Williams, Sergio Aragonés, Rudy Nebres, TeddyKristiansen, Vince Locke, John Van Fleet, Ray Lago, Scott Hampton, PhilHester, Zach Howard, Bill Koeb, Greg Spalenka, Yvonne Gilbert, Tommy LeeEdwards, Jason Alexander, and Mark Texeira.
But presenting the truth of the Old Testament as being found in a bar?Doesn't that seem a bit risky? "People do it every day," Mario stated. "Soreally, when we present Biblical truth, we're presenting in a truthful way.Not only in the setting, but in the way we stay accurate with the sourcematerial. The stories are kind of wild. We're constantly saying that wedidn't make this stuff up. It's really in the Bible! It goes to show youthat many church folk aren't reading their Bibles enough."
"Faith," Jim Krueger adds, "begins with a metaphysical thirst for thespiritual. And that's why I chose a bartender to be the main voice andnarrator of the piece. And let's face it, these are stories we should allknow-if only for cultural literacy. Joan of Ark was not Noah's wife."
Ruiz notes, "Our role is to be as factually and historically accurate aspossible, and to present the material in a very thought-provoking andvisually exciting way. We have to overcome a certain degree of prejudiceagainst religion as the subject matter of a graphic novel. I think our firstgraphic novel, Samson: Judge of Israel, helped to change attitudes becauseit was a good story from a famous book told in a cool way."
Testament will be released in September 2003. It will be presented in anoversized format (8.5" x 10.875") with 120 pages at a cover price of $12.95.