Official Press Release
There’s a quirky thing about fiction: it’s obsessed with the truth. One
recently popular television show claimed “the truth is out there.” And who
hasn’t put on their best Jack Nicholson voice and shouted “You can’t handle
the truth!”? But come this September, Metron Press is going to look for the
truth 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 stellar
team of creators, will record what is uncovered in a place named J.J.’s, a
bar where you can get answers to questions; questions you may not have
realized 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, the
No, Testament is not a Sunday School Primer, though it does present some of
the more popular, as well as some of the more obscure, stories from the Old
Testament. It’s a graphic novel filled with drama, wisdom, wit, and more
social and personal relevance than today’s standard comic book and
television fare. As project editor Mario Ruiz puts it, “There’s so much more
relevance to the stories of the Bible than most people are aware. The Bible
is really a chronicle of how God has related with men and women from all
walks of life and in every situation. The problems we face today are really
no different than what people faced back then.”
Mario knew that to carry off such an ambitious project, he’d have to get a
writer with unique narrative talents. Enter then Jim Krueger, whose work on
Earth-X and The Clock Maker brought a new level of innovation to sequential
storytelling. It was a perfect fit. “These are the stories that have formed
our 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 these
characters and stories. How could I not write this?”
And with Jim on board, Mario lined up a cast of the greatest artists in
comic books, fine art and commercial art to bring the stories of the Bible
to life. “I started with Bill Sienkiewicz,” beamed Mario. “Here’s a guy
whose art has been seen by millions of people; he’s done comics, album
covers, movie posters. Plus he’s doing some of the art for another upcoming
Metron 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, Teddy
Kristiansen, Vince Locke, John Van Fleet, Ray Lago, Scott Hampton, Phil
Hester, Zach Howard, Bill Koeb, Greg Spalenka, Yvonne Gilbert, Tommy Lee
Edwards, 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. “So
really, 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 source
material. The stories are kind of wild. We’re constantly saying that we
didn’t make this stuff up. It’s really in the Bible! It goes to show you
that many church folk aren’t reading their Bibles enough.”
“Faith,” Jim Krueger adds, “begins with a metaphysical thirst for the
spiritual. And that’s why I chose a bartender to be the main voice and
narrator of the piece. And let’s face it, these are stories we should all
know-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 as
possible, and to present the material in a very thought-provoking and
visually exciting way. We have to overcome a certain degree of prejudice
against religion as the subject matter of a graphic novel. I think our first
graphic novel, Samson: Judge of Israel, helped to change attitudes because
it 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 an
oversized format (8.5″ x 10.875″) with 120 pages at a cover price of $12.95.
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