First Look: Jesus Christ Graphic Novel

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    Kingstone—the leading publisher of Christian comics and biblical-worldview graphic novels—launched the iPad/iPhone’s comic app: Comics by comiXology.

    This brings the first faith-based comics and graphic novels to the leading global digital comics platform. “ComiXology is the de facto leader in delivering comics and graphic novels worldwide,” said Kingstone Media CEO Art Ayris, who unabashedly aims to be the Marvel or DC of Christian comics. “We like putting Christ and the Scriptures in the mainstream of the comic conversation.”

    “Providing the broadest range of comic and graphic novel content has always been our mission at comiXology,” said David Steinberger CEO of comiXology. “We’re thrilled to add Kingstone media to the mix.”

    Are comics relevant?

    Consider: The market is booming: Comics/graphic novel sales top $500 million in the U.S. and $5 billion in Japan. Comics also are easily translated into multiple languages. Boys are reading: Teen girls read more than boys—Hunger Games, Twilight primarily reach teenage girls—but the primary market for comics/graphic novels is boys ages 9 to 14. Given that half the world’s population is illiterate or semi-literate, comics and graphic novels make learning visual. (For 80 percent of people, the principal mode of learning is visual.) Men are reading: Ayris was surprised to learn that a second significant percentage of Kingstone readers are males age 30-45. Top authors have new readers: Comics throw open a door for top Christian communicators to gain new audiences. Best-seller and leader in next-life literature Randy Alcorn just published his first graphic novel—Eternity—with Kingstone. ( Kingstone soon will announce new works from other top Christian names.)

    Learning and education expert Dr. Mary Manz Simon says comics and graphic novels go places a traditional Bible or Sunday school lesson might not. “Educators continually search for new strategies to encourage readers, whether using print or pixels. The sales lift of graphic novels and comics is not surprising because these formats are visually arresting and shout ‘fun,’” said Simon. “We live in a visual society. Readers who are accustomed to look at images will be compelled to look at vividly colored graphic novels like Eternity.” With today’s comiXology launch, Kingstone unveils its entire catalog of 25 comic books and 12 graphic novels across the comiXology platform.

    Besides Alcorn’s Eternity, the list brings writers such as Dr. Marvin Olasky, named one of the 50 Most Influential Christians in the World, and well-known comic book writers Ben Avery and Roland Mann. Interestingly, Kingstone readers come from well past the faith market, drawn to Kingstone’s artist stable of industry stars: Javier Saltares, (Kingstone: Eternity; Marvel Comics: Wolverine, Ghost Rider; Dark Horse Comics) Sergio Cariello (Disney, Marvel Comics, DC) Danny Bulanadi (Marvel Comics: Fantastic Four, Captain America) In 2014, comiXology also will feature Kingstone’s 12-volume Kingstone Bible project, the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible ever made. Kingstone also distributes through major retailers such as Walmart and CBA Christian book stores. Kingstone also recently signed on with iVerse Media, the leading provider of digital material to libraries nationwide.

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