Tales Of Wonder #3
Pet Shop Comics (1997)
This is where I usually post the credits except there are none. Three stories with no credits for any of it. Tales Of Wonder, or at least this series as there are other comic series with that name, is a comic book adaptation of the Bible. The first tale follows the Old Testament and the second follows the New Testament, with a back-up adapting one of Paul’s letters to pad out the issue.
As a Christian I found the idea interesting but only found out about it in the third issue and only bought this and the fourth. I can find virtually nothing about this comic. The Grand Comics Database, usually my best info source, only knows about two issues and doesn’t even have information about any of them beyond “they exist”. Comic Book Realm has scans for all five covers and that’s pretty much it. A comic this obscure really doesn’t inspire hope…and then you read it.
The Old Testament story has reached the part where Adam and Eve have already eaten of the Fruit Of Knowledge and realize they were naked, as “The Penalty Of Sin!” begins. After lifting what looks like Eve’s long stringy hair like Spider-Man trying to life that hunk of metal from the famous panel, they sew fig leaves and hide from the Lord, ashamed of their nakedness. When God confronts them on it Adam immediately blames Eve and Eve immediately blames the serpent. Neither of them are wrong mind you, thus the punishments are given out. Eve gets painful childbirth until they invent drugs, Adam has to work the ground, and the serpent and human are now enemies. Worried about these two eating of the fruit of the Tree Of Life he opts to kick them out of Eden for the sake of themselves and the world. It’s hard to screw up this story and on the writing side it’s fine. It’s just quoting the Bible.
The problem is the artwork. As noted, Eve’s hair is excessively long and stringy. Adam has a huge bush of hair on his head and it looks silly. The overdramatic posing does nothing to help. Presentation is everything, and this just looks ugly.
Sadly the art style continues in the New Testament. “Brought Low In The Wilderness” brings us the part where Jesus is brought to be tempted by the devil, with the same mop hair as Adam and Eve. We don’t need to see every strand of hair, and yet here we are. You know this story by now. Satan tries all these different ways to get Jesus to show off or to worship the devil and he refuses every time. The ugly art this time actually makes the devil look more evil, but the overdramatic expressions show up here as well. It’s followed by a sermon in text so small it’s difficult to read and so long that it’s not even attention grabbing. Had they made it larger we might not need the back-up story.
“The Power—And The Passion!” (yes, they used three hyphens instead of two) is a back-up story because the temptation story ran short. It’s one of the letters from Paul but it doesn’t really say which one and not being a chapter and verse rememberer (my memory is not the best) I couldn’t tell you which one without looking it up. No bad hair this time…because nobody really has much. It’s a letter written to the faithful in Rome, but we don’t get a specific location or person. The presentation here is Paul reciting the letter while walking around a castle with lighting around it…and it’s kind of boring.
I’m not going to question the creator or creators passion for the Lord, but I will question their passion for comics. The art is ugly, the presentation overall doesn’t really bring the power that reading the Bible itself would do, or in better adaptations of Scripture I’ve read over the years. I can appreciate the goal but the look just isn’t going to draw anybody in to read it. If they don’t read it, it won’t win souls for Jesus. I’d seek out one of those better adaptations.