Thursday, October 29, 2009
BEGINNING WITH GENESIS
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of R. Crumb's "The Book of Genesis Illustrated" at the Ontario City Library where hopefully I am first on the "Reserve" list. (I never am that lucky, but maybe I'll be close). The newspapers have been full of reports on this "book" - which actually is like a hard-back comic book that encompasses the entire story written in the Bible's first book.
I have deliberately stayed away from religious denominational reviews, because they will probably just make me mad. For a person who doesn't read any newspaper comics and one who hasn't looked at a comic book since she was probably ten years old and furthermore one who absolutely HATES the new novels that integrate "comics" into their format, I am more than a little surprised at my enthusiasm for reading this book.
An article in today's LA Times says, "In richly detailed black and white imagery and clearly lettered text blocks, Crumb opens his book with a superbly drafted image of God holding a giant cosmic void in his hands, spinning like a ball of black cotton candy, and ends it with a sober but lavishly detailed picture of Joseph's funeral procession."
From what I've read, he's right on in his capturing the essence of what people are feeling. A tear falling from a woman's eye is enough to make all of us females identify with what is going on in another woman's life. I've read that he shows the destruction of "Sodom and Gomorrah" in three panels -- and just one sentence. Can you just imagine what creativity he has to have in his soul and his mind to be able to do this successfully?
Earlier this year I read David Plotz' book "Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible," as well as A. J. Jacobs' "The Year of Living Biblically," both of which dealt in great measure with the first five books of the bible, so I really have been reminded and refreshed as to what is in Genesis. In these other two books, I've seen the words. I'm looking forward with interest and, yes, maybe with "excitement" to Crumb's book where I am going to see the visuals.
I told you I liked books with a religious theme in them. Bet you'll believe me now!