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| 12.10.10
Marked, by Steve Ross

The first time I read Steve Ross' whirlwind tour through the gospel of Mark, I was non-plussed. The narrative seemed disjointed, much seemed to be left out, and the ending seemed a bit bewildering. After re-reading the actual gospel, my bewilderment turned to amazement and I realized that Steve Ross had shown me the gospel afresh in his graphic novel rendition, faithfully keeping the episodic disjointedness, unanswered questions, and just plain weirdness of the original while simultaneously translating it into the modern day context. That's no small achievement for a book you can probably finish in an hour, but will want to linger over far longer.

While the subject matter and some of the depictions are probably not best suited for children under the age of 13, a couple of teenagers who read this graphic novel with me appreciated the action sequences and presentation. They generally enjoyed the book. I enjoyed it upon re-reading, especially after I had also re-read the gospel of Mark. I came into this novel thinking that it might have potential as a way to introduce Mark's gospel to someone who had never read it. Now I think that the best audience is someone who already has familiarity --church people if you will. People like myself who can benefit from having our conventional view of the story and its characters shaken up a bit. Of course Mark's gospel is also quite short, so it is entirely reasonable to read it in parallel with Steve Ross' version.

Surprisingly, I found myself moved by some of the most arresting images. John the baptizer answering his call to ministry on the telephone; the rich man wishing to follow Jesus literally drowning in his massive pile of possessions; the Transfiguration done with butterflies; Mary walking dirty city streets to the empty tomb Easter morning --all of these and more kept me lingering over the panels and thinking about them long after I'd set the book down.

Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Seabury Books (November 1, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596270020
ISBN-13: 978-1596270022

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