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Published on June 18th, 2009 | by darraghdoyle

8

Just when you thought Jesus couldn’t be any cooler

Jim Caviezel in Passion of the Christ

Let’s be honest – Mel Gibson didn’t do a great job of making Jesus cool in 2004’s Passion of the Christ played though he was by Jim Caveziel. Jesus has never really looked that great.

He’s not a cool one like Krishna, a happy guy like Buddha or a mysterious one like Mohammed. Here’s a guy in need of pretty good PR. Not even Buddy Christ makes this prophet/deity/messiah/son of a carpenter look good. Not really.

Buddy Jesus

There’s long been that thought in Ireland that if Jesus looked a bit happier, a bit more mellow, a bit less “Look what you’ve done to me” and a bit more welcoming, the Irish probably wouldn’t have such a  huge guilt complex. It’s propagated in schools, in church – everywhere. For someone with my background anyway, it’s an image that’s been hard to escape. I mean, when you think Jesus, what do you see?

How about this?

manga_messiah_jesus

Meet the Manga Messiah. The coolest Jesus in the world. Ever! He even has his own caption of Do you dare to read his story… Even if it may chane your life forever?

I love Manga. I love the drawings, the action lines, the way it has of conveying a message in a pretty uniform way. It’s very creative and fun. So when I saw the Manga Messiah, a 2006 publication by Tyndale that introduced me to the bible story in this form, with it’s byline of HAS HE COME to SAVE the WORLD… or DESTROY IT? , I had to have it.

manga_messiah_cover

It’s quite the publication. It brings people through the whole story, as told in the gospels, and pretty accurately – and graphically too! We have the annunciation:

Manga_Messiah_annunciation

There’s the whole No Room At The Inn saga:

manga_messiah_no_room_at_the_inn

The baby Jesus and the shepherds:

manga_messiah_baby_jesus

The temptation by quite a scary looking Satan (or is it Lucifer?) attemting to tempt Jesus in the wilderness:

manga_messiah_temptation_of_christ

There’s the miracle at Cana where he turns the water into wine (a very handy skill…)

manga_messiah_miracle_of_wine_at_cana

Where he shows his skill as a fisherman:

manga_messiah_miracle_of_the_fish

And gets his twelve disciples – look at how shifty Judas Iscariot is made to look!

manga_messiah_twelve_disciples

Right through to his admission that – shock horror – he IS the messiah!

manga_messiah_jesus_is_the_messiah

And then Judas strikes

manga_messiah_betrayal_of_judas

Which of course leads to the death on the cross (sorry to ruin the ending)

manga_messiah_death_of_jesus

and his resurrection and ascension into heaven. Woot!

manga_messiah_jesus_ascends_into_heaven

Now, isn’t that the type of Jesus you’d want on your side? Not the whole “Don’t eat the chocolate, I had no chocolate” style, but a Jesus who when transfigured looks like:

manga_messiah_transfiguration

Got to love it. If I’d been taught that way, I think I’d have had even more of an interest! The main artist on the book is Kozumi Shinozawa with Atsuko Ogawa as assistant. For those of you who want to buy, the ISBN-10 cosde os 1-4143-1680-1. And fear not. If you want to have a juicier read, there’s always:

manga_bible_ad

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About the Author

Blogger, event addict and fan of street and performance art. You can contact me directly at darraghdoyle[at]gmail[dot]com or @darraghdoyle on twitter.



8 Responses to Just when you thought Jesus couldn’t be any cooler

  1. froodie says:

    Freaking! Awesome! (I’m almost a convert )

  2. rdlp715 says:

    On the page where JC is on the cross why does it say “Hyooooo” above him?

    Jonny Carson… judge, jury and EXECUTIONER

  3. craven says:

    I am a traditionalist myself – its the buddy christ for me all the way

  4. Robocons says:

    ‘….a bit less “Look what you’ve done to me”…’

    LOL

    Jesus (pardon the pun), I was so close to spluttering coffee all over my keyboard.

    I totally with you on the guilt complex front. Catholic dogma is just another form of oppression.
    “He died for YOU. Now, give us all your money.”

  5. Darren Byrne says:

    There is only one, and will only ever be one…Buddy Christ…

  6. NaRocRoc says:

    Jeebus all the way!

  7. TheChrisD says:

    I dunno. This doesn’t have the same proper “manga” feel that others do…

    It almost seems… American.

  8. MIkey says:

    Rdlp715, the “hyoooo…” sfx describes the wind blowing in a desolate setting.

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