TreasuryCast #57 – The Bible


Rob welcomes Nuclear Sub Steve Givens to discuss DC Comics' LIMITED COLLECTORS' EDITION #36 - THE BIBLE!

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23 responses to “TreasuryCast #57 – The Bible

  1. I am not (yet) a regular listener of TreasuryCast, but the title of this one caught my eye. I recently acquired a copy of this treasury on ebay, and later stumbled upon the hardcover reprint. It was an ambitious undertaking when it was created and I am disappointed the series did not continue. I appreciate the respectful way the hosts discussed these sacred stories and how they were interpreted in this medium. I write about this comic and other biblical adaptations on my blog, Thanks also for the practical tips… I was today years old when I learned treasuries could be turned on their edge and fit into a long box… lol.

    1. Hi, Tom. Thanks for listening!

      Yeah, that piece of advice from Mark Waid about fitting the treasury editions in the long boxes kind of blew my mind in how obvious it was.

      Anyway, I hope you become a regular listener. The guys on the network do stellar work and produce topnotch shows across the board.

  2. Great discussion, gents. Is this Steve’s first podcast? He did so well I can’t tell.

    I do not have this treasury. My rambling thoughts about it are as follows:

    1. The art looks amazing. As a kid who already had Bible storybooks, this one never called to me the way Superman vs. Wonder Woman did. That said, the ads for it were ubiquitous in DC comics of a certain era, and as you two pointed out, that depiction of Moses still makes me want to see what’s inside.

    2. It didn’t tell very much of the Bible. I know it was meant to be the first issue of a series, but since they didn’t follow up, it feels like they should have named it “Stories from the First Third of Genesis.” If they’d kept going, they might have built a following. As it is, it’s as if you cancelled Pod Dylan after covering three songs. Not even Ryan Daly would do that.

    3. The interstitials by Kubert sound fascinating and would be worth a significant admission price all by themselves.

    4. I didn’t like the distortion of the Sodom and Gomorrah story. In general, I don’t mind adding material that doesn’t contradict the Bible. That happens here, in DeMille’s Ten Commandments, in Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, and in pretty much every narrative retelling. But “I can smell the silver in your coin purse” is a little more than that. Because the art is so impressive, this treasury seems like a serious treatment (as opposed to a VeggieTales cartoon), so I have a higher standard of accuracy. I would rather they skip this particular tale and tell me one about Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, etc.

    5. I really wish they’d gotten all the way to the story of Joseph in Egypt in the last half of Genesis. That’s a favorite, and I’d love to see this team interpret it visually.

    6. This is the nerd in me, but I think it’s terrific that they cited their research sources on the inside cover. “Want to learn more, kids? Well, not only can you read the actual Bible, you can read more about in these books from your local library.”

    1. Hi, CE! Thanks for listening.

      Yes, this was my first time having an extensive part in a podcast. I appeared briefly in a podcast for my school district a few years ago, getting interviewed along with some other teachers, but it was nothing like this. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  3. A most informative conversation! I would never have picked this up as a kid and your discussion of the stories within this treasury makes me wish I had.

  4. I vividly remember the ads for this one but I have never seen it … ever … even at conventions. So I am glad you covered this so I could finally know about the insides.

    Great discussion too about everything in this.

    As you say, Redondo’s art is just sumptuous. I’d eat just about anything that Eve put in front of my face.

    And how odd for the book to end on the back cover. You figured they could have moved one of the lessons from the Bible to the inside cover.

    Surprised by some of the stories picked as others from the OT – David and Goliath, Joshua blowing his horn and bringing down the walls of Jericho, Job and the Devil/God bet all seem more suited for comic storytelling.

    Thanks again!

  5. Great episode, guys! I saw the hardcover edition of this a couple years back at a Half Price Bookstore but was too cash strapped to pick it up. If I see it again, it’s a done deal! Beautiful artwork.

    I used to work at a publishing company that published Bibles among their product and have seen it a million ways how strategically placed plants, hands, and zebras would be placed in front of Adam and Eve’s nakedy bits. We used to laugh about it in the design department. Mostly in the manner of “How will we cover these up THIS time?” I’ve seen complete Bibles illustrated in the comic book format before, so it was interesting to see DC’s approach to the material. I’d say DC’s book leads with the art, while the Bibles, rewritten as comic book, lead with the text. Meaning the Bible comics are clearly a Bible first and a comic book second, whereas this is clearly a comic book FIRST and a Bible second. Actually not even really portending to be a Bible.

    My one criticism of the art would have been to draw what would have been truer skin tones and middle eastern features on the characters. I’d wager a guess that Eve wasn’t a blonde. But hey… I illustrated a Bible for little kids some years back and made her a redhead. So do I really get to criticize?

    Great job, Steve! You’re a great guest host! Fun conversation all around!

    1. Thanks, Luke!

      You know, although it didn’t come up in my conversation with Rob, I wrote in my notes, “Adam and Eve are so white. Everyone in this book is so WHITE!” Along with the lack of a more realistic depiction of what the characters would have looked like given the time and place, I also couldn’t help but imagine the massive amounts of sunburn and skin issues such fair-skinned people would have had living in a desert region.

      With that said, I hold to my point that most artists probably want to reflect the standards of beauty that appeal to the intended audience. At that time, they would have wanted to appeal to young white boys. Fortunately, the concept of the “intended audience” as well as standards of beauty for comics have broadened in recent years.

  6. Engaging discussion gentlemen! Can I confess Kubert’s Moses scared me? I remember seeing the cover of this book in those great DC Treasury ads, and the grizzled old man creeped me out! Definitely not movie-idol Charlton Heston!

    Oddly enough, DC actually printed Picture Stories from the Bible BEFORE EC. Or at least All-American Comics did. M.C. Gaines was a big proponent of the idea, and got it going at DC before National bought out his partnership, and the DC we know was fully formed. He took the title with him to EC for just one issue! I actually own what Mike’s Amazing World considers a “tradepaperback” collecting Vol. 2 #1-2, covering the complete life and story of Jesus. It’s the reason I dug into the history of this series years ago. One of the first example of a “creator-owned” book switching publishers?


    1. Chris, I agree with how Moses looked on the cover, Like I said, that Moses had definitely spent 40 years walking around in the desert.

  7. Although I think I’ve probably already mentioned it in the comments here or elsewhere on the network, I feel dutybound to let Steve know that I was also a cutter of comics in my earliest days – man, only a few years later, I shuddered when I recalled how many comics I’d chopped up…

    Otherwise, though, I very much enjoyed the conversation; Treasury Cast is 57-0 in terms of delivering.
    It’s interesting to learn a little more about this book. I have heard of it, but never saw it – and I doubt I would have been interested in buying it if I had back in the day. My one – oblivious – purchase of an Archie Spire comic really made me gun-shy about picking up any comics with overt religious content. However, based on your gallery page, I have to say that the art is stunning. Like others, I now think it’s unfortunate that more of these weren’t done.

    1. Edo, my regret over the litany of horribly damaged books left in my wake was nearly overwhelming. I finally just had to pick up the pieces of my shattered life and learn to live with the shame. Maybe we should start a support group. LOL

  8. This sounds great. I’m only sorry this series didn’t survive to cover one of my favorite Bible stories, the story of Ehud (Judges 3:12-20). In short, Ehud goes on a mission to assassinate the King of Moab, who is oppressing the people of Israel. The mission’s success hinges on the fact that Ehud is left-handed, and can sneak his sword into the king’s chambers by concealing it on his right thigh, where it wouldn’t be expected.

    In addition to all of the action and intrigue, the story has some (dark) comedic elements, as well. In particular, the King of Moab is so overweight that Ehud’s sword disappears into the king’s abdomen, and Ehud is forced to leave it there. Also, when the king’s servants return to find the door to his chambers locked, they assume the king is busy relieving himself, and wait “to the point of embarrassment” before unlocking the door and finding him dead. All in all, an Old Testament story ripe for a good comic book treatment.

    Sorry for running on like that, but I don’t find many opportunities to shine a spotlight on this little known Bible story. Thanks for another great episode, and for introducing another excellent guest host to the Network.

  9. Thanks for a great show, and a big welcome to Steve, it’s always good to hear a new voice on the network.

    I remember this book being advertised too, but never saw it in the UK. I am shocked – SHOCKED – to hear Moses was erroneously on the cover, Rob was spot on with the Tomahawk reference. Action Moses is the marquee character of the Old Testament and should be there.

    Wouldn’t it have been great had Kubert and Redondo given us a Cain and Abel who did indeed look like (much) younger versions of the mystery books characters. Maybe sneak in Gregory the Gargoyle…

    It always seemed to me that the Garden of Eden was ablaze, so much smoke was there coiling around people’s bits. Still, it’s the Book of Genesis, not the Book of Geni… nah!

    The art really is wonderful and the title treatments excellent; maybe Gaspar Saladino did them, but there’s nothing useful at the Grand Comic Database. I did laugh when I saw their description of the Sodom and Gomorrah story – ‘Sodom is full of troublemakers’.

    I have a couple of British hardbacks collecting Picture Stories From the Bible (and I see them on eBay quite cheap), I read them to bits. Well, apart from the Acts of the Apostles, which looked a bit dull.

    1. Martin, if Moses is the Superman, David must be the Batman, complete with the overexposure. Of course, he reads a little more like Conan.

      I had the same thought about Cain and Abel. Seems like DC missed a trick there.

  10. When is our culture going to stop giving the Judeo-Christian god a pass for the countless atrocities he committed, like the massacre of Egyptian children, wanton destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, or that one time he murdered nearly every living being on Earth in a global flood?

  11. If this series continued, I wonder if DC would’ve had the balls to show the genocides of Amalek, Jericho, Minian, etc.

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