(Continued from 2000)
An entirely new era begins. For only the 2nd time since the feature began in September 1952, the name has changed. The last time this happened, it followed a year-and-a-half hiatus, so that STORIES FROM THE BIBLE ended with the January 1973 episode, and BIBLE STORIES began with the July 1974 episode. This time, the name changed from BIBLE STORIES to BIBLE HEROES from one month to the next!
Along with a new name, the feature also got a new logo, one with a definite sense of "design" about it, which I find quite welcome after the previous 9 installments' decided lack of same. It also got a new artist, in the form of Anthony Castrillo. He's apparently done a lot of "superhero" work for different publishers from the 1990's-up, including Marvel, DC, and Digital Webbing. His style most reminds me of Walt Simonson, with a hint of John Byrne. It seems clear the editor of BOYS' LIFE was trying to go after a more "modern" audience-- more or less.
In addition to the change of artist, the format of the series changed from "illustrated children's stories", which it had been since January 1957, back to "comic-strip", which it hadn't been since December 1956! Even the use of word balloons had been slowly phased out before that, with the use of captions giving most of the early episodes a "FLASH GORDON" or "PRINCE VALIANT" feel. Not here!
Further, the dialogue itself seems "modernized", with contractions ("let's", "don't") being used instead of "proper" English. This would seem to be following the trend in the then-recent TV series, HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNIES, where the "traditional" manner of speaking usually heard in historical or mythical stories was pushed aside in favor of more "modern" vernacular.
Rather than start the new series "from the beginning", BIBLE HEROES picks up not long after the previous month's story, although this time, they skip the stories of "Hannah", "Samuel", the capture and return of "The Ark", and "King Saul", jumping straight into "David And Goliath". This was the 7th time this material had been covered in the BL series, going back all the way to October 1952. The stories of "Daniel" and "Samson" follow. While this was the 6th time "Daniel" had been covered, it was only the 3rd time the series had done "Samson", this being the first time since July 1970! It's odd that it's presented here out-of-sequence, as it takes place before the time of "David". I like how the new version of "Daniel" includes as an epilogue the fate of his accusers.
Unlike all previous installments, BIBLE HEROES bears a credit which reads, "Based on the book "Heroes Of The Bible" by Carolyn Larsen. (C) 1998 Baker Book House Company."
Story by Carolyn Larsen / Art by ANTHONY CASTRILLO
BOYS' LIFE / May 2001
BOYS' LIFE / August 2001
Copyright (C) BOY'S LIFE Magazine
Restorations by Henry Kujawa
See the Anthony Castrillo gallery at Comic Art Fans