Job by Ben Avery

One of the 2021 reading goals I set for myself was to read a graphic novel. I decided to pick a bible-based one to see if this type of literature was something I could do with Claudia with the women of the bible characters. 

I somewhat randomly picked Job written by Ben Avery and illustrated by Jeff Slemons. I was impressed with the drawings. They were detailed and eye-catching. I’d never tried to read a graphic novel on my kindle either, so I was pleased to find that although the text was small, it was easy to read. 

I enjoyed the artist’s representation of heaven, especially Satan’s appearance. The characters, Job, his family, servants, and friends, seemed to be dressed in what I imagined they would wear. Everything seemed to go for a 4-star review until I got to the part where God answers Job and brings up the Behemoth and Leviathan. (Job 40 – 41) The Leviathan is pictured as a large crocodile-type beast, which seemed reasonable. However, the Behemoth was a dinosaur. Since there is a gap of oh, about 65 million years between dinosaurs and men inhabiting the earth, I found it hard to reconcile this particular artist’s rendition. 

I always understood the Behemoth to be some sort of large beast, although what animal is was exactly wasn’t clear. According to Jewish tradition, the Behemoth and Leviathan were primeval chaos monsters that would become food for the righteous after the end of days. Hmmm. Other scholars hint that the Behemoth is another name for the hippopotamus, while the Leviathan could be a whale or shark. Then again, perhaps both creatures were dragons. (eye roll here).

The story ended a bit abruptly for me as well. We are told that Job was blessed with 10 more children, livestock, and crops, but I’d like to have seen a little more of that illustrated. The final little bit again rubbed me the wrong way. I suppose I should have expected it as this was a bible story, but there was no need to throw in any reference to the New Testament. The premise was “the Book of Job asks three questions that are answered in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Ok. Whatever. Honestly, Job’s story is an interesting commentary on how individuals behave in crisis and has several useful lessons to teach us all on its own. 

So I ended up rating the book only 3-stars and decided that I don’t think I’ll be writing any graphic novels anytime soon after all.

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