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Loaded Bible: Jesus vs Vampires

Book Released: 24 May 2006
Review posted: 03 June 2006

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Nate Bellegarde
Publisher: Image Comics


 3.00 out of 5 Stars

Reviewed by Adam White

 


Ever since I first heard about it I had been excited about Loaded Bible; I mean, who wouldn’t like Jesus fighting vampires (except nutty religious zealots, of course)? It was just a strange enough concept that I thought it would either be utterly brilliant or complete rubbish, so imagine my surprise when I actually ended up feeling conflicted about the final product.

Tim Seeley definitely has the right ideas, and also unveils a frighteningly accurate potential future for those of us in the States.

Seeley creates a Jesus that relies on his own humanity rather than others’ notions of him as a religious symbol.


Seeley creates a believable Jesus that is neither corny or sappy (as can be seen in many portrayals of him), nor is he assininely moronic (such as contacting a conference calling service to get in touch with god to get some advice). Instead, Seeley creates a Jesus that relies more on his own humanity than that of others’ image of him as a religious symbol. The main vampire characters are interesting if brief and provide both contrasts and similarities to the religious warmongers ruling the world in the book. There were some great one-liners, but most were there for the sake of being there and didn’t flow naturally with the dialogue. The revelations of this future Jesus’s origins come as a believable surprise, yet also unfold too quickly. Which is my main complaint about the story — this story told in 48 pages should have been told in at least sixty issues. Loaded Bible has many layers that Seeley could have richly explored over the course of a great series, yet because the market will not sustain any new ideas or ongoings at the moment he was forced to cram it all into a one-shot. So my problem is not so much the concepts in the book but the brevity that was forced on the creators involved.

The art from Nate Bellegarde suited the book well, with eerily deformed vampires and taciturn clergymen. I felt that Jesus sometimes looked as emaciated as the vampires, but not enough to take me out of the story at hand. The subject matter might have drawn other artists in the direction of cartoony satire, but Bellegarde rightfully gave the book the gritty, primal treatment it deserved. I believe that Bellgarde would have grown with a longer series as well and only improved with each issue.


Loaded Bible has many layers that Seeley could have better explored over the course of a long series, yet the market’s atmosphere forced him to cram it all into a one-shot.


I guess I hyped myself up on Loaded Bible too much before I actually read it, which is always a danger, but the more I think about it the more I see a potential Preacher stamped out before it began by a violently apathetic readership. That makes me extremely sad, because we could use more longterm series that explore issues beyond costume changes and endless resurrections (ironically enough). So while Loaded Bible was an entertaining diversion of a one-shot, it would have really flourished as long-form series in the tradition of Preacher and Sandman.

—CCdC—

 

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Cover image used without explicit permission in accordance with the "Fair Use" provision of US copyright law.

 

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