After reading the assigned chapters from R. Crumb's version of Genesis, I feel underwhelmed by his illustration and depiction of God. When I read the text of Genesis in Alter's book, God seemed to have the omnipotence and omnipresence one usually associates with a monotheistic deity. However, Crumb seems to humanize God to such an extent that when he is conversing with Abram or Noah he seems more like a wise, temperamental leader than the sole creator of the universe and the life within it. Perhaps this is due to the difficulty of accepting any illustration, or series of illustrations, as an adequate depiction of God. Or, it may be a reflection of Crumb's concept and opinions of God and the story of Genesis.
I was excited to read Crumb's version of Genesis because I thought it was going to be a new and different interpretation of a very common story. When I saw that the text was literally copy and pasted into the book, I couldn't help but be disappointed. All that Crumb did was draw pictures that directly coincided with the text but where was the creativity? I don't mean to take away from the talent required to make this graphic novel but I was hoping for something new. It just seemed as though he read sentence by sentence and regurgitated the text into drawings. I think he either needed to find a more creative way to visually express the story or not use the exact same text--or maybe he should've used no text at all.
Reading the book of Genesis with Alter's translation did very little for me. It is a book I am very familiar with and the only real difference I saw in the text was that it was easier to read than some other translations, none of the text was interpreted to mean something different from the original Hebrew from what I saw, and that was what I was expecting. The illustrated version that Crumb did however excited me and it brought something new to the table, visualizations that I did not originally think of while reading the book. Crumb did a nice job with applying pictures that suited the book's style and attitude, but there were some faces in the book that bugged me. Everything involving Noah in the book seemed to absolutely terrify him and I never understood this to be the case, when God originally talked to him his eyes were big and he was very nervous. When God was speaking to him and his family after the flood he was also terrified, almost as if he thought he was about to die. I did not entirely understand the thought behind this interpretation, but overall Crumb did a nice job with providing imagery for a text that was written thousands of years ago at least.
I am speechless after reading the first few chapters of Genesis. I am not a Christian so have never read nor heard any story of the Genesis, thus have nothing to compare it with. I don't really know how other versions of the Genesis go but Crumb's version left me very unsettled and overwhelmed. It was with great difficulty that I managed to read the 17 chapters because throughout it all I just kept getting assaulted my the "unfairness" of God and the explicitness of something so Holy. Also the difference between the the beliefs I hold and those that I was reading kept clashing a lot and made it one of the hardest reads that I have ever read in my life.
Because I come from a Christian background, I am familiar with The Book of Genesis. Coincidentally, I am also currently studying this topic in another class of mine. Prior to reading Crumb's version, I did not know what to expect; however after reading the assigned chapters, I was slightly disappointed. I was hoping that he would have been a bit more creative rather than just adding satirical illustrations. I was surprised he used the exact translations of the original text. It almost seemed to me like his version was aimed toward younger children to help them better understand The Book of Genesis. He illustrates each of the fifty chapters with comic book panels in order to demonstrate the main and most essential points of the text. I was most interested in Crumb's depictions of God. Specifically, in the table of contents, God looks almost frightening. Of course He is big and powerful, denoted by the rays of light behind Him, but His facial expression and overall size of body seem to be very inimidating. Crumb illustrates a similar feature of God in chapter one. Essentially, I feel as if Crumb's pictures make the Book of Genesis an almost "kid friendly" version and makes the read much easier to comprehend; however, I have mixed feelings with some of his drawings, specifically with his portrayal of God.
I was interested to see how Crumb was going to portray women in his version of the Book of Genesis. Throughout the Bible, men seem to be the focus of most of the stories, with their wives as side characters. The lineage of Adam only recognizes him, not Eve, and only the first sons are told to continue the family, with no recognition to any wives. And while the speech bubbles made me laugh (God with a speech bubble, really?), they emphasize the lesser role that women have. After Eve's two speeches about the fruit, a woman doesn't speak again until chapter 16, when Sarai gives her handmaid to Abram. Also, all of the women's bodies are extremely exaggerated, making them very curvy.
In R. Crumb’s adaptation of the first book of the Old Testament, the Book of Genesis, we see that he really spent a lot of time and effort to put together the story of Adam and Eve in not only words but in images to bring the story to life. I already knew the story that was told in the Book of Genesis because as a little kid in church we are given lessons that teach us the upcoming of the heavens and the earth but we were never given such graphic depictions of the entire story. What I find fascinating about R.Crumb’s work is his ability to take such a detailed and powerful story and turn it into comic form. I feel people who do not understand the complete concept of comic books in general would possibly find it to be offending that a book from the bible was put into comic form. For myself thought, after learning the concepts in class of what it takes to make a comic book and the extreme detailing and messages that can be portrayed within, I really do like the fact he was able to take his own picture ideas of what the Book of Genesis is saying and put it into graphically depicted illustrations leaving nothing out from the story. What stands out to me the most though is illustration of God throughout the book because as a kid we shown God to be mighty and powerful just as R.Crumb has illustrated but we are not shown him to be so angry and old looking. I would say this definitely through me off a bit also because even other illustrators who draw their idea of God all have somewhat close resemblance but never have I before seen an image of God as he has drawn him out to be. Could this be because he wants the readers to feel more power, intelligence, and mightiness coming from God?
Crumb’s version of genesis was interesting. I know the general story, but when reading it this time it seemed more like some odd story over what some call religious fact. I feel like when the bible is read the person is normally trying to glorify things and say why God is awesome, but I feel like because Crumb just did a literal translation it has a different feel. He doesn’t seem to be glorifying anything, nor does it seem he is intentionally making fun of anything; he just seemed to be plainly illustrating the book. I thought it was a refreshing to read an impartial version of the book.
Having read the book of Genesis many times growing up and being familiar with the stories, Crumb's interpretation of Genesis didn't really bring anything new to me. I just thought the formatting of the combined words and illustrations to be very distracting. So much literal text is copied and squeezed into sections between image panels. After a while I stopped wanting to bother reading the text and just look at the pictures instead because they were more interesting to look at. One thing I do have to say about the illustrations is that for me they tended to make the situations appear more comical than serious. When reading the Bible it's hard to laugh and take lightly a proclamation made by God. But the image of God with a speech bubble telling Adam that he will die if he eats from the tree of knowledge just looks ridiculous to me. The dramatic lines creating a halo around God just makes me think he's more like a superhero in a cartoon than the creator of man.
NPR's reference to R. Crumb as "the godfather of comic counterculture" alluded to a certain style and expected humor or crudeness. However, in his interpretation of biblical text, humor and profanity were absent. R.Crumb illustrations are close representations to the original text. With background knowledge of the text, this version of Genesis did not seem to throw any curve balls or underlying, alternative themes. His illustrations are detailed, true to form and make biblical characters really come to life. For someone who possesses no previous knowledge of the story of Genesis or perhaps is a six year old child, would be able to comprehend R. Crumb's interpretation exponentially more than plain text. Lastly, similar to the original text, there are open-ended questions about what really happened during God's creation of the world. How pictures can explain in depth meanings and leave readers with such questions blows my mind. I guess that at least part of the reason why comics can be considered literature and really are...kind of cool.
I found it so much easier to read this version of Genesis than when it's just text alone. Crumb's illustrations really bring the text to life in a way that makes the stories clear. Crumb uses one of the best modern translations, but stays true to the source material and did a good job of including everything. He is factual throughout his depiction which is impressive because the book of Genesis is interpreted in so many different directions that are accepted or declined by particular religious views.
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After I read both version of Genesis, I think the christian god is intimidate rather than kindness. The story is not very convincing to the readers,especially the first several chapters of Genesis.Maybe, it's a good book for children to read but I have hard time to believe what happened in the story. I have lots of friends who are Christian. They always telling me how great and kind God is. But in Genesis I think the god just a human being with almighty power. He got his own personality, in favorite of something and dislike others. He is capable of destroying things that he disliked with his great power.What's the problem of knowing the good and evil? Without aware the good and evil,a person is just a walking vegatable.I think no one wants to live like a walking vegatable forever.
Crumb's interpretation and illustrations of Genesis were something I was very curious to see. While reading, I noticed a much more casual aspect to the story telling. In comparison to the Bible version, Crumb's version appeals to a larger audience because of its images and casualness to his interpretation. I feel Crumb used a long, white hair, bearded man as the image of God due to stereotyping most people have. Also, the images of white hair may mean old, as well as wisdom.
Genesis is a story that I've been familiar with for as long as I can remember but I had never actually read the full story until now. I expected Crumb's version to be a lot more entertaining than Alter's translation simply because there would be pictures involved. Instead, I actually found Crumb's version to be rather annoying at times. I think that for events that are so extraordinary - events that an entire religion is based on - the illustrations were too simple and bland. I realize that it's a comic and that each frame isn't exactly meant to be a huge work of art. For that reason, I feel like the combination of comics with a story like Genesis just isn't meant to be. I much preferred reading Alter's translation and picturing everything God did to be these grand, over-the-top occurrences instead of limiting my imagination to the dull comic illustrations.