Comics To Smite The Marketplace...
Mario Ruiz Returns
Comic-Con 2003, I picked up a book called Samson: Judge
of Israel, reviewing it here.
Though it wasn't perfect, it had energy, an interesting
point of view on a Bible story, and, dare I say it, a clear
sense of inspiration.
creator of that book, Mario Ruiz, followed up with Testament,
gathering a variety of writers and artists to put a modern
spin on several Bible stories. Again, an impressively fresh
approach to a theme.
Ruiz and his backers at Metron Press parted ways over those
thrice-damned "editorial differences," and he
dropped from sight after making his splash.
he came up for air. Ruiz's new plans look very interesting.
Yes, I'm biased and excited by any creator daring to put
his money where his spirit is and actually talk about his
beliefs through the comics medium. Heck, though it's sometimes
muddled and often something I disagree with, I love reading
J.M. DeMatteis for the same reason.
market needs more such honesty and personal vision, especially
when leavened with the creativity that guys like Ruiz have.
ideas are just too good to let die. Which is why artist
and idea man Mario Ruiz decided he couldn't stay away from
the drawing board for very long. The founder and former
driving force behind Metron Press, publisher of the critically
acclaimed Samson: Judge of Israel and Testament, had found
himself without a creative home after editorial differences
former company forced him to rethink his situation.
vision for telling important and entertaining stories just
wouldn’t die. Which is why he decided to form his
own publishing company, Valor Comics.
took some time to regroup and gather my thoughts. I even
distracted myself for a while with fishing and playing semi-pro
football, the latter not being the safest thing to do.”
the artist stated recently in an interview at his home in
Upstate New York, “I had created in my head and heart
a set of stories that just had to get told. I created Valor
Comics as a place where I could let these stories out.”
put pencil to paper and began sketching what would become
the Jesus Christ: Son of Man trilogy. Using the Bible as
his inspiration, the artist created a unique world, a place
where the Roman Empire had never fallen, where Jesus had
not yet been born.
was looking for a way to tell these stories with a modern,
relevant edge to them. In the case of the Jesus Christ:
Son of Man trilogy, I decided to do it by showing readers
what it would be like if the events of 2000 years ago never
happened. Basically, I wanted to take the greatest stories
ever told and present them in a way that would make them
exciting and real to people today, to people who might not
otherwise give God, the bible or history a second thought.”
his ideas and designs in hand, Ruiz then went looking for
a writer who could help him bring his stories to life. Fortunately,
Jerry A. Novick, his storytelling partner on Samson: Judge
of Israel, was available. “I remember that when we
were working on Samson, Jerry said he wanted to do something
that was different than the things he had worked on before,
that were more than just comic book superhero stories,”
When Mario told me he was putting his efforts into a new
publishing house, I knew I wanted to get on board,”
Novick said. “And when he told me his ideas for the
Jesus Christ: Son of Man trilogy, I knew it was something
different, a type of story that nobody else had tried to
Ruiz and Novick are fleshing out the art and script for
all three books in the series—Magdalene, Jesus Christ:
Son of Man, and The Revelation of John Devine. Each will
be presented in graphic novel format with full color art.
first, Magdalene, tells the story of a young woman whose
desperate circumstances lead her down a dark path. Jesus
Christ: Son of Man, the centerpiece of the trilogy, relates
the coming of a charismatic preacher who turns the life
of a Roman general on its head. And in The Revelation of
John Devine, Ruiz and Novick follow a detective as he tries
to hunt down a brutal killer who is bent on unleashing Hell
for all three books starting in the summer of 2005 at comic
book shops and specialty bookstores. For more information