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The Action Bible

God's Redemptive Story

NEW FOR 2012!
The Action Bible New Testament (trade paperback edition)

About the illustrator, Sergio Cariello:

I was born in Brazil, in 1964, and started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. At the age of 5, I already knew I wanted to be a cartoonist. And so did everyone else—I drew on church bulletins, napkins and every surface within my reach. I made up my own mini comics, with my own characters. I drew all my favorite TV and comic book characters.

At the age of 11, I invented “Frederico the Detective” for a local newspaper contest , and it won “best strip.” I did the whole comic strip myself: story, lettering, pencils and inks. I won the contest and continued drawing that strip until I was 14. Other interests started cropping up: girls, the beach, working out, guitar playing... but I never stopped drawing.

In 1982, I bought an issue of Batman. The art was wonderful, but the drawing which changed my life was an ad in the back pages: A caveman asked an ugly bird: "Have you heard about it? The Joe Kubert School?" Joe Kubert! I had been a fan of his ever since I saw his version of Tarzan. Suddenly my lifelong dream had a goal—this was the school where I would learn to improve my art. I started saving money and learning English so I could fulfill my dream.

In 1986, while at the Word Of Life Bible Institute, I had my interview with Joe Kubert himself, over the phone. I was so thrilled to even talk with him, and he accepted me into his school!   At school I didn’t just learn the art of drawing, I learned the business of drawing as well. Two lessons: networking is everything, and no job is too small. My brother had a contact with Caliber Press, and they contacted me while I was still in school to work on Dagon, the Worlds of HP Lovecraft. This was my first work on an American comic book. During my second year at The Kubert School, I heard Marvel Comics was looking for Bullpen Letterers. Nobody else at the school seemed interested in that, but I was! I took a lettering sample to Marvel and got hired on the spot.

At Marvel, I had the chance of showing the editors I could also draw. After seeing some of my caricatures of coworkers, one of my editors let me draw the pencils for an issue of Daredevil. Other illustrating jobs followed, and soon I was drawing so much, I had to stop doing lettering. That same editor moved to a job at DC comics, and gave me the opportunity to pencil for their universe. I was able to draw many famous and well-loved characters: Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern, The Flash, Batman, and many others. Since then, I’ve been heavily involved in several original comics, such as The Lone Ranger, and the Son of Samson series.

But none of that compares to February of 2006, when I got a call from Mary McNeil and Bob de la Peña from David C. Cook. I had submitted an illustration for the International Christian Comics Competition, and my winning drawing was featured in a magazine collection. Bob and Mary had seen my drawing and wanted to know if I was interested in a new project. What was that winning drawing? Jesus, carrying his cross through an angry mob in the streets of Jerusalem. And what was their project? A new edition of Cook’s classic The Picture Bible, which was about to be retitled as The Action Bible.

What Bob and Mary couldn’t know, is that I had grown up in Brazil with a Portuguese translation of that very same Bible. I was reading The Picture Bible before I even learned how to ride a bike! Even though I knew as a kid that I wanted to be a comic artist, I never would have dreamed I would one day get to work on The Picture Bible itself.

Bob asked if I could submit a sample treatment for the David and Goliath story. All he asked for were some simple pencils in a page with just one panel inked and colored, but I was so eager for the project that I inked, colored, and lettered the whole thing! A few days later, the phone rang—Cook liked my treatment of Goliath the best, and wanted me to draw a new Picture Bible for today’s generation. Obviously I said yes, and my audition drawing of Goliath is the same one you’ll see in The Action Bible.

Over the years, I’ve worked on many comics that I’m proud of, but there is nothing like doing a relevant story with eternal value. I’ve done Spiderman, The Avengers, Wonder Woman, and more. All those characters and stories will someday end, but the stories and impact of The Action Bible will last forever. It is a privilege and the honor of a lifetime for a Christian cartoonist to get to draw and bring to life God’s own stories.