Updated: Mar 2, 2022
"The Chronicles of Faith is a series that revives and preserves the concept of the [Biblical] book of Chronicles, which is: 'Let the new generation recall what God had done in the past, so they can learn to have faith and trust in the character of God.'"
Chronicles of Faith: David is a comic series co-produced by Mercy Ways Studio and Brainy Pixel Productions. I had the opportunity to speak with creators Ivan Anaya, Ernesto Mena, and Brannon Hollingsworth about the series on a bonus minisode of the Infinity Bros Podcast a while back to get some insight on this series and the direction that the creators hope to go with it, and I was able to write a review on Issue #00 of the comic that released around the same time. While the current series is focused on David, they hope to branch into different characters and stories from the old testament of the Bible as well, which makes me very excited; so many stories from the Bible are excellent source material for stories, and comics are an incredible medium that can be utilized to reach readers of all ages and types. A description of this direction can be found on Brainy Pixel's website: "The Chronicles of Faith series tells the stories of the well-known heroes of the Faith, depicted in a fresh and stunning manner. This striking visual series will draw in and deeply immerse the reader into the Biblical narratives by: exposing the humanity of the characters; illustrating God’s faithfulness, judgement, and forgiveness; and providing pointed and memorable examples of the awe-inspiring characteristics of God."
As mentioned above, the David portion of this series starts with Issue #00, which I also wrote a review on. David is one of the most well-known Biblical figures, and lends himself well to inspire a new generation through comic book storytelling. The story picks up with David regaling his son Solomon with more tales from his life, specifically going back to King Saul. While the art is once again masterful, I needed a reminder to piece together the timeline coming into this issue - I had to reread issue #00 again - but once I got over that little hiccup, I could tell that these are the beginning of a wonderful series.
King Saul is an interesting character - a king, slowly descending into madness, beginning to feel his kingdom slipping away from him. The stark contrast in coloring from the bright, colorful panels of David and supporting characters to what you see to the left - dark, intense scenes with scrawling interwoven into the panels - really grabbed my attention, and the tonal shift is incredible. This is just one sample of the incredible artwork in this series, as the style doesn't change, but they are able to convey the tone so much differently. This is also evident when we see the perspective of the Philistines. The coloring is so different that you can sense the dark, gritty, almost evil tone of the pages as opposed to the vivid imagery of the protagonists. The artwork shows that something is changing in King Saul, without explicitly stating it. This is a great example of a very important rule in any storytelling: show, don't tell. Ivan (Mercy Ways creator and artist) is intertwining this concept throughout the series masterfully.
Another aspect of the artwork that is just incredible in this series is the layout of the pages. Instead of adopting a routine, panel-by-panel page layout, they get really creative with how the flow of the pages goes; with asymmetric panels, text that crosses panels, and beautiful script in lieu of typical text boxes. While these are all unique and really make these pages stand out, it does make it slightly more difficult to follow; I had to re-read several pages to understand the intended flow of the page, and the beautiful script does take a bit more concentration to read. The thing is, I didn't hate having to re-read them because they look so beautiful! However, I could absolutely see how this might be challenging for first time comic book readers, which Brainy Pixel and Mercy Ways are hoping to attract. Overall, I think these traits perfectly fit the aesthetic of the comic, and don't detract immensely from the readability of the series.
The story goes back in the timeline even further than the setting of Issue #00, which is why I mentioned earlier I had to piece together the overarching story. As the big picture gets clearer and they continue to finish more issues, each individual issue will only grow in value and improve my scores. I give issue #01 4 out of 6 Infinity Stones, with expectation of increasing scores with each issue. It's a solid issue, adding to the lore of issue #00, even if the non-linear style is a bit distracting at times. I'm looking forward to more spectacular artwork in this series, but even more so looking forward to different characters to be introduced down the line. As a Christian, I've heard the story of David many times, but I have been captivated by the artwork created by Ivan Anaya. David is an amazing hook for the series, but I personally would love to see some stories from the Biblical book of Judges, which has some incredible narratives that would be awesome to see in comic book form.
You can support Brainy Pixel and Mercy Ways by helping them fund issue #02! Make sure to visit their Indiegogo funding page to check out the backer perks that you can earn by supporting them! The funding page will complete on March 14th, 2022, so make sure you check it out before then.
Isaac Edlund is a filthy casual when it comes to comics, but he still enjoys them. Check out more of his comic book reviews on the Daily Snap.