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Renegade: Martin Luther, The Graphic Biography Paperback – October 9, 2017
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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Ciponte’s drawings make real the motto: ‘The book is cinematography.’ The realist imagery is interrupted occasionally by surreal elements that express moods and thoughts in plastic form. --Jens Bayer-Gimm, Neue Westfaelische (newspaper)
Impressively informative and unreservedly recommended as an introduction to the life and work of one of the most influential leaders of the early years of the Protestant Movement and the founder of the Lutheran church. --Midwest Book Review
Captivating… Dramatic use of light in the renderings, gorgeous color, almost cinematic. Using visual quotes and metaphors drawn from great art, like Hironymous Bosch’s paintings, with their surrealistic imagery of hell, Renegade captures the psychological angst of the story… A great introduction to the man and his thought. --God and Comics Podcast
Other Luther biographies need hundreds of pages of explanations. This graphic novel succeeds on the strength of its raw images and forceful dialogue.” --Shea Westhoff, Chrismon magazine
This is not the first attempt to portray the life and work of the Reformer Martin Luther in the form of a comic. But thanks to its artistic richness and candid storytelling, it is certainly that most successful. --Georg Howahl, WAZ
Martin Luther as comic hero? It’s possible, as the Italian duo Andrea Grosso Ciponte and Dacia Palmerino prove… This graphic biography brings us up close to Luther the human being. Just its aesthetic appeal casts a spell on the reader – Ciponte’s pictures are breathtaking… A work of genius. --Andrea Heinze, DLF Public Radio (Deutschlandfunk)
Renegade represents a fresh approach to creating interest in the career and contribution of Martin Luther, particularly among young people. Sumptuous art illustrates and punctuates the main matters in his life and career…. The book is generally well balanced and should inspire curiosity to seek further information among its readers, collectors and viewers. In addition, the somewhat edgy presentation will appeal to a demographic not normally reached by Luther studies. --Dr. Timothy Dost Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Concordia Seminary
Palmerino’s text paints a clear chronological picture of how events may have transpired―but the art is what will pull in readers. At times it’s rough and jagged, at others dreamlike with biblical imagery floating around and intertwining with the dark age environment… A great addition to graphic novel collections. Protestantism unfolds with a compelling style that any history lover will enjoy. --School Library Journal
German theologian Martin Luther (1483–1546), driven by a deep-seated and ambitious craving to know God boldly, ventured into a dark, superstitious, and troubled world to speak his truths. Bringing scholarship and discipline to the theological arena, he helped construct the foundation upon which Protestantism was established, starting with the publication of the Ninety-five Thesis. By doing so, he precipitated the Protestant Reformation, one of the largest religious movements in history. His noble and courageous story tells how one focused individual, standing against a massive institution, can make a critical and astonishing difference. Verdict Longtime Italian collaborators Ciponte and Palmerino present their first work in English with this earnest take on Luther’s life, wonderfully rendered through paintings and collages that dip into the biography at critical moments. YA and adult readers alike will find this work intriguing and informative. --Library Journal, Starred Review
It may seem difficult to say anything new about Luther at this point, but this book manages to do it. First, there is the sheer power of the art. Ciponte and Palmerino get the look and feel of the 16th century, and give us dark garrets, sumptuous palaces, and simple taverns. Their sometimes-disturbing images humanize Luther like few other things I have read recently. The text incorporates a lot of 16th-century primary sources by Luther and others. The overall effect is contemplative, not triumphalistic…. In the “if you only read one book about Luther this year” category, this has got to be near the top of the list… you will definitely understand what all the fuss was about. --Jennifer Woodruff Tait Christian History
The life of reformer Martin Luther in graphic novel format
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I'm not sure in what circumstances I WOULD recommend this book. If you loved the "Hangman's Daughter?" you might like this....
I understand that life and war back then were pretty cruel, but I was surprised by the focus on gore when the graphic novel format limits how much information can be included. Why not focus more on what Luther did and said rather than panel after panel of scenes of people dying horribly or him being bored during a time when he was hiding? Some pages showed people impaled on a tree, a woman slowly burning to death, and rows of hanged people with broken necks. We even get three panels focusing on a severed head that's impaled on a large hook.
The novel started with Luther as a youth and followed him until he died. It also showed how other people used the sentiments that Luther stirred up in the peasants to start a war. There were several pages with Luther in old age preaching against the Jews and blaming them for his sickness, plus some scenes after his death. I'll accept that Luther's marriage might not have been a love match, but he's shown as not even respecting her even as he agrees to marry her. I don't know--maybe Luther wasn't such a great guy, but I would have liked more on what he preached and did that lasted. It's what lasted that I'm interested in.
Update: After reading this book, I read two text-based biographies about Martin Luther. This is a case where a picture was not worth a thousand words. Some of the pictures in the graphic novel have meaning if you know Luther's story but meant little to me when I didn't. Also, the graphic novel didn't always accurately portray Luther. Sometimes it was due to pacing, like Luther bad mouthing Kate and considering marrying her within the same scene. Sometimes it was going with legend, like the inkpot and the devil before inkpots were used. Sometimes, it just wasn't accurate, like how he's shown as paranoid against the Jews. While he did write some unfortunate things regarding Jews, both text-based biographies said it was because he was frustrated that the Jews weren't converting to Christianity.
I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Depicting the life of Luther from his childhood to his death, the biography focuses on his time as a monk led up to and through his break with Rome. At 153 pages there is only so much that can be covered and only so much context as well through sometimes the visual aspect of the graphic novel does come in handy. While the short length of the book obviously foreshadowed only the barest minimum that could be covered on his life, yet the graphic novel aspect seemed to offer a way to enhance the chronicling of Luther’s life. Unfortunately the artwork looks like screen caps of a video game with so-so graphics with only a few great pages of art, usually at the beginning of each chapter.
The overall quality of the biographical and artwork content of Renegade is a mixed bag of a passable chronicle on Luther’s life and so-so artwork. While some younger readers than myself might find it a very good read and hopefully make them want to know more about Martin Luther and the Reformation, I found it a tad underwhelming.
I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.
I was not well acquainted with the Peasant's War and the novel made me acquainted with this.
The novel follows Luther's life. His father wants him to go to University to be a Lawyer but he becomes a Monk. Reading the scriptures he becomes very disillusioned with the workings of the church he sees in Rome. He writes his beliefs on how to reform the Church on the Door at Wittenberg and causes quite a stir leading to a major schism between the North German princes and the church in Rome over whether the Bible is the authority of the Church or the Pope in Rome. It shows Luther's doubts and flaws. His desire for people to have scripture in their own language rather than having a priest read to them in Latin. It shows his distrust of Jews. Overall a good synopsis of his life and beliefs.
The artwork was a little harsh for me. I know life in the Dark Ages was dark but there are too many graphic hangings and stabbings.
I shared it with the pastor of my reformed Church and he liked it and thought it was a good portrayal of Luther's life. He shared it with other pastors in our Church.
Another good source for a non traditional biography of Martin Luther is the Film 'Luther" with Joseph Fiennes in the title role
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Renegade : Martin Luther, the Graphic Biography is a Mighty Fortress of an introduction to Martin Luther.Read more