Have you ever read a book before seeing the film adaptation and found yourself disoriented by the casting or art direction? In some way it didn’t line up with how you imagined it when you were reading it yourself?
Or vice versa. You saw a movie, enjoyed it enough to go read the book, and found yourself placing those actor’s faces on all the characters you were reading in the book? The way it was adapted deeply impacted how you experienced the reading. In a certain sense, it stunted your ability to imagine the book yourself.
I had a conversation recently that’s had me thinking about this dynamic in relation to illustrating biblical literature and the work we do at Fish Coin Press. I've been wondering, "How do we bring the Bible to life without stunting the reader’s imagination?" But when I ask myself this question, I realize it's too late. It has already happened to us.
When we read the Bible, our mind constructs pictures from what came before. For a number of reasons… we’ve seen biblical imagery since we were a child or perhaps one of the recent film adaptations has impacted the way we visualize what’s written about in scripture. And of course, the millennia of classical Bible art have had lasting effects on how we imagine the narratives of scripture.
So in a lot of ways, reading the Bible is consistently effected by preconceptions. In the exact ways we notice this pattern when we read a book after seeing the film adaptation, the Bible is inevitably impacted.
So that puts into perspective for me exactly what we’re after at Fish Coin Press. We should shake things loose. All the traditional depictions we’ve seen can get a reboot. And in that process, what we think we know about the source material for the Christian tradition can be seen with a completely fresh imagination.
With this post, I'm happy to announce that we have surpassed our funding goal for Illuminate: Vol. I!
It's official. Over the next year or so, we'll be publishing illustrated editions of Ruth, Jonah, Malachi, 1 Peter, Elijah's arc in Kings. And all backers will get the new books, autographed and months in advance of public release. Again, huge thank you to our community for rallying behind us and supporting this endeavor to illustrate the Bible one book at a time! 🙏
So what happens now? Well, we still have about 3 weeks left in the campaign, so we keep spreading the word and raising funds towards our stretch goals. Our first stretch goal will add illustrated maps to every book! 🗺🎉
So if you haven't yet, now is the time to make a pledge and get that Season Pass to the first 5 books in Illuminate Vol. I.