Christian manga tells action stories from the bible
There is Japanese anime and manga. And now, there is Christian shonen manga (Japanese-styled graphic novels) that has action, heroes and villains—all from stories in the bible.
The company is named Atiqtuq, and its founder, Jonathan Lin, came fresh out of the corporate business world where he didn’t feel fulfilled. He told The Christian Post that he was well acquainted with the immense popularity of anime and manga because he grew up regularly visiting relatives in Japan.
“I always wanted to start my own business and impact society in a positive way,” Lin told The Christian Post. “Media is so important and it can be used to reach out to younger readers.”
And so he merged manga’s immense popularity with bible stories—his way of providing entertainment that is wholesome and spiritual. It’s a new company, founded early this year and he used his own savings to put it up, The Christian Post said.
One release was a series on the Apostle Paul which came out in two volumes, and has a third one pending. Author Matt Salisbury told Catholic PR Wire, “I believe in engaging readers, Christian and non-Christian alike, where they’re at. My goal was to emulate Paul’s own mission of inclusion leading to truth. If this series sparks interest in scripture or aspiration to live as Paul did, we’d have been very successful.”
Another effort of Atiqtuq is Judith: Captive to Conqueror. Written by Gabrielle Gniewek, the story is about a woman who is more familiar to Catholics than to Protestants. The Catholic News Agency reported that the manga version of Judith is likely to encourage more children to read the bible.
According to its website, Atiqtuq (ah tick took) is a term used by the Inuits of Canada. It describes the time when a baby polar bear leaves its den and goes with its mother for the first time to the Hudson Bay.
In similar fashion, Atiqtuq hopes to take its readers on a journey through stories about “real heroes and heroines,” that are filled with courage, honor, love, sacrifice and wisdom, the website says.
Manga has gained great popularity in the U.S. and Canada, according to Catholic PR Wire, with some 17.5 million copies sold cumulatively in both countries in 2008.
Lin said most of the clients of Atiqtuq come from the U.S. but they also have readers in Australia, Germany, Brazil, Japan and the U.K. Most of the readers range in age from eight to 13 years, so it is likely the books are ordered by the parents, The Christian Post reported.
Atiqtuq plans to release future graphic novels next year on David and Goliath, Jacob and Esther, and Noah. The novels are available in select bookstores in the U.S. and can be ordered online. More information about Atiqtuq can be found on its Facebook page, or on its website.