October 29, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
When’s the last time I did highlighted a comic project? It’s a shame to admit that it’s a hard category for me to seek out actively. Unless a comic really jumps out and lands right in front of me, I’m afraid I might be letting too many great stories slip under the radar screen. Comics and graphic novels really are great. I say that as a person who loves stories, and not necessarily just books. I try not to discriminate, but comics and graphic novels have never occupied significant space on my shelves or in my mind, and maybe it’s time for me to reconsider that. Illustration can do what so many other format cannot – it provides shape and form to a lot of things that would require long and maybe-distracting written description otherwise while providing creative margins for the reader to play around in. Today’s comic is a great example of this, and itself is playing in the creative margins of history.
Three Sovereigns is a new story that grew out of a snippet of a very old story about three relatively unknown wise men travelling across the Middle East to welcome a very famous figure into the ancient world. It’s a neat idea, an interesting story with some roots in the real world, and an outstanding example of the flexibility and power of graphic storytelling. Back it before October 31.
The story starts with the characters of the Three Sovereigns, who bring influences and perspectives from the rest of the world into the midst of the conflict in Judæa and who served me well for framing the fiction and the history and tying them together. It’s peppered with a lot of allusions to interesting entries in history’s encyclopedia that we never would have imagined before we saw them. It’s made to reward multiple thoughtful readings and following and researching the leads. We hope you’ll view a lot of things you thought you understood pretty well in a new and deeper way when you read it, whether or not you knew or cared anything about Jesus, Rome, or ancient history beforehand.