SCI-FI/FANTASY FOR KIDS: Zondervan’s Graphic Novels

A few years ago, I was privileged to be a part of an ambitious publishing plan. Zondervan’s children’s division, Zonderkidz, was going to publish six different graphic novel series. Each series was to be eight books long. Each book was to be 150 pages.

A few weeks ago, the final volume of each series was finally released.

I had involvement in three series. One, TimeFlyz, was a series I created. Another, Kingdoms, was a bible-based work of historical fiction. The third was Hand of the Morningstar, a superhero drama I was asked to write starting with volume five. So it could easily be said I am biased toward this series. But, setting me aside, the talent involved in this series is top notch and the books are really quite good. I highly recommend them all.

 

THE MANGA BIBLE

This series was created in Korea and was licensed to be published in the States by Brett Burner from Lamp Post, Inc. It’s a humorous survey of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. It’s goofy, but reverent, and when my son read the series it gave him a reference point of biblical events that he has been able to draw on in conversation at home and at church. Suitable for all ages.

 

TOMO

This series is an action/adventure ninja fantasy that is a combination of Ninja Turtles and Narnia. It follows a girl, Hana, who learns that she has connections to a greater destiny as she gets to know a ninja raccoon from another world. Great fun and great message, from Tom Bancroft and Rob Corley (two former animators for Big Idea and Disney) and with a couple volumes written by Jim Krueger, a comic book luminary. Suitable for all ages.

 

SON OF SAMSON

Already I’ve mentioned Jim Krueger, but he’s just one of the super comic book talents brought into this publishing line. Sergio Cariello and Gary Martin, creators of Son of Samson, are two more. This book follows the fictional exploits of Samson’s son (no surprise there, I guess, considering the title). It’s classic fantasy action in the vein of old school Tarzan or Conan, but fantasy that carries a Christian message and themes. For ages ten and up.

 

TIMEFLYZ

TImeflyz is my series, featuring art by three different artists: co-creator Adi Darda; Scott Wong’s art studio; and my good friend Eric Merced. It’s the tale of some time traveling flies (again, probably not the biggest surprise considering the title) who help a young girl track down her father, and many great scientists from throughout history, after he is kidnapped by a time traveling spider. It’s a coming of age story, taking place in many different ages. And I have to say, I’m quite proud of my work on it. Suitable for all ages.

 

KINGDOMS

I’m proud of my work here, too. This is the story of a family. A generational epic following a family that lives through the events of Israel’s exile in Babylon. It covers the time of the prophets, touching on Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah, and Ezra. There were a number of artists who worked on this series, and they each did great work. This was another book Brett Burner from Lamp Post, Inc. spearheaded. For teens and up.

HAND OF THE MORNINGSTAR

I wish I got to do more superhero stories, and when I was asked to write the last three volumes of this series, I was very excited. Mike S. Miller wrote and drew the first few volumes and Brett Burner wrote the middle couple, while I got to wrap the series up. A story of heroics and redemption, it’s got lots of big action and twists and turns. For teens and up.

~ Ben

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