Christians have increasingly turned to products from popular culture, like books and films, to convey biblical messages. And now a niche product has also gotten some attention from the Christian crowd: comic books.
Metron Press, an imprint of the American Bible Society, began in early 2002, and last week it launched a new Web site, www.metronpress.com. The New York-based publisher decided it would try to make the gospel accessible to the unchurched folks who read comics.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
“A large portion of that non-churchgoing audience includes a readership in their teens through those in their 40s, all of whom are plugged into today’s pop culture ‘revolution,’ sometimes to the exclusion of traditional forms of learning and entertainment,” the site says.
Metron reasons that as more comics are turned into movies, new generations are introduced to comics and that this popular culture product can convey values.
“Metron Press is committed to bringing readers vibrant stories of the human experience, told in a variety of artistic styles, with the goal of empowering personal and community aspirations,” reads the site.
The new Web site features news stories about Metron, message boards, a store for buying Metron products, and a list of current and upcoming titles.
The site also houses micro-sites for its released titles, which include Testament and Samson: Judge of Israel. These micro-sites essentially provide more information about each project and include information about its creative team, as well as a gallery of images from the comic itself.
Metron’s next title is Joe: City of Dreams, due in April. Joe, a modern-day tale, is loosely based on the Genesis account of Joseph in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Egypt. The site also indicates that Metron has slated at least five more titles for release this year, including one called Mary Magdalene.
Users can also sign up for Metron’s mailing list to stay abreast of new titles, events and promotions.
The site, designed by 3rd Edge Communications, is visually engaging with a crisp design, vibrant colors and solid content.
Metron could enhance its Web presence by providing some sample pages from its comics. This feature would be an especially welcome addition for those unfamiliar with the format and how it might convey biblical truths.
Overall though, Metron Press has left a firm footprint for its unique mission, and those watching will be eager to see the next step.
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.