David: The Shepherd's Song, published by Cross Culture Entertainment, 72 pages, $8.99.
It would seem that more and more creators are figuring out how to produce Biblically-based comics that are fun to read and a blast to look at. Add Royden Lepp's David: The Shepherd's Song to that list.
The account of a young shepherd boy, destined to be king of Israel, is masterfully told in this extremely entertaining volume, distributed by Vida Enter-tainment. Presented in "flash-back" form, as an adult David hides out in a cave from a murderously jealous King Saul, David addresses his life as a boy-shepherd, his first encounter with the prophet Samuel, his anointing as king and Saul's fall from grace.
Creator Royden Lepp shows off his skills as writer and artist in this book, and hits a home-run on both counts. Young David's fearless demeanor when dealing with the threat of would-be predators to his flock, the derision of his brothers at his anointing and the desperation of Saul to get back into the Lord's graces all share one thing; fantastic characterization. Lepp brings these individuals to life in an engrossing manner that is second to none. Where David is concerned, he even throws in a little adolescent overconfidence during a confrontation with a very big, very angry lion.
And it works.
His artwork only sweetens the deal, as Royden's sense of energy, drama and perfect pacing pull the reader in from start to finish. The flashback sequences are a great fit and not forced. The action is exciting, even frantic, but never out of place. And the characters, despite their "cartoony" quality (especially young David) are amazingly expressive and easily relatable. The long and short of it? Royden Lepp is a master storyteller, and I, for one, can't wait for the next installment. Bring on Goliath!
David: The Shepherd's Song is recommended for all readers. Ask for it at comics shops, and look for it at online retailers and auctions, as well as www.communitycomics.com .
Review by Mark Allen
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