The Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus written and illustrated by John Hendrix is a captivating book about the life and ministry of Jesus. In his interpretation, Hendrix depicts important moments from Jesus’ life, including some of his miracles, his crucifixion, and his resurrection, as told in the Christian Bible.
The Miracle Man starts with Jesus calling out the fishermen as his disciples, and then tells the story of Jesus healing the leper, the paralyzed man, to the persecution he faced, the storm he calmed, the 5000 he fed with five loaves of bread and two fish, and then finally, his death on the cross and his resurrection.
While these stories are famous, well-known stories that are told time and time again, what makes this book so unique are the illustrations, done in pen and ink with fluid acrylic washes. Hendrix tells the story through his unique way of incorporating hand-lettering into the illustrations. That is, Hendrix incorporates parts of the very text into his illustrations, almost as if the text itself become illustrations in and of itself. Typically, the particular texts that Hendrix has chosen to illustrate have been Jesus’ own words in the book. Hendrix’s unique way of illustrating this text effectively brings these words to life, almost in the very way the Bible says it does.
What I particularly enjoyed about the illustrations was the use of colors. Every page pops with a variety of vibrant colors, and even keep you in suspense; one page may be characterized by warm colors, and the next, cool colors, all in a way that effectively helps tell the story.
I also appreciate the author’s desire to accurately depict to accurately the culture and place of Jerusalem and the Middle East during this time. He researched what the people looked like, the clothing they wore, and what the buildings looked like. One will notice the recurring motif of butterflies that fly across the pages of this book. Even their presence was researched and confirmed, sharing with each reader a message of hope.
Thus, I’m sure many people are asking the question, “Is this a book only for Christians?” While The Miracle Man does tell a Christian story, I think that any reader will enjoy this book. The book does not try to impose any “preachy” religious beliefs or indoctrinations, but simply tells the inspiring story of a famous figure and hero. Any reader will recognize the message of hope that the book ultimately strives to share.
Post by Joyce Hwang