'Jesusfreak' Graphic Novel to Imagine Christ's Life as "Bloody, Two-Fisted" Tale

Joe Casey and Benjamin Marra's retelling of the Biblical tale will debut at next month's New York Comic Con.
Courtesy of Benjamin Marra/Image Comics

Throughout history, art has repeatedly returned to the story of Jesus Christ — but it’s never been told in quite the manner offered up in Image Comics’ upcoming graphic novel, Jesusfreak.

The 60-page hardcover, to be released next year, is described by the publisher as “a bloody, two-fisted tale of historical heroic fiction featuring a young Nazarean carpenter who is having some trouble finding his place within the violent world around him.” The book comes from the creative partnership of Joe Casey and Benjamin Marra.

In a statement about the graphic novel, Casey said, "Jesusfreak is less inspired by any strict religious traditions and is instead more concerned with exploring the unique tension that exists between depicting a mythical figure and a historical figure – a tension that is compounded when, for many, they're considered the same person. It’s also a chance for Marra and I to indulge in a specific style of hard pulp storytelling that we think perfectly fits this material."

Co-creator Marra, whose illustrations have appeared in Playboy, Rolling Stone and The New York Times, in addition to comics like Terror Assaulter: O.M.W.O.T. and Lincoln Washington: Free Man, added, "I’ve followed Joe Casey’s career as a writer for over a decade and so I jumped at the opportunity to push myself as an artist into unfamiliar areas with this book. My aim with Jesusfreak is to channel the energy and storytelling of artists like Paul Gulacy, Frank Miller and Klaus Janson to deliver a very different kind of historical fiction."

While the full-length graphic novel won’t be released until March 20, 2019 (March 26 in mainstream bookstores), there’ll be a chance to get a sneak peek for those attending next month’s New York Comic Con, with Image Comics offering an exclusive ashcan throughout the event.