In 2015, I reviewed Adam Ford's first published collection of webcomics called Implications Abound. What originally began as a casual webcomic site, has turned into a full time endeavour as Ford's own personal ministry. Learning that he would quit his job of 8.5 years to pursue creating these illustrations, I certainly wanted to support his cause. When he released his second compilation in 2016, I did not waste anytime ordering it on Amazon. It would not be until almost a year later that I finally opened this book.
Adam4d.com is only a handful of years old, but as Ford shares, millions of people have visited his site. He regularly receives emails from around the world. His drawings are used in church services, Bible studies, and translated in several languages. His comics seem to resonate to many people, both Christian and secular. He traded away his life of comfort to dedicate all his energy creating the content we see on adam4d.com. He admits that he is not sure how this will pay the bills to support his family of three children, but he is trusting God in ways he has not done before. He has nearly 350 Patreon subscribers committed to pitch in money monthly which is incredible. This helps Ford continue to make God's name known through the talent he was given. You can read his full decision here at: adam4d.com/full-time
Thy Kingdom Comics is obviously a play on 'Thy Kingdom Come' from the Lord's prayer. Unlike his first book which was grey, this one stands out with a bright orange colour. The cover has one of those common traditional church signs where you have the individual letters slide in. The book is actually thick enough to fit his title and name on the spine this time around. The back cover is a collage of many of Ford's drawn characters that make an appearance in this book
The sub-title basically says it all when describing what his book is about. It states, "Curiously Christian drawings and writings about Jesus, tolerance, abortion, atheism, homosexuality, theology, and lots of other stuff". He has a notably long list of endorsements, including Matt Chandler, James White, and Tim Challies. Ford uses his comics and illustrated essays to dive into the most difficult controversial topics that few are willing to discuss. Being a comic book, I was able to brisk through this 238 page entry in 2 hours. However, there is a lot more meat in this one than its predecessor.
Ford's drawings somehow have a way of penetrating those uncomfortable walls and allow the reader to face these topics, be honest with themselves, and think hard about where they stand on these issues. Somehow when difficult issues are drawn out, the logic used by Adam with scripture to support it seems to make sense and has readers second guessing their positions on their life. Just like his first book, I resonate so much with these drawings. Especially when he mentions his own personal life struggles such as anxiety, and his life before he met Jesus. Ironically, Some of my favourite comics are the ones that point out the mistakes, errors, and foolish things that Christians do. Ford is not afraid to call out lukewarm Christians, as well as those that preach false doctrines. Just like his previous book, I could identify with those comics and know that I was not alone in thinking some of the things Christians do are weird. Ford does a masterful job in balancing the serious messages with encouraging and even fun ones, all while showing he has a sense of humour.
As for me, out of Ford's entire selection of his works, there was only one piece I did not fully agree with which was "The Great Translation Bible debate" in which The Message translation is viewed as an imposter. Although I agree the Message is not a translation that we should put our entire reliance on when studying or interpreting scripture, I personally would not consider the Message to be an 'imposter' by any sense. It is a legitimate translation that has become a great starting point for many people new to reading the Bible and in no way would mislead anyone.
At almost 3 times more pages than Implications Abound, Thy Kingdom Comics greatly improves on the short length from its previous work. The tradeoff is that in order to afford printing a book of this size, Ford needed to convert these comics to black and white. While it is a minor setback, it does not take away from the quality of the message and allows a longer enjoyable read. While Ford's content has remained consistent, he builds on the success of his first book with an improved polished title that gives readers a longer, more satisfying experience.
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