While I'm still waiting for approval and the go ahead to draw up The Book Of Ruth, Rahab, and Jael Wife Of Heber, all of which I wrote a few months ago, I was delighted to get the commission last week to write a Nativity adaptation for Bible Society, which I delivered on Thursday night.
Though we talked in terms of me writing a 4 page A4 strip, as I'd done with Feeding The 5000 earlier this year, I've delivered the laid-out script for a strip that runs to 16 A5 pages. For some reason the gags all came out as four-panellers, rather than my previous three-panellers (which give me a 9-to-a-page grid). So I'm keeping fingers crossed that Rachel and Bible Society will like this version, otherwise I'll have to lose a lot that I'm quite proud of.
As with all my previous Bible adaptations, I'm adapting something I've never read before, so it's a fascinating education for me to see what these stories actually have in them. We get a few gags at the expense of Matthew's opening to his gospel, which is a page of begatting (also covered brilliantly in this comedy routine by Richard Herring which, thankfully, I didn't see till after I'd written my version. We don't do the same gags, so phew.) I'm quite pleased with my characterisation of Angel Gabriel, and I've revisited my Herod, who I first wrote for Feeding of the 5000. He's a nastier bit of work in this story than he was in 5000, and we end on a bit of a cliffhanger with him (spoiler alert) calling for the murder of al boys under the age of two.
Possibly my favourite routine is having one of the Magi as a sort of Brian Cox character, much more interested than the science than anything more inexplicable. I hope to get the go ahead to draw this strip soon, let us see.
I've realised I managed to not mention the Feeding of the 5000 in my blog, when I completed it back in October of last year, so here's a snippet now. I don't actually know if it's seen print yet.