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Notable Christian Comics Series
The "LOGOS" comics
Nicky Cruz threatens David Wilkerson in a scene from the 'Run Baby Run' comic

Published in 1974, the "Logos" comics series consisted of four titles: Prison to Praise, Run Baby Run, Amazing Saints, and Ben Israel. The comics were produced by Logos International in Plainfield, NJ USA.

All issues were 32 pages in full mechanical color with a separate enamel stock cover. Prison to Praise and Run Baby Run were adapted and illustrated by the prolific secular comics artist Tony Tallarico (who has long been saddled with a rather unfair reputation in the industry as "the worst comic artist ever.") Amazing Saints and Ben Israel were probably drawn by Tallarico as well.

Unlike the Spire Christian Comics launched just two years prior, the Logos Comics did not do well in the marketplace. Rob Allen, son of Edward W. Allen, Logos' Managing Editor at the time the books were published, wrote this explanation in March 2002: "These comics were directly inspired by the success of the Spire comics; Logos hoped to jump on the bandwagon but missed. They decided to leverage their existing assets and create synergy by producing comics adaptations of some of their best-selling books ... I'm not surprised that the comics didn't do well. In addition to the low quality art, they also had a cover price of 39 cents at a time when the standard price for a comic book of that size was 20 cents."

Merlin R. Carothers also confimed the poor sales performance of his own Logos comic title in a November 1992 letter: "When Logos did the comic about Prison to Praise it was a financial disaster for them."

Prison to Praise was apparently the first book printed and must have had the highest print run, as it is the Logos comic found most frequently on eBay and other websites selling old comics. Run Baby Run was probably the second book and had a smaller press run, as it surfaces less frequently.

Due to the fact that copies of Amazing Saints and Ben Israel seem to be almost non-existent, some industry observers have speculated that these titles were never actually printed. However, a staff member of Arthur Katz's ministry once confirmed that in the past they did have copies of the Ben Israel comic book at their office which they gave out. They no longer have these comics on file.

Their extremely limited distribution has made Amazing Saints and Ben Israel two of the rarest Christian comics in circulation today.

Series covers:

The True Story of Merlin R. Carothers
Prison to Praise

The True Story of Nicky Cruz
Run Baby Run

The Story of Phil Saint
Amazing Saints

A Modern Jew's Search for the Messiah
Ben Israel
(Story of Arthur Katz)

Other Related Notes of Interest:

An earlier version of a Run Baby Run comic was released in 1971 by Logos and the David C. Cook Publishing Co. It was prepared by Cook as a "special edition" of their "Bible-in-Life PIX" by arrangement with Logos, who were the publishers of the original Nicky Cruz book. This Run Baby Run comic was 32 pages with a paper self-cover and full mechanical color throughout. According to the "Who's Who of American Comic Books" web site, Run Baby Run was pencilled and inked by Al Stenzel. His company, Stenzel Production, packaged Cook's "PIX" publication for a number of years. Run Baby Run was later reprinted in black-and-white in issue #51 of the French comic magazine Tournesol in 1976.

(If you include the Spire Comic titleThe Cross & the Switchblade as a "Nicky Cruz comic," too, then Mr. Cruz has had three separate Christian comics produced about him, which may be a record for different versions of a Christian comic book about a person who doesn't appear in the Bible originally!)

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