Doing a Number On

Due to their audiences, the MPH publications Boys Today and Girls Today likely contained some unique content. What they definitely had in common were the “Bible Stories Comics,” though the publications ran them in different two-color schemes each week.

Below, the girls’ version is on the left, and the boys’ is on the right.


“Preparing for the Passover” was the seventh installment of the “Jesus in Jerusalem” series, and it appeared on February 2, 1947. It is also labelled as “Bible Picture Story No. 70,” which would seem to indicate that the weekly series was in its second year. However, the “Bible Picture Stories” comics began four years earlier, in 1943. After the first two sequences, set in the Old Testament, a third one began, “The Story of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.” With the action shifting to the New Testament, it was also decided that the comics should start being sequentially numbered. What this all means is that “Bible Picture Story No. 70” is really more like number 174.

BPS JJ 07 GT 150 QCC

The Bible’s passion narrative lends itself well to being told in comics form, with its intrigue, betrayal, and dramatic conclusion. Kreigh Collins was a befitting choice to illustrate these comics, with his background in landscapes, architecture, costumes, and Biblical period illustrations.

BPS JJ 08 GT 150 QCC

For those keeping score at home, “The Last Supper (1),” / “Jesus in Jerusalem No. 8,” / “Bible Story Comic No. 71” is the 175th comic Kreigh Collins did for the Methodist Publishing House. (I wonder if the MPH ever considered having Collins illustrate any of the Book of Numbers?)

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.


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