Renegade: Martin Luther, the Graphic Biography

Dacia Palmerino (Text by (Art/Photo Books)) Andrea Ciponte (Artist)


The life of reformer Martin Luther in the graphic novel format

Gold Medal Winner, 2018 IPPY Book of the Year Award, Independent Publishers
Gold Medal Winner, 2017 Indies Awards, Foreword Reviews Magazine

Intriguing and informative." --Library Journal, Starred Review

Five hundred years ago a brash young monk single-handedly confronted the most powerful institutions of his day. His bold stand sparked the Protestant Reformation and marked one of the great turning points in history.

Martin Luther, a spiritual and historical giant, is loved and hated to this day--and for good reason. The anniversary of the revolution he helped start has produced a spate of doorstop-sized biographies. Luckily, today there exists a more accessible format that does justice to such a colorful, complex character and his tumultuous life and times - the graphic novel.

In a world of grinding poverty, plague, and religious superstitions, a child of laborers distinguishes himself at university - until a lightning-bolt conversion lands him in a monastery. There his personal battles with disillusionment and doubt culminate in a cry for freedom. The rest is the stuff of history and legend: Luther's revolt against Rome with the nailing of ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenberg; his time spent incognito at Wartburg Castle, where he famously throws an inkpot at the devil; his seditious translation and publication of the Bible in the language of the people; his scandalous marriage to former nun Katharina von Bora; and, in later years, his ugly tirades against peasants, Anabaptists, and Jews.

Each chapter of Luther's life comes vividly to life thanks to cutting-edge graphic techniques, meticulous historical research, and compelling writing. This could be the biggest breakthrough for Martin Luther since the Gutenberg press.

With its splendid color and unvarnished narrative, this is surely the most successful graphic biography ever. --Georg Howahl, WAZ

Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
Plough Publishing House
Publish Date
October 09, 2017
8.4 X 0.3 X 11.9 inches | 1.2 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Dacia Palmerino has collaborated with Andrea Grosso Ciponte on six graphic novels since 2014. Formerly a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Foggia, Italy, she researches experimentation in audiovisual and multimedia art, curates film and video exhibits, and reviews emerging artists and musicians. Born in Milan in 1978, Palmerino lives and works in Catanzaro, Italy.
Andrea Grosso Ciponte is a Calabrian painter, graphic novelist, filmmaker, and illustrator. He is a professor of computer graphics and digital animation techniques at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catanzaro, Italy. Ciponte was born in Praia a Mare, Italy, in 1977. In 2011 his work was shown at the Venice Biennale.


Martin Luther as comic hero? It's possible, as the Italian duo Andrea Grosso Ciponte and Dacia Palmerino prove... This graphic biography brings us up close to Luther the human being. Just its aesthetic appeal casts a spell on the reader - Ciponte's pictures are breathtaking... A work of genius. --Andrea Heinze, DLF Public Radio (Deutschlandfunk)
Ciponte's drawings make real the motto: 'The book is cinematography.' The realist imagery is interrupted occasionally by surreal elements that express moods and thoughts in plastic form. --Jens Bayer-Gimm, Neue Westfaelische (newspaper)
Other Luther biographies need hundreds of pages of explanations. This graphic novel succeeds on the strength of its raw images and forceful dialogue." --Shea Westhoff, Chrismon magazine
This is not the first attempt to portray the life and work of the Reformer Martin Luther in the form of a comic. But thanks to its artistic richness and candid storytelling, it is certainly that most successful. --Georg Howahl, WAZ
Renegade represents a fresh approach to creating interest in the career and contribution of Martin Luther, particularly among young people. Sumptuous art illustrates and punctuates the main matters in his life and career.... The book is generally well balanced and should inspire curiosity to seek further information among its readers, collectors and viewers. In addition, the somewhat edgy presentation will appeal to a demographic not normally reached by Luther studies. --Dr. Timothy Dost Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Concordia Seminary
German theologian Martin Luther (1483-1546), driven by a deep-seated and ambitious craving to know God boldly, ventured into a dark, superstitious, and troubled world to speak his truths. Bringing scholarship and discipline to the theological arena, he helped construct the foundation upon which Protestantism was established, starting with the publication of the Ninety-five Thesis. By doing so, he precipitated the Protestant Reformation, one of the largest religious movements in history. His noble and courageous story tells how one focused individual, standing against a massive institution, can make a critical and astonishing difference. Verdict Longtime Italian collaborators Ciponte and Palmerino present their first work in English with this earnest take on Luther's life, wonderfully rendered through paintings and collages that dip into the biography at critical moments. YA and adult readers alike will find this work intriguing and informative. --Library Journal, Starred Review
Impressively informative and unreservedly recommended as an introduction to the life and work of one of the most influential leaders of the early years of the Protestant Movement and the founder of the Lutheran church. --Midwest Book Review
Palmerino's text paints a clear chronological picture of how events may have transpired--but the art is what will pull in readers. At times it's rough and jagged, at others dreamlike with biblical imagery floating around and intertwining with the dark age environment... A great addition to graphic novel collections. Protestantism unfolds with a compelling style that any history lover will enjoy. --School Library Journal
It may seem difficult to say anything new about Luther at this point, but this book manages to do it. First, there is the sheer power of the art. Ciponte and Palmerino get the look and feel of the 16th century, and give us dark garrets, sumptuous palaces, and simple taverns. Their sometimes-disturbing images humanize Luther like few other things I have read recently. The text incorporates a lot of 16th-century primary sources by Luther and others. The overall effect is contemplative, not triumphalistic.... In the "if you only read one book about Luther this year" category, this has got to be near the top of the list... you will definitely understand what all the fuss was about. --Jennifer Woodruff Tait Christian History
Captivating... Dramatic use of light in the renderings, gorgeous color, almost cinematic. Using visual quotes and metaphors drawn from great art, like Hironymous Bosch's paintings, with their surrealistic imagery of hell, Renegade captures the psychological angst of the story... A great introduction to the man and his thought. --God and Comics Podcast