The Press: Trouble with the Bible

Italy's 15 million fumetti fans—readers of the photographic romance magazines that take their name from the dialogue balloons—usually go for soap-opera plots. But last winter a Milan fumetto entrepreneur, Pino Vignal, scored a modest inaugural success —80,000 copies—with a fumetto magazine based on the Bible.

Hailed at first as a way to bring the Bible closer to the people, Vignal's La Bibbia soon encountered more trials than Job. The Italian Rabbinical Council denounced La Bibbia as "sacrilege"; Milan's Roman Catholic Cardinal Montini withdrew the nihil obstat of the church. Sales slumped, and ugly rumors grew that Vignal's crew of actors, who posed...

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