The Book of Esther, and its Links to Frank Miller's 300

The Book of Esther, and its Links to Frank Miller’s 300

Posted by November 4, 2018 Comment

The Book of Esther: Word for WORD Bible Comic (Book 5) by Simon Amadeus Pillario, Leslie Wilmer Simonin and Ryan Esch. 

Simon Amadeus Pillario writes,

Our new graphic novel has launched in October on Kickstarter, it is called The Book of Esther. Set in ancient Persia, it is a book of high court intrigue and one woman’s struggle to save her people from annihilation. The events take place in the time of Achaemenid King Xerxes the Great, so the book not only encompasses the time of the legendary Battle of Thermopylae but features the character portrayed in Frank Miller’s 300.

One of my favourite comics of all time would be 300, so it is amazing to now be working on a book so closely related to it. Reading Miller’s work, I had alway’s thought it was only very loosely based on the historical events and time period, but in researching this book I’ve discovered many of the visual sources his work has drawn from and I can see that the uniforms and banners of the troops are actually very well represented. Also, some of the more fantastical aspects that stick in the mind like the war-rhino and weird undead like faces of the immortals are actually only in the film.

The most noticeable historical inaccuracy is the depiction of Xerxes himself, which I’m sure he had his reasons for, however, in ours we will be ensuring Xerxes will look himself. In the Bible, he is called Ahasuerus (אחשורוש) which is the Hebrew rendering of his title as opposed to Xérxēs (Ξέρξης) from the Ancient Greek. Here is a period image of Xerxes from Persepolis, and an image from The Book of Esther: Word for Word Bible Comic.

Unlike Miller’s piece which is a modern script inspired by the events recorded by Greek historians like Herodotus and Xenophon, our graphic novel is derived word-for-word from the English translation of the biblical texts written at the time or soon after the events, so the story is not only about ancient times but written around 450bc.

The story of Esther begins before the Persian military campaign, some of the events unfold within the court with the King’s wife which lead to the King making an announcement that affects the rest of the story. However, the results are picked up a few years later, which is believed to be the time of the second Persian Invasion of Greece. (

What is really exciting is seeing so much more of the Persian aesthetic which there was only a hint of in 300 with the great throne and interesting troops. The Book of Esther takes place in the palace of Susa (in modern day Iran) an ornate winter palace constructed by Darius the Great and expanded by Xerxes his son. It is full curved pillars, glazed brick murals, grand staircases and royal gardens.

It’s very interesting to see another side of Xerxes in the book of Esther that is not a warring King but a ruler at home in a court full of vipers.

You can see more and back the project on our Kickstarter page or our website


About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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(Last Updated November 4, 2018 5:47 am )

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