Every time I mentioned doing a review of Ben Hur, somebody would say, “I thought you already did.” The perception that I’d already reviewed it got me to wondering about just what my fans might have expected to see. I felt daunted when I finally decided to tackle the strip.
I truly loved this movie as a kid. I saw Ben Hur as the story of two good childhood friends torn apart by the roles ancient society imposed upon them, set to an epic scale with all the trappings and hardships of that age. The message of forgiveness took a backseat until the end of the picture. As an adult, I understand that many would read it as a homoerotic tale of unrequited love. But I can still see the story as I did when I was a kid—a man adventure story where the hero is thrown down by circumstance and then climbs back up through one riveting scene after another. For this strip, I wanted to lace that innocence with a touch of sexual innuendo. And the final panel pays homage to the skimpy appearance Jesus made in Ben Hur. Regardless of the carnage and the screams, I still think it’s a great family film.