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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Graphic Novel Version of the Odyssey!

     Hinds, Gareth (2010) The Odyssey  Somerville, MA: Candlewick

      A few years ago, Marvel comics came out with a graphic novel version of the Iliad.  Then there was the graphic novel 300 about the Spartans holding the pass at Thermopylae.  And I remember thinking when I first saw them how it made perfect sense for a comic version of these ancient Greek stories because they read like comic books anyway, with the gods and demigods as superheroes.  In each of those cases I found though, that it didn't quite work.  The Odyssey and the Iliad are not really comic book stories -- the fit isn't as perfect as I thought.
     Then along came George O'Connor.  His Olympians series showed that the stories of the Greek Gods could be done and done well.  (If you haven't read them yet, do so).
     I was so excited about O'Connor's work that I missed Gareth Hind's graphic novel version of the Odyssey that came out in 2010.  It is brilliant.  His artistic style is very different from O'Connor's stuff -- O'Connor is more confident and more vibrant -- Hinds seems muted and cautious by comparison -- but frankly, I don't care -- because Hinds nails The Odyssey perfectly.  I'll include some images below.  You can see what I mean.
     But here is why I am excited -- this is The Odyssey.  He captures it.  First of all, he tells the story in the right order.  His images help us picture the action, but for the first several pages, the text still carries the bulk of the meaning.  By the end of the first chapter or so, you will be hooked.  The blinding of the Cyclops, the sirens, the book of the dead, and best of all, Odysseus gets his revenge on those freeloading suitors.  This is the kind of a graphic novels that will pique studnets' interest in reading the original.
     I guess what I am trying to say is that I really liked it.  Get hold of it and read it. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. This book is one of the best GN adaptations I have ever seen. Highly recommended!