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kids’ Greek mythology comic books

Posted by Erik on February 24, 2010

We’ve come across a few recent items that we found very appealing – in very different ways – that I’d like to share.

First up is Amazing Greek Myths of Wonders and Blunders by Mike Townsend – a very silly, but fun and broadly accurate comic-book style retelling of ten myths (randomly chosen, as far as I can tell), frequently featuring bunnies. :)  My 9yo daughter *loved* this book, giggling all the way through (as did we, to be honest… :)

Very much on the other end of the spectrum is the first volume in a new series of graphic novels by George O’Connor, Zeus: King of the Gods. Beautifully drawn and based on Classical sources (although the author states up front that these are his retellings, and may contain his own ideas in places), this first volume tells the story of the Theogony in a kid-friendly manner, from the union of Ge and Ouranos to the triumph of Zeus and the establishment of the Olympian regime.

The series also has a website that includes some activities and a teacher guide, as well as short excerts of the Zeus book and the Athena volume that is coming out in April. (There are four volumes listed on the site – Zeus, Athena, Hera and Hades – but in a note in the back of the book the author says he’s planning for all twelve Olympians… I assume that list would include Dionysos, since there are so few stories about Hestia, but it doesn’t say.)

I thought I had already brought up the Graphic Universe series, but if I did I can’t find it in the archives, so here it is now… these are retellings of myths and folktales in graphic novel format – and not just Greek, but some less common ones as well (I really like the volume on Amaterasu, for instance). I’ve read a number of them (here’s the complete title list), and they are uniformly good and often in libraries.

Final mention goes to a book that I haven’t read yet, but that I have requested from the library – The Mighty 12: Superheroes of Greek Myth by Charles R. Smith, Jr. and illustrated by P. Craig Russell. I’ve read a couple of mixed reviews of this one, but if nothing else the art is going to be exceptional.

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2 Responses to “kids’ Greek mythology comic books”

  1. I don’t know if you’ve read it before, but I’d highly recommend this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Life-Greek-Temple-Picture-Past/dp/1403464421

    It’s a pretty straight-forward account of Greek religion, with a special focus on the temple cultus, but what makes it so great is the straight-forward, even respectful way everything is discussed. There’s no condescension, no “look at these silly, barbaric practices – aren’t we so much wiser, humane, and spiritually evolved nowadays?” which you get in so many books about antiquity, especially those geared towards children. Plus, the information is surprisingly accurate! I’ve seen more mistakes on modern Hellenic polytheist websites than are found in this book. If I had kids, I’d definitely share this one with them.

  2. executivepagan said

    I haven’t seen that one, but we do have a couple that are similar… I’ll keep an eye out for it, though. Thanks!

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