This graphic novel tells the story of Amaterasu, the Japanese Shinto goddess of the sun. Amaterasu's parents create the first eight islands of Japan. Amaterasu's father later puts his children in charge of parts of the natural world. Beautiful and kindly Amaterasu is made the goddess of the sun. But her brother, Susano, god of the sea and storms, is jealous of his sister's position. In fear of Susano's temper, Amaterasu hides in a cave, plunging the world into darkness. The other gods and goddesses must come up ...
This graphic novel tells the story of Amaterasu, the Japanese Shinto goddess of the sun. Amaterasu's parents create the first eight islands of Japan. Amaterasu's father later puts his children in charge of parts of the natural world. Beautiful and kindly Amaterasu is made the goddess of the sun. But her brother, Susano, god of the sea and storms, is jealous of his sister's position. In fear of Susano's temper, Amaterasu hides in a cave, plunging the world into darkness. The other gods and goddesses must come up with a clever plan to lure Amaterasu from her hiding place and restore order to the world.
Izanagi and Izanami came from heaven and formed land from water. The two were deeply in love and had many children. Unfortunately, Izanami died while giving birth to her son the Fire God, and her husband loved her so much he decided to follow her to the land of the dead to try to bring her home. This did not work, and upon returning, he tried to wash the smell of death from himself in a stream. Three children were created from the water dripping from his face, and he gave each of them a section of the earth. His son Susano was not happy with the part of the land he received, and he and his father had a terrible disagreement. Susano was therefore banished to the underworld. He stopped to say goodbye to his sister Amaterasu, but had evil plans to try to trick her. After beating him at his own tricks, she grew more afraid of him and hid in a cave. When she did this, the whole world became dark. It is up to the other gods to convince her to leave the cave so that light will once again shine. Are they successful? If so, how do they do it? This book is written in a graphic format. This makes it perfect for students who are reluctant readers and never seem to finish a book on their own. Young adults who want to read anything they can get their hands on will also enjoy the graphics and fast paced text. At the end of the book are a glossary and a mini biography about the author and artist. Also included is a list of other books and websites that might be of interest to the reader. I do recommend this book.
- Laura Lehner
For anyone not familiar with the story of Persephone, this series provides a fine rendering of the Greek myth that tells how the seasons came to be. A number of experienced comic book writers and illustrators have been commissioned to create graphic novelizations of myths and legends from around the world. The sixteen titles are written for a target audience of fourth to eighth graders, and include King Arthur (British), Thor and Loki (Norse), Beowulf (British), and Odysseus (Greek). In Amaterasu, a goddess of the sun seals herself inside a cave for fear of being harmed by her jealous and destructive brother, Susano, lord of storms and restless seas. The result of her absence is a dark and infertile earth, and the other gods must trick her out of her exile to restore daylight to the world. Demeter and Persephone has a similar theme. When Persephone—the only daughter of Demeter, the greek goddess of the harvest—is kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld, her mother goes into mourning and the whole world becomes icy and barren. Persephone is rescued by her mother, but only after she has fallen in love with Hades and committed herself to him. She strikes a deal to return to the underworld to be with Hades for one third of the year-thus the season of cold and darkness, when her mother is missing her. Every series volume is created by a different team of authors and illustrators, giving each book a unique look and vernacular. Reluctant readers have much to appreciate in the dynamic and colorful format of these comic books, while being exposed to complex themes such as sibling rivalry and family obligations. Because they include end material such as glossaries,pronunciation guides, and further reading, these books are ideal resources for a younger reader interested in an introduction to world myths.
Paul D. Storrie was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He has written comics for Caliber Comics, Moonstone Books, Marvel Comics, and DC Comics. For Graphic Universe, he has written Hercules: The Twelve Labors, Robin Hood: Outlaw of Sherwood Forest, Yu the Great, Amaterasu: Return of the Sun, Beowulf: Monster Slayer, Perseus: The Hunt for Medusa's Head, Yu the Great: Conquering the Flood, Terror in Ghost Mansion, and Nightmare on Zombie Island.
Ron Randall has drawn comics for every major comic publisher in the United States, including Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse. His titles for Graphic Myths and Legends include Thor & Loki: In the Land of Giants, Beowulf: Monster Slayer, Guan Yu: Blood Brothers to the End, and Amaterasu: Return of the Sun. He has also worked on super hero comics such as Justice League and Spiderman; science fiction titles such as Star Wars and Star Trek; fantasy adventure titles such as DragonLance and Warlord; suspense and horror titles including SwampThing, Predator, and Venom; and his own creation, Trekker. He lives in Portland, Oregon.