Future students of Homer get a handy checklist of muscle-bound Greek gods in this combo of mythology, comics and loose rhyme. Like a contemporary troubadour riffing on the ancients, Smith (Twelve Rounds to Glory) furnishes poems on 12 immortals, including Zeus, Apollo, Artemis and Athena. (A concluding "Who's Who" indexes the characters and explains why the Gorgon Medusa is included rather than, say, underworld goddess Persephone.) An uppercase comics typeface, peppered with bolds and italics, emphasizes Smith's parallel between jealous Greek gods and American mythic figures in the Superman mold. Graphic novel illustrator Russell, working in the relatively muted palette of his Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde series, pictures the heroes and villains with flowing hair, ripped bods and strategically draped togasor, in Zeus's case, a well-placed eagle's wing. The characters' dramatic, pouty-lipped poses are undeniably mannered, and the loquacious rhymes can overstretch. Even with the excesses, however, Smith and Russell make the pairing of classical material and a comics-like format look completely natural, with a gee-why-didn't-we-think-of-that simplicity. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Mighty 12: Superheroes of Greek Mythby Charles R. Smith, P. Craig Russell
Meet the most impressive of the gods and goddesses of Olympusand even a few monstersand see them revealed for what they really were: ancient superheroes with the power to shift shape, move mountains, and change fate. In this innovative introduction to Greek mythology, energetic poems and dynamic, comics-style illustrations create a seamless blend of
Meet the most impressive of the gods and goddesses of Olympusand even a few monstersand see them revealed for what they really were: ancient superheroes with the power to shift shape, move mountains, and change fate. In this innovative introduction to Greek mythology, energetic poems and dynamic, comics-style illustrations create a seamless blend of the ancient and contemporary that depicts the gods in all their glory.
Gr 5-8- In Smith's odes, each Olympian is reminiscent of the superheroes in today's canon of graphic novel and film-adventure stories. Colorful illustrations drawn in classic comic-book style bring this connection vividly to life; men are mostly muscular, while women are presented with long hair, flowing gowns, etc. While sometimes awkwardly structured or confusingly verbose, the poems nevertheless succeed in their intent to present the most notable attributes of these larger-than-life figures. An appendix of "Who's Who" lists the gods or goddesses' parentage, other monikers, symbols, and brief details of their legendary acts. A bibliography notes both classic and newer references for further reading. Fans of fantasy, comic books, and adventure stories will be irresistibly drawn to The Mighty 12 for general reading. Despite some flaws, the accessible artwork and popular subject matter should generate circulation.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.20(d)
- Age Range:
- 9 - 12 Years
Meet the Author
Charles R. Smith, Jr. is the acclaimed creator of over 17 children's books for children. Some of his titles include the Baby Love series, I am America and Hoop Kings. He has been praised for both his stunning photography and his energetic poetry that appeals to kids. Charles maintains a Web site at www.charlesrsmithjr.com.
P. Craig Russell is a highly acclaimed comic and graphic novel artist. He has worked on many series with D.C. Comics, an illustrated series of the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, and has collaborated with Neil Gaiman on several books, including The Sandman, Endless Nights, and a graphic novel version of Coraline, which is due out next year.
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