Tag: myth

5 Reasons You Should Read ‘Road of Bones’

The worst prison on planet Earth – the Siberian Gulag of Kolyma – is merely a gateway for a much darker horror for Roman Ivanovich and his fellow escapees, who have hundreds of miles of frozen tundra between them and freedom. With the help of a mysterious figure (who may or may not be human), Roman and company must battle starvation, weather, wildlife and each other in order to survive. Here are five reasons why you should check out Road of Bones

Image via ComicWeek

1. The artwork

A comic is nothing without illustrations, and Road of Bones has some of the most artistically pleasing artwork I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel. It may not necessarily be the most technically proficient drawing – with asymmetrical line work and character design – but that’s part of the style, one of the ways the violent and ugly conditions of the gulag are shown to the reader. Not only that, but the sweep landscape shots are beautiful – the uniform white almost painful to the eyes – and also the many scenes with gore and drawn in sickeningly graphic detail.

 

2. The themes

Every good story is a mirror of some aspect of the real world, and comic books are no exception, especially Road of Bones. The cruelty of man against man, the amorality of life in the nature, the inherent meaninglessness of everything we value in our lives, all of these elements and more are explored in this incredibly nihilistic yet enjoyable four-part comic series.

AMBER BLAKE, GHOST TREE, and ROAD OF BONES get new printings
Image via Comic List

3. the colors

I know that this probably could be included in with the artwork, but I think it’s such a vital aspect that it deserves its own spot on this list. While I mentioned the uniform whiteness of the frigid Siberian wilderness above, color is used in a variety of other ways. The snow is so flat and has so little detail that it looks almost like a blank sheet of paper, making the blood that is spilt appear almost glowing in contrast. Not only that, but just the way the sunlight appears in the sky – low and dim and colorless – almost makes you feel the cold.

 

4. the writing

Writer Rich Douek tells the survival tale from Roman’s point of view, yet there are two other characters who accompany him, his friend Sergei and vor Grigori (a vor, for those of you who are unaware, being a ranking professional criminal in the organized crime syndicates of Russians prison system). While the characters may not be the most complicated we’ve seen in literature (I’m not going to fool you and say that they’re all Captain Ahab), they’re each given a different perspective on the situation and play off each other in an engaging way that furthers the plot.

Road of Bones Graphic Novel
Image via Green Brain Comics

5. the horror

Road of Bones combines the savage brutality man exerts over his fellow man with the dark terror of Russian folklore to make a fantastic horror experience. Throughout his time in the gulag, Roman has been feeding what he believes to be a domovik, a spirit that exists to protect the household and those living underneath its roof, and as him and company escape, he discovers that the domovik has followed him. Is it human? Is it even really there, or just a figment of Roman’s imagination? It claims that he should trust it, but should he really?

Road of Bones is a supernatural survivor horror that I highly recommend. A beautifully haunting mesh of the real-world terror of Stalin’s gulag’s mixed with the darkest aspects of Russian folklore makes Road of Bones one of my favorite limited comic book series.

Featured image via Fanbase Press

5 Books Inspired By Greek Mythology

Greek mythology has a very special place in western culture. We see it in architecture, in art, and in the stories that inspire us. Terminology like a person’s “Achille’s heel” is so commonly accepted in the English vernacular that we don’t often give it a second thought. This mythos is ever present, and it acts as a creative muse (pun intended) to writers everywhere, and when there are stories that showcase Greek mythology in new and fun ways, those stories should be shared and explored.

 

Here are five stories that resonate with Greek mythology:

 

 

1. Circe

 

image via amazon

 

Written by Madeline MillerCirce was selected in 2018 as a Goodreads Choice winner. This book follows the titular character Circe, daughter of the sun god Helios. Though she didn’t inherit the her parent’s powers, Circe learns that she, in her own right, can rival the gods. For this very reason, she is banished to a deserted island where she continues to practice her magic and learn more about herself. She is ultimately forced to make a decision: will she ally herself with mortals, the individuals that she often sought solace with, or will she reunite with the gods, the group from which she originated?

 

 

2. Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from myths and monsters

 

image via goodreads

 

Great Goddesses is a collection of poems written by Nikita Gill, who is known for her poetry collections Fierce Fairytales and Wild Embers. Applying a feminist’s lens to these old myths and legends, Gill presents a new rendition of Greek mythology. As stated by this collection’s Amazon page:

With lyrical prose and striking verse, beloved poet Nikita Gill…uses the history of Ancient Greece and beyond to explore and share the stories of the mothers, warriors, creators, survivors, and destroyers who shook the world. A few examples of poems from this collection are Chaos to Nyx, Athena’s Tale, and Athena to Medusa.

 

 

3. AntiGoddess

 

image via goodreads

 

Antigoddess is the first book in Kendare Blake‘s series: Goddess War. The story begins with the goddess Athena growing feathers under her skin and inside her lungs. Hermes has a fever that is consuming his flesh, and the other Greek deities are suffering in similar ways. In order to find out why they are slowly dying, these two Greek immortals seek out Cassandra, a woman who was once a prophetess. They learn that Hera has joined with the enemies of Olympus in a bid for revenge, and these enemies are also falling victim to the same corruption that the Greek deities are.

 

 

4. The Goddess of Buttercups and Daisies

 

image via goodreads

 

Written by Martin Millar, The Goddess of Buttercups and Daisies follows the playwright Aristophanes, who is having a really tough time of it. He’s trying to create a comedy that will convince Athens to not go to war with Sparta for another ten years, but one inconvenience after another continues to hinder his efforts. To make matters worse, Spartan and Athenian generals have released Laet, a spirit of foolishness and poor decisions on Athens with the intention of sparking war. Athena, in an effort to stop this chaotic force, sends the Amazonian warrior Bremusa and the nymph Metris into the fray. This book has been described as a “witty and comical romp for readers of all ages.”

 

 

5. Till We have faces

 

image via amazon

 

While I try to find books and stories that have been published more recently, I couldn’t pass up adding this text to the list. Author C.S. Lewis wrote Til We Have Faces with the intent to retell the famous “Cupid and Psyche” myth from the point of view of Psyche’s sister, Orual. Orual is described as being physically disfigured, bitter and obsessively in love with her sibling. When Cupid falls for Psyche and takes her away, her sister is forced to reevaluate her moral stance and decide where, exactly, she will go. It should be noted that this book is allegorical, and there are some distinct theological undertones attached to it.

 

Cover Image via Newsela

 

 


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