As expected, strange and fascinating things happen when an instructor of Art and Design decides to retell the epic story of Beowolf in the form of an indie graphic novel, giving it a tone of Twin Peaks-meets-The Legend of Boggy Creek, and then uses Kickstarter to fund the project. The result is the quirky (some might say geeky), well-researched, and carefully executed tale entitled The Beast of Wolfe’s Bay by Erik Evensen from Evensen Creative.
Evensen propels reluctant grad student Brian Wegman on an exciting mission as a consultant in a police investigation at Wolfe’s Bay. Why Brian? Because the case involves the deaths of two students at the hands of what may or may not be a giant primate, and Brian has the know-how in the niche specialty of paleoanthropology that the police need to solve the mystery.
Fans, scholars, and academics have often referred to comic books as “The Mythology Of 20th Century.”
However, many comic books have borrowed heavily from myths that are much, much older.
Wonder Woman has always been steeped in Greek mythology and many of her friends and allies through the years of been gods of the Greek pantheon. Thor, Hercules, and now Aries have long been featured characters in Marvel comic books and have fought with and beside standard superheroes. (In fact the trickster god Loki, in an effort to defeat Thor, inadvertently created the first team of The Avengers.) Captain Marvel gets his power from several mythical gods (and, for reasons I’ve never understood, the Biblical King Solomon — what’s HE doing hanging out with Mercury and Hercules?).
Now, Erik Evensen has produced a new look at the old gods in God Of Asgard, one of the most ambitious graphic novel projects of recent years.
Make no mistake — this is not a gods-as-superheroes project or even a gods-as-valiant warriors comic book. Using source material from the translation of Snorri Sturluson‘s Prose Edda; Bulfinch’s Mythology; Kevin Crossley-Holland‘s The Norse Myths, and numerous other sources, Evensen has created a work as richly satisfying as happy hour in Valhalla.
Although there are action/adventure stories in Gods Of Asgard, there are also plenty of “origin stories” of the various gods, stories of deceit, lust, friendship, loyalty, and just about every other aspect of the private lives of the Norse gods. All told clearly and orderly and all told with an obvious interest and affection for these ancient tales.