Crowdfunded Comics that deserve more attention: Persephone

Today we’re taking a look at a graphic novel project called Persephone that is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.

Image result for persephone  kickstarter

The story is a revisionist look at the popular Western myth of the abduction of Persephone, the daughter of the ancient Greek goddess Demeter and queen of the Underworld after she was kidnapped by Hades.

Image result for persephone

The project was created by Allison Shaw and is currently seeking $16,000 on Kickstarter.  At the time of writing the project has collected over half its goal with 26 days left in funding.

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/19365079/persephone-one-volume-comic-adaptation?ref=category_recommended

Why I like this project

I like this project because I’m a sucker for Greek mythology.

Image result for greek mythology

More specifically, I like how the Ancient Greeks used their gods and heroes to tell stories about the human condition.  Hercules wasn’t just a hero, he was a tortured soul looking for redemption through his twelve labors.

Image result for greek mythology hercules

The Greek gods weren’t just the rulers of the world, they were petty and vindictive bastards who had no problem screwing with mortals who upset them.

Image result for greek mythology athena arachne

The story of Hades and Persephone is one of the more popular stories in Greek mythology.  The god of the underworld sees the daughter of the goddess of the harvest, kidnaps her.

Image result for greek mythology hades and persephone story

In most interpretations of the story Persephone is kidnapped against her will and becomes a cold and distant queen.

But this Kickstarter project is different.

This story reworks the myth from a more modern feminist point of view and bucks thousands of years of tradition to ask: what if Persephone wasn’t forced by Hades to travel to the Underworld?

Honestly, it’s an interpretation that never really crossed my mind.  After Persephone was kidnapped her mother became very upset and refused to let anything grow.  The end result of the story is that Persephone ate the food of the dead and has to spend three months out of the year with her husband, during which Greece must suffer through a three month winter.

Image result for greek mythology demeter winter

I always read the story as a tragedy but this comic?  This comic frames the story as a romance between Persephone and Hades, which is something that I think is different, new, and very interesting.

Plus, I really like the art style.

To me it looks like a mix between Japanese manga and ancient Greek pottery,

Image result for orange and black greek pottery

Why you should donate

There was a certain movie released this year about another female comic book character who is based in Greek mythology that did rather well at the box office.

Image result for wonder woman movie

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Wonder Woman and the Persephone of this comic are really similar.  Both of them are women in a world dominated by men, both of them are different interpretations of Greek mythology, and both of them prefer to change the world using love and kindness.

The difference is that Wonder Woman prefers to show her love through extreme violence and pointy objects,

Image result for wonder woman fight scene

while Persephone has a softer, gentler, and more erotic approach.

Image result for persephone allison shaw

This isn’t just a reworking of an ancient myth, it’s a type of story that comic books really haven’t paid much attention too over the years.

Sure there have been romance comics in the past,

Image result for romance comics

but romance comics really fell out of the limelight in the 1950’s in favor of characters who solved their problems with violence.

Image result for comic book violence

Now I like a good fight as much as the next person, but why do we need so many characters that let their fists do the talking?

Persephone is a story about a different kind of female hero.  She doesn’t solve her problems by punching.  Instead of struggling and fighting her captor, she reaches out to him, tries to understand him, and winds up falling in love with him.

Persephone Chapter 7 by Eupraxia

The end result is a comic that forgoes violence in favor of a gentler and more sensual story, a story that provides a different kind of comic that we really haven’t seen before, and is worth your attention.

Persephone Chapter 3 by Eupraxia

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/19365079/persephone-one-volume-comic-adaptation?ref=category_recommended

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