Crowdfunded Comics that deserve more attention: Olive and the Underworld Vol. 2

Today we’re talking about a comic book Kickstarter project entitled Olive and the Underworld Vol. 2 Part 1.

This is the second book in a series about a girl named Olive.

Olive is an orphan and finds herself bouncing around foster homes due to her…unique views on life and death.

Naturally, her school and social life isn’t much better.

However, her self imposed hellscape is turned on its head when she and several of he classmates die in a bus crash and are sent to Purgatory.  While her classmates are desperate to move on to the afterlife, Olive discovers that she loves Purgatory.

The second volume picks up where the first book left off and follows Olive’s quest to stay in Purgatory, despite the powers that be insisting that it’s supposed to be temporary.

At the time of writing the project has reached $1,833 of its $2,995 goal and has fifteen days left in its campaign.

Kickstarter link:

Full disclosure: I actually wrote about the Kickstarter for the first volume of the series a few years ago.  I received no money for that article or this one, but the creators were unbelievably nice and decided to use a quote from my article on the front page of the book’s website and on the back of the first book’s cover.  Also, I got to read the first volume and I can assure you that it’s awesome and well worth your time and money.

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You can read the quote, and buy the first volume, here.

Why I like it.

I like this book for the same reason I liked the first book, it takes a very old and well established story and turns it on its head.

I’m a big fan of ancient history.  More specifically, I’m a big fan of ancient Greek and Norse mythology.

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Now, all three of these cultures may be from different locations, different time periods, and have different cultural norms but their mythologies have certain things in common.  For example, they all have a deity who presides over the after life.  The Norse have Hel,

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The Greeks have Hades.

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Now, this is to be expected.  Death is one of humanity’s universal constants and it would make sense for cultures to develop their own ideas of what happens after we die.  However, the similarities can get a bit spooky.  More specifically both cultures have stories about heroes to travel to the afterlife while they are still alive.

The Greeks have heroes such as Orpheus, who charmed Hades into returning the soul of his wife with his music.

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The Norse have Hermod, a son of Odin who traveled to Hel to beg for the life of Baldur after he had been killed by Loki.

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So Olive’s journey to the afterlife puts her in pretty unique and interesting company,

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but there is one major difference.  In every other story about travelling to the afterlife, the heroes come back.  The land of the dead is a place you’re supposed to be uncomfortable around and a place where you don’t want to stay.  Olive doesn’t just want to stay in Purgatory, she’s genuinely happy to be there.

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I can’ think of a single instance where the hero of a story wants to stay dead, so that makes Olive and the Underworld one of the most unique and interesting stories I’ve ever seen…and I love it.

Why you should donate

Because if our ancestors could create eternal stories about death and the afterlife, why can’t we?

Myths and legends aren’t just stories, they were a way to process emotions and events that human beings could have never understood otherwise.

Stories like the Illiad weren’t just stories about people fighting each other, they were peppered with morals and lessons on how to act and what is proper way to behave in certain situations.  Heroes like Achilles weren’t just bloodthirsty maniacs, they were scholars and noble warriors who embodied traits and emotions that the ancient Greeks thought were important.

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We may think we have grown out of our understanding of the world has progressed, but we still have fantastic beings who embody certain virtues and use their actions to demonstrate proper behavior.

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Myths and legends are still talk about important stuff, they’ve just changed their appearance and what’s important to adapt over the past several thousand years.

We’re in the process of creating a new mythology and Olive and the Underworld is a story that brings a new and different approach to how we view death to this new understanding.  It’s a fun, friendly, and important book and well worth your time and money.

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Kickstarter link:

Crowdfunded Comics that deserve more attention: Olive and the Underworld

I normally do this every Wednesday but I was asked to take a look at this project and since I liked what I saw combined with the fact that the Kickstarter campaign only has seven days left, I decided to take a break from the normal schedule and do a write up on Saturday.

Kickstarter campaign link:

Today we’re going to look at a Kickstarter campaign for a graphic novel called Olive and the Underworld.


The comic follows an orphaned girl who has decided that the Goth identity suits her best as she struggles to fit in to her new home and school.



It doesn’t go very well until one fateful day where she and several of her classmates perish in a bus accident and wind up in Purgatory.  The comic is about Olive as she attempts to navigate the underworld all well trying to discover who she really is and finding her purpose in life.  I should mention at this moment this is a story that’s meant for young adults.

Why I like it

Olive and the Underworld is a story about trying to be accepted for who you are while not fitting into the world around you very well.


I like these kinds of stories.  Now I’m not going to sit here and complain about how the world doesn’t accept me for who I am (it’s actually quite the opposite, you’ll never find a more conforming soul than me) but I find that this kind of internal conflict usually provides the kind of drama that leads to great stories and interesting characters.

Speaking of characters, from what little I’ve seen of the comic book Olive is quickly shaping up to be one of the coolest protagonists ever.


Granted, her absolute refusal to give in to societal norms in order to make a few friends does make her come off as a bit stubborn, but not wanting to change yourself in order to fit in is something we can all relate to and appreciate.  Plus, it seems that one of her foster families gave up on her after she tried sacrificing her foster brother’s teddy bears to Hades which is something I find absolutely hilarious.


And then there’s the subject matter of the comic book itself.  The book is meant for a younger crowd but it isn’t afraid to deal with the really mature stuff.  Sure there’s the topic of identity and fitting in, but it also deals with death and the afterlife, something that a lot of people believe is “too mature” for anyone under the age of 21.


To be fair, the comic isn’t nearly as serious about the subject matter as most media is with the afterlife.  Instead it opts for the “Heaven and Hell can be hilarious and people shouldn’t take it so seriously” route but any book that believes that young people can be responsible enough and smart enough to deal with something like this gets a gold star in my book.

Why you should donate

I am going to do something interesting here.  I am going to put before you that this book isn’t just an interesting take on the afterlife or a fun story about searching for your true identity, but it’s also one of the most subversive stories in literature.

Let me explain.  The idea that a protagonist in a story needs to journey to an otherworldly realm in order to perform a task or learn an important lesson is nothing new.  If fact, it’s as old as literature itself.  Gilgamesh journeyed to the Land of the Dead to rescue his friend Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was written almost 4000 years ago


and Homer had his hero Odysseus travel to the Underworld in his epic The Odyssey in order to learn valuable information about how to get home.


In more modern examples J.R.R Tolkien has Aragon journey to the ghostly White Mountains to recruit an army of the dead in order to assume his rightful place as High King.


and in a less dark and depressing example, C.S Lewis has his four heroes and heroines travel to the other worldly realm of Narnia where they become kings and queens.

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However, all these stories have one thing in common, all the protagonists come back.  Their quest may take them to the land of the dead or some other place that isn’t our world, but they will always return to our reality.

Olive and the Underworld takes this idea of a journey to another world that has been around for thousands of years and turns it on its head.  See, when Olive and her classmates die and go to Purgatory they’re all justifiably freaked out.  The one exception is Olive.  She discovers that she actually likes Purgatory so much that she doesn’t want to leave.  By traveling to the Underworld, Olive discovers her true identity and spends the rest of story doing everything she can to stay there instead of returning.

That is what makes this story interesting and that is why it deserves your money.

Kickstarter campaign link: