Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The latest entry into George O'Connor's Olympians series is ARTEMIS: Wild Goddess of the Hunt, a slender graphic novel jam-packed with stories about Artemis, from her origin (elder twin to Apollo, whose birth was covered in APOLLO: The Brilliant One, reviewed here at Guys Lit Wire last January) to stories of folks who slighted her (not a good idea) or tried to woo/marry/spy on her (ditto).

In the spread below, you can see Artemis outsmarting Otus and Ephialtes, who are the Alodai - two mutant sons of Poseidon who want to marry Artemis and Hera, never mind that Artemis has sworn never to marry and Hera is already married to Zeus. Once a year, they storm Olympus. Each year they get bigger and stronger and come closer to succeeding before Zeus knocks them back. Turns out that the only one who can kill them is the other brother. Artemis makes that work.

As with prior graphic novels from O'Connor, one can learn a lot not only from the text, but from the back matter. O'Connor's notes are engaging and provide background material for much of the art and writing. For instance, part of the text in the spreads showing the fallout from Niobe's disrespect of Leto (Artemis's and Apollo's mother) reads "Seated on their tomb, she made lament over her dead children." Turns out that text comes from a fragment of an ancient Greek play about Niobe, written by Aeschylus.

As part of Artemis's story, she relates the story of Atalanta to Orion (a mighty hunter with the hots for Artemis). Atalanta, a human huntress under Artemis's protection. She swore to remain unmarried and worship Artemis, but was tricked into marriage by a boy who was in a foot race with her. As O'Connor's note about Atalanta points out: "I kind of hate the story of Atalanta and the race of the golden apples, and not just because I worked for many years in a children's bookstore where I heard the "Free to Be You and Me" version of this story, like, three times a day. Dude, if you have to cheat with magical apples to get a woman to marry you, you'll never really win. Loser."

Available in stores at the end of this month, it has a January 31st release date.

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