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Check It Out: Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe Smith

Lore Olympus.jpg

This is Matti Smith with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check it Out.

Today I am recommending the graphic novel, Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe Smith.

Originally started as a web comic, this series has exploded in popularity with over 5 million subscribers.

Lore Olympus features a unique and playful drawing style with bright digital watercolors and ink strokes. This graphic novel stays far from the comic and manga style art that originally dominated the genre and is a great example of how unique and beautiful graphic novels can be.

While based on lore from ancient Greece, this novel is anything but traditional. The gods act less like their millennia-old versions and more like the young people of today, complete with social media, celebrity gossip rags, cell phones, and set in office spaces and college dorms.

Based on the Abduction of Persephone, in this version we learn the kidnapping of lore was really a mean prank by jealous Aphrodite and her flighty, shopping – addicted son Eros. God of Death, Hades, emerges as the unlikely dog-loving hero who suffers from very human insecurities due to PTSD, but then, who wouldn’t be traumatized after being swallowed by their father?

Witty banter and amusing interactions between characters is frequent and I cannot help but enjoy a story where Cerberus loves flowers and belly rubs, and Eros knows the best way to apologize is with donuts.

That said, this is an adult graphic novel and among the clever quips are strong themes from the classic Greek literature the characters are derived from. Lore Olympus may use the gods as characters, but it is a story full of humanity, comedy, tough topics and overall, love. If you are a Webtoon fan or are curious about graphic novels, this is a great book to try.

Check out Lore Olympus volumes 1 & 2 and other graphic novels at the Sioux City Public Library.

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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