I'm so pleased today to welcome graphic novel author and artist George O'Connor to the blog to talk a little bit about the sixth book in his Olympians series, Aphrodite. I'm a huge fan of all things Greek mythology and a lover of art in all its various forms, so I can't wait to dig into this series and see how Mr. O'Connor brings Aphrodite's story to life. Welcome to Supernatural Snark George!
Hello, Supernatural Snarkians. My name is George O’Connor, and as part of my ongoing blogcrawl celebrating the release of my book Aphrodite: Goddess of Love I’ll be your guest blogger today at Supernatural Snark. Aphrodite is the sixth volume of Olympians, my graphic novel series that retells classic Greek myth one deity at a time.
If you’ve been following along with me so far on my blogcrawl, you’ll know that I try to theme what I write about with either the title or mission purpose of my hosting blog. When I saw that Jenny had graciously offered to allow me to guest star on her blog, I initially thought I could write about snark, because yeah, that would be sooo exciting (see what I did there? God I’m sooo clever). But then I thought, no you fool, that’s the wrong word to focus on—as books about mythological beings, supernaturality (not an actual word) abounds in Olympians. However, when it came time to sit down and write about something, it was a bit of an embarrassment of riches. In stories where every single thing that happens could be classified as supernatural, how do I choose what to write? The subject was too broad. So I read the “about me” portion of Supernatural Snark and saw that Jenny’s moms played an important part of the blog. Inspiration!
So I’m going to write about supernatural moms in Aphrodite, or maybe, to be more accurate, Aphrodite’s lack of a mother. Wait, you cry, pulling your nose out of the copy of The Iliad you were just reading, Aphrodite has a mom! Her name is Dione and she totally consoles Aphrodite in that one scene and then, like, never appears again in Greek myth!
Look, I’m sorry to break it to you, dear reader. Homer was wrong. Aphrodite is not the daughter of Zeus and this ‘Dione’ character (whose name is essentially just a feminine version of Zeus anyway, or just a generic name meaning ‘goddess’). I know that Greek mythology doesn’t have its own bible, and that there are many acceptable variations of events and stories, but really, in this case, we have to agree that Homer just missed the ball and that Hesiod was right. Hesiod’s the guy who first describes the goddess Aphrodite (whose name means ‘born from foam’, incidentally) as being born from the mixing of sea foam and what I tastefully describe as the severed “seat of love” of Ouranos, the sky. We’ve all seen Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, right? It doesn’t depict a lady Zeus giving birth to a baby, It shows the majestic creation of the most beautiful goddess in the world, a self-realized creation of sea foam and pure love introducing herself to the cosmos, a cosmos forever altered by the entrance of this personification of erotic power.
I want to affirm that just because I prefer a motherless Aphrodite I am in no way anti-mom. Mothers are great; my own mom being the greatest, of course, and I’ll lick anyone who says otherwise. But Aphrodite the goddess is a being best appreciated and understood in terms that are both unique and oversized. Her self-birth from the sea is awesome because its uniquoisity (again, not a word) is perfectly suited to a goddess who, even amongst the vast and strange Greek pantheon, is so unusual and powerful and untamed. If a deity as awesome as Aphrodite were to actually have a mother, rather than being a self-conceptualized embodiment of the generative power of life, well, I’d really want her mom to be something more than a half-realized version of her father in drag. Aphrodite is breathtaking, and magnificent—her mother should be as well.
*Just as an aside to readers of this blog: I'm calling all of you Supernatural Snarkians from now on. Thank you for that, George!
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In volume six of Olympians, graphic novel author/artist George O'Connor turns the spotlight on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Look for the same thoroughly researched and wonderfully accessible comics storytelling as O'Connor tackles the story of the Aphrodite from her dramatic birth (emerging from sea-foam) to her role in the Trojan War.
O'Connor has outdone himself with this volume: the story is riveting and the artwork is beyond compare. Greek mythology has never been so vivid!
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George O'Connor is the author of several picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Kapow!, Kersplash, and Sally and the Some-thing. JOURNEY INTO MOHAWK COUNTRY was his first graphic novel, a long-held dream that weaves together his passion for history and ongoing research into Native American life. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more guest posts, interviews and giveaways!
Saturday, February 1
Sunday, February 2
What’s Good in the Library?
The Book Monsters
The Book Rat
Good Books and Good Wine
Dear Teen Me
Books 4 Your Kids
The Book Wars
Literary Grand Rounds