Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Aphrodite by George O'Connor


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!

• • • • • • • • • • • 


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.

• • • • • • • • • • • 


Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more guest posts, interviews and giveaways! 

Saturday, February 1
Book Banter

Sunday, February 2
Wastepaper Prose

February 3
Charlotte’s Library

February 4

February 5
What’s Good in the Library?

February 6
The Book Monsters

February 7

February 8
The Book Rat

February 9
Good Books and Good Wine

February 10
Dear Teen Me

February 11
Supernatural Snark

February 12
Books 4 Your Kids

February 13
The Book Wars

February 14
Finding Wonderland

February 15
Literary Grand Rounds


  1. Aww this is such a gorgeous post George, I have to agree with a lot of the points you've mentioned, but especially so with your last line, Aphrodite's mum should definitely be all that and then some! Thanks for sharing a great post with us! :)

  2. I love when an author explores far more than we've always been offered at face-value. His ideas and opinions are pure gold, and I find graphic novels fascinating! I'll definitely be looking this one up!

    1. He's definitely made me want to give this series a try even though I'm not a huge graphic novel reader. I've only read 2, but I thoroughly enjoyed both, so I'm thinking I need to branch out more often!

  3. I was thinking that you DEFINITELY needed to call your readers SuperSnarkians if for no other reason than snarkians is a fun word to say. And I LOVE mythology, particularly Greek. Way to self-birth yourself, Aphrodite.

    1. Right? I shall make you all buttons you can wear around ;-) Ego check.

  4. I think I need to pick up this series, like you, I love all things mythology!

    I love the twist on Aphrodite's parentage!

    1. I just never tire of Greek mythology Ali, I always find it fascinating:)

  5. I've got George's Olympian graphic novel series on my tbr for quite some time. I've heard nothing but glowing reviews. I, too, am a fan of Greek Mythology so I'm really excited to pick up his work. Great guest post!

    1. Yay! I hope you get a chance to try these novels Rummanah, I'd love to know what you think!

  6. Fantastic guest post..I quite enjoyed it and now I need to check out his graphic novels. Thank you both!

  7. "Supernatural Snarkians" I LOVE THIS. OH YES! I am one *looks around proudly* :) Who doesn't love Greek mythology, Jenny! ;) This "look" on Aphrodite's origin and heritage is so interesting. And I'm really impressed that George took time to explore your blog and really make this post his own while totally capturing the feel of your blog, Jenny! Thanks so much for sharing, you two:)

  8. I'm a total Supernatural Snarkian! :D

    I think I also agree with the non-mom Aphrodite because it IS more interesting and much more mythical!

  9. You know what I Supernatural Snarkian, Heather, love- That Aphrodite isn't some skinny 15 yr old media driven picture of beauty.
    Look, she has a little belly. Her thighs touch. And she's beautiful.

    I actually have this book/graphic novel. My son loves graphic novels and since he broke his leg I decided to get him one. This showed up on my recommends so I got it. He loved it. Wants all of them! I haven't read it, but it's sitting right here. I'll give it a read.

    Great guest post!

  10. Ahh, Supernatual Snarkian is such a great term! :) Anyway, this is such an interesting post as you say Homer didn't have it right after all, which I rather like. Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

  11. Well I never thought Aphrodite had a mom I thought she just popped up out of the foam... but then when you start thinking that foam could be a euphemism for something else.....

  12. Great guest post! I think my concept of Aphrodite's birth came more from art than Homer, so I am totally on board with a motherless Aprhrodite. This looks like a great series, I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing! And I love Supernatual Snarkians, this must continue on :-)

  13. I'm pleased to see that so many of you enjoyed my guest post, but I'm super duper extra deluxe pleased that you all enjoyed my naming of you all as Supernatural Snarkians. Jenny, if that appellation truly does stick, please contact me about designing the inevitable tee-shirt. And thanks for letting me park here for the day!

  14. Ha - I love this post. And omg ... I just noticed Heidi's comment and spit water. lol. This sounds like a really great series. And I totally think you should use Supernatural Snarkians. ;)

  15. Thank you for participating in the tour! I LOVE this - I have always been a big reader of mythologies. :)

  16. Lovely! I have not had a chance to read a graphic novel this year. It sounds great.

  17. Aw, I love this! Such a fun post! While I sometimes like Greek mythology books, I just never know what is made up by the authors of that particular book, or what is actually from the original stories, or whatever you'd call them. I think I need to do some real mythology research just to know!

  18. Hah! Supernatural Snarkians, I love that! I'm a huge fan of Greek mythology... again. I was so tired of it after Uni, but by now, enough time has passed that I can now enjoy the stories again.
    I actually knew about the difference between the true myth and Homer's version of it, and I'm glad this version was accepted by the author. It's certainly more... elegant than the one told by Homer.
    Thanks for sharing, Jenny, and thanks again for being so amazing while I was sick.