Comics

Briefly Noted: An Anti-Authoritarian Odyssey

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In Odysseus the Rebel (Big Head Press), a comic-book variation on The Odyssey written by Steven Grant and drawn by Scott Bieser, the title character defies not just Poseidon but all the gods. In this telling Odysseus' rebellion is laudable, not lamentable: He triumphs precisely because he rejects Olympian authority and charts his own path. The book takes a jaundiced view of the earth's governments as well as heaven's: Agamemnon is a despot, the nobles are brutal parasites, and Odysseus' most attractive stop is an island "free of kings and gods."

If that isn't the story you've heard before, the characters are well aware of the fact. A homely Helen of Troy greets a guest with some self-deprecating humor: "You can say it. 'How could a face like that launch a thousand ships?'" Her visitor objects that her beauty is legendary. "What most men found beautiful about me was the kingdom that came as my dowry," she replies. "And poets tend to flatter the queens who finance them." —Jesse Walker

NEXT: Briefly Noted: Playing Paranoia

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  1. “And poets tend to flatter the queens who finance them.” I love that line and it is true of anyone who is beholden to another. It is common to feel sorry for the slave but it is the master who often forgets it is just a game.

  2. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke.

  3. Nice piece. Keep Going, Thank you.

  4. Galschiot declared that “climate changes can only be stopped if the Western World starts massive investments in energy free of CO2 and sustainable production.” ???? ????? ??? ???????
    We’re off to a bad start when he spews the phrase “sustainable production”. Why would you want that? For example, why make the production of Leisure Suits sustainable? Or of pet rocks? Or The Rocky Horror Show?

  5. rity and charts his own path. The book takes a jaundiced view of the earth’s governments

  6. Olympian authority and charts his own path. The book takes a jaundiced view of the earth’s

  7. character defies not just Poseidon but all the gods. In this telling Odysseus’ rebellion is laudable, not lamentable: He triumphs precisely because he rejects Olympian aut

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