I have been on the fence about this series, Olympians by George O’Connor since I first saw them. I thought, “Another Greek myth book?” The graphic novel aspect also made me cautious about reading/looking into it. But when I finally read this first book, Olympians V01 Zeus: King of the Gods, I realized there was some “good stuff” there.
There are a few holes (such as a bad sex joke) and of course, it is not extensive, but it is pleasant and covered most things. A few of the diagrams were a bit crowded for my tastes. However, due to the way things are presented in the actual text, this was the first time I really understood about the origin of Zeus and the Olympians. I had always been taught that these stories were “true.” Of course, they were presented as myth/fiction, but there was nothing about the meaning of the stories. Nothing about what the ancient Greeks were trying to portray. Nothing about the myth of the myth? If this book was used in a classroom with a good teacher, you will see that this is a creation myth. This is how the world was made. O’Connor tells you information in an entertaining way, but it is educating the reader as well.
It also would be a great way to teach the cycle of the Father is Destroyed by Son circle. This could be used to show politics, the mistakes of power, etc. This book, as mentioned above is both educating and entertaining.
O’Connor’s book might not have been meant to be used this way, but it is prefect for it. This is not just a fun book to read, and not just a mostly easy read (there were as said, a few bumps) it is also something that could be very educational. I am now curious to see how the other stories are presented.
If they continue with the illustration style of this first book, which I am sure they do, my praise is going to be slightly less. While the art is not “overwhelming in your face or overly crowded” it is busy. The details vary from practically nothing to filled in. They fit the tone of the events/story. This goes for the colors as well. They are important to set the mood. Reds, browns, darker colors seem to be the majority. But there are other colors when needed to physically lighten the settings. While the art works for the story, it can slightly bog down the readers eyes, canceling out text.
O’Connor also includes some “afterwards” of various degrees. This adds some clarity to the book itself. While all ages could read, some of the images and some concepts, makes ages 10 up as the best readers.