cover image The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Kent H. and Kevin H. Dixon. Seven Stories, $19.95 trade paper (204p) ISBN 978-1-60980-793-1

The Dixons, a father-son creative team, breathe new life into the world’s oldest known story with a graphic adaptation that manages to be at once authentic, avant-garde, and approachable. The elder Dixon—a poet and translator—crafted the text based primarily upon other translations of the Sumerian ur-saga, a comprehensive adaptation of all 12 of the ancient cuneiform tablets that comprise the original. In plain language, he retells the epic, ribald, and often surreal adventures of the haughty king-demigod Gilgamesh and his rival-turned-BFF, the wild man Enkidu. The two heroes first battle each other, but then unite to take on a forest-dwelling ogre, until they are inevitably forced to grapple with their own mortality. Channeling the densely inked style of artists like R. Crumb, the younger Dixon’s rough-hewn artwork perfectly complements his father’s text. Best known for his Xeric Award–winning satire Mickey Death and the Winds of Impotence, he brings a bawdy playfulness to scenes like Gilgamesh’s literally gut-busting battle with the giant Humbaba and Enkidu drunkenly chasing lions after trying beer for the first time. This is required reading for any lover of mythology. (May)