Pantheon: The True Story of the Egyptian Deities

Hamish Steele. Nobrow (Consortium, dist.), $22.95 (216p) ISBN 978-1-91062-020-5
Retelling Egyptian mythology in a comedic form that modern readers can absorb and enjoy, English artist-animator Steele offers a cartoonish visualization of deceptive simplicity. The narrative centers on the disruptive power plays of Set, who wars against his brother, Ra, and his nephew, Horus, over who should be the appointed pharaoh. Steele unfurls this tapestry with a free-for-all of childish and crude behavior on the part of the gods, it’s funny even if often wince-inducing. What’s unexpected is that it adds up to a touching, insightful examination of the purpose of religious belief. The final section features the gods explicitly discussing their relationship with humans, a strong summation of the metalessons of the text. After the parade of slapstick and gross sexuality that comes before it, it’s a surprising conclusion that makes the ancient stories feel relevant and alive. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/10/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
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