cover image First There Was Chaos: Hesiod’s Story of Creation

First There Was Chaos: Hesiod’s Story of Creation

Joel Priddy. Uncivilized, $34.95 (222p) ISBN 978-1-941250-52-5

Priddy (The Gift of the Magi) presents a lovely, quirky adaption of a Greek creation myth. Starting from nothingness, the Foundation Ge and Depths Tartarus emerge. Over Tartarus’s objections, change continues (with Priddy flexing the comics form beautifully to slowly add details). One change, Eros, escapes and starts dividing, creating Pontus (the fruitless deep) and Ouranus (the sky) as well as desire. Ouranus mates with Earth (presented as touch and caressing) and births plant life, but forces the disfigured beings who come out back underground—where Pontus sweeps them into a pool of dissolving mass. Eventually, better-formed children of Ouranus hide from his wrath until his son Kronos harnesses his rage and castrates his father. Priddy splices the narrative with a comedic tale of a poet suffering writer’s block, each page three long panels that borrow their stylization from Greek vase paintings. The cartoonish characters add levity (and will remind readers of Larry Gonick) to the precise art that effectively employs monochrome coloring. While following closely may prove a bit elusive for those unfamiliar with Greek myths, novice readers can still just take in the immersive, clever depiction of the inception of the universe. (Oct.)