Gareth Hinds is the creator of several acclaimed graphic novels based on classic works. About The Odyssey, he says, "It was incredibly exciting to work with this material - gods, monsters, flawed heroes, intense battles, and all the best and worst of human nature, set against an ancient Mediterranean backdrop? It's really a dream project." He lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.
One of the oldest and most often retold literary classics is faithfully recreated in watercolors and pastels. Hinds, who has previously adapted Beowulf and several Shakespeare plays in comics format, uses different translations as a basis for his adaptation, trimming the text but keeping all the events of Odysseus' journey home from the Trojan War. The adaptation is most impressive in its ability to convey the despair, anguish, and joy of the characters in a sudden, striking way that text alone can't, pulling these familiar figures out from a thousands-year-old story and presenting the reader with human faces. Hinds's watercolor landscapes of the Greek coast, islands, and mountains are another strong point. But seeing the characters as they exchange archaic dialogue emphasizes its stilted and unnatural quality. And in some sections, particularly in early exposition, the text is so plentiful it crowds out the art. Still, Hinds has created a work that both honors the epic's long tradition and helps readers see these characters in a new light. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Featured/recommended (ALA Midwinter recap) Shelftalker Blog Featured/recommended Shelftalker (PW blog) Deb Noyes and Gareth Hinds appeared at "What's New in Children's Books?" program The Boston Athenaeum