I am now selling signed, personalized Chester 5000 books! They make great gifts (FOR ADULTS OF COURSE).You can see all the details here:
I also have a ton of stuff for sale in my Etsy shop for all of your holiday shopping needs:
Jeez, there’s a ton to like. And I hope to make comics out of a lot of it, so I don’t want to spoil too much, but…
As someone interested in hagiography, I really enjoy the legends of St Nicholas, even though the earliest ones have nothing to do with Christmas. From later folk tales, I like the story about his donkey pooping cookies.
Speaking of pooping, there are some Christmas traditions from Catalonia that I find very amusing. I wrote a short comic about them that will hopefully be available to read this year.
I like stories that are completely removed from American Christmas as well, like the Basque story of Olentzero, the only giant who didn’t commit suicide upon news of the birth of Jesus, for example.
I like the story of Wenceslas, because everyone knows the song, but few know that it’s a story about magical glowing footprints.
I like Baum’s Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (and it’s pseudo-sequel, A Kidnapped Santa Claus), because even though I view them as, ahem, non-canon, the bizarreness of them shows how nebulous the Santa story was at the top of the 20th century.
I could seriously do this all day. I find all this stuff really interesting.
To be honest, I’ve only read a smattering of Campbell. I have at best a moderate interest in reading criticism. I’m much more interested in reading primary texts. This is why I’ll likely never be a full-time professor.
Campbell is has many good things to say, of course, and is quite useful for analyzing stories. I do think, however, that it’s kind of weird how writers these days consciously try to fit their stories to his theories.
As for Mythursdays, I’m thinking about bringing them back. Maybe on Tumblr instead of Twitter this time.
I LOVED Rare Exports.
I’m usually wary of “evil Santa” stories, but I had watched the short films that the movie was based on and saw they were of good quality with a nice tongue-in-cheek flavor. And I think the movie improved on them a great deal.
Rare Exports might seriously be the coolest movie I have seen this year. Recommended 100000%.
Hamilton’s Mythology sucks. Fact. It is the McDonalds of myth.
The best source/textbook for learning classical myth is, wait for it, Classical Mythology by Mark Morford. It is arranged in a logical fashion and includes heavy samplings of primary texts.
The best way to experience mythology is reading primary texts. The broadest sampling will come from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, one of the best things ever written. It is a must.
And then, as you know, there are the epics. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Apollonius of Rhodes’ Argonautica, and Vergil’s Aeneid.
Read those, and I’ll tell you where to go from there. ;)