Post-biblical? I've never though of associated lore to the Bible in that context. Would this be getting into things like legends about saints, or relics that were supposedly someone's toe or what have you?
I guess I primarily meant things like extracanonical gospels and acts of the apostles, but yeah, also lives of the saints such as you might find in the Golden Legend.
I know you have vast knowledge of Greek myth, but what other world mythologies, religions, or folk traditions do you have knowledge in, or are your favorite? Do you have a good source for this? Let's imagine my question is in the form of Vans lettered with the above. :)
Greek myth is my main thing, as I have been studying it since small times, but I have an interest in all sorts of myths, legends, and folklores, even if I know less about it.
I have a working knowledge of Norse myth, and a super bare-bones understanding of Hindu myth. I am super interested in Celtic myth, but I mostly find it pretty confusing.
My love for ghost lore should be clear from the Hector Plasm books, and my cutter infatuation with world Christmas lore hopefully will show in future comics.
I am pretty well versed in Christian religion and legend, both biblical and post-biblical. Also to a lesser degree, I’m familiar with Arthurian legend and other medieval topics such as Alexander romances and beast epic.
As for sources, I suppose it would depend on which type of thing you’re interested in. Did you have something particular in mind?
I agree! I saw Rare Exports when it was in the cinema, and I think it's probably the best non-adapted work I've seen this year. As far as Christmas myths go, what is your favourite story or version of a story?
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.
I miss your Greek myth Thursdays on twitter. About mythology texts, what's your opinion on Joseph Campbell's work? I enjoyed him far more than Hamilton or Bullfinch both as a kid and an adult.
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’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%.
Oh, mom got my gifts already. Erm, so modern Christmas lore is based on a bastardization of Germanic lore, right? (If Venture Bros. taught me anything...)
Modern Christmas is a huge mash-up of tons of cultures, Christian and non-Christian, and definitely pre-Christian elements as well.
Many elements of Santa Claus come from the Dutch Sinterklaas, who is a weird mish-mash of the Christian St Nicholas and a pre-Christian furry man of the woods, who has his fingers in Robin Hood, Pan, and the Devil himself.
From there, throw in some influence from the Protestant reformation and bits created by commercial illustrators, and you have a weird lore gumbo.
But, yes, there are tons of interesting bits of Christmas in Germany and the Alpine regions that many people might find weird, including, but hardly limited to, Krampus, Bellsnickel, Schmutzli, Klaubauf, Rumpelklas, Knecht Ruprecht, and way way more.
Roman myth specifically? As in one not borrowed or appropriated from Greek myth?
If yes, then probably Cupid and Psyche, as told by Apuleius in his sexy donkey-show satire/religious allegory, The Golden Ass.
If you mean from all of Greco-Roman myth, I really like the life of Theseus. He really had a lot going on, way more than just killing the Minotaur.
I also really, really like the story of the friendship of Apollo and Admetus and the death of Admetus’ wife Alcestis. Between Apollo driving a chariot pulled by a lion and a wild boar and Heracles wrestling Death into submission, it is basically the most metal story ever told.
As a kid, Perseus was my favorite story. Hermes was, and maybe still is, my favorite god.
There’s so much to like, it’s hard to pick. I might need to bring back Mythursdays…
Do you script comics Marvel-style or with full dialogue and panel breakdowns?
Almost exclusively full script, but I will switch it up based on the project and the artist I am working with.
I have done a couple of stories with Nate where I wrote full panel descriptions and dialogue, but left out where the page breaks were, so Nate could compose and pace the pages how he wanted.
The story “None of Them Knew They Were Robots” that appeared in 24seven volume 1 was almost anti-Marvel style. I wrote all the dialogue and only super super minimal stage directions and Nate drew the action as he saw fit.
I’m working on an unannounced project with an artist who is also a much better writer than I am, so my page descriptions are pretty loose with dialogue that he is free to tweak as necessary.