Monday, 28 June 2010

Find of the week: Heavy Metal Ulysses

Whilst visiting my parents recently I stumbled across this little beauty in Forbidden Planet Nottingham for a tenner. Illustrated by G.Prichard and adapted by Lob from Homer's epic poem The Odyssey this is a translated masterpiece of Eurotrash put out by french sci-fi comics magazine Metal Hurlant. This short but sweet hardback mixes elements of the Greek mythology with sleazy sci-fi ala Barbarella and 60's pop art and Art Nouveau, with nod towards the details of Grecian urns in some of the character design. In this version however we have Zeus and the rest of the gods flying around in a giant space aged fortress, the cyclops emitting a deadly ray from a metal helmet, and Circe luring Ulysses into her den of psychedelic drug paraphernalia and technological S+M gadgets. Being Heavy Metal there is no shortage of exposed females to please the repressed adolescent in all of us, and you also get the added postmodern bonus of seeing Homer join Ulysses on his quest conducting the poem as he goes, eager for adventure, but mostly for thirsty for women and drugs! If I was to pin the influence of this style of work on to any contemporary comic artist it might be Lauren Weinstein with her Goddess of War book which also mixes old age mythology with sci-fi technology and has a similar colour scheme in places. This book is available (but copies are limited) on Amazon, and I would recommend it as pure escapist fun that also looks astounding!

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