Psyche and Eros: The Lady and the Monster
Marie P. Croall and Ron Randall
Age Rating: 9+
Psyche lives in the comfort of her parents’ wealthy kingdom. But when her beauty draws the jealous anger of the powerful goddess Aphrodite, Psyche finds herself in great danger. She is taken away to an isolated mountain to marry a monster. Will Psyche find love after all with her mysterious new husband? Or will she fall prey to Aphrodite’s revenge?
One of the most under-appreciated genres in comic book literature is that of mythology, the retelling of ancient tales utilizing the melding of pictures and words. This makes the tales more easily accessible to a growing generation that has become accustomed to the comics medium. I believe that these adaptations can help reignite a long-dormant passion in youth for learning about ancient cultures.
The story of Psyche and Eros, a classic Greek myth about forbidden love, is portrayed beautifully in this thin volume by Marie P. Croall and Ron Randall. The character design is excellent, and the cast is varied enough so that no two characters look alike. The adaptation of the story is well-done, and the plot flows smoothly, aided by a glossary of terms that may be unfamiliar to a young reader. I do think that the subtitle is a bit of a misnomer, but it does fit somewhat with the plot. For those not familiar with the story, Psyche is a young Grecian girl with beauty to rival that of Aphrodite, goddess of love. The goddess becomes more and more offended by the fact that Psyche is being revered for her heavenly beauty, and decides to punish her. She sends her son Eros to make certain that Psyche will never find true love. However, what happens when Eros actually meets the girl he is supposed to curse is something Aphrodite never expected…
Graphic Universe, the publisher of this book, has also published a number of other tales from mythology, from cultures as varied as Japanese, Mayan, and Norse, and with characters as wide-ranging as Amaterasu, Sinbad, and Robin Hood. These titles have begun to gain some acclaim, and are being shelved in libraries.
Hopefully, as more and more people learn about the opportunity for learning that this series of books represent, they can be used in elementary school classrooms to get reluctant students into reading. The books are short, engaging, and fun, and perfect for a gateway into education.
Review made possible by review copy provided by publisher