Book Review: Ody-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward

Without knowing much back story on this work other than the fact it was a retelling of the Odyssey, I decided to give it a try.

I liked it more than this other retelling of the Odyssey I read recently.

Basically, this is a gender bent space version of Homer’s epic poem where the mythological facts are smudged–smudged as if you’re trying to remember the lineage of Olympian gods when recovering from an acid trip. Example: The female version of Prometheus (called Promethene here) is Zeus’s daughter (S/he’s not a Titan in this version, dunno why)–jumbled mythology like that.

I liked the idea of gender bending the characters, though most of them just came off as drag queens–men in disguise. Hera even has a beard along with her breasts–that sort of thing. Just like with the mythology, the genders aren’t really bent, just smudged and blurred–yet recognizable.

Ready for RuPaul’s Drag Race, baby.

There’s no speech bubbles, though the characters do speak in “blocks.” The book is narrated with little segments of bard-like information. It never feels burdensome and it worked well as a throwback to the oral tradition.

As to the art of the novel, I found the use of lips–their close-ups–to be the most expressive parts of the book. Their out-of-body-ness added to the hallucinatory context of the work.

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So. Many. Lips.

The art looks slapdash and trippy, but the lips–showing teeth–were just one of many synecdoches I enjoyed. Reminds me of Ashlyn Metcalf’s art:

 

So, in summary, I’d like to read the second of this weird and colorful adventure, but hopefully by then I’ll have read up on the creators to know what the hell their intent is.

 

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