- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Image Comics (April 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582402000
- ISBN-13: 978-1582402000
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 10.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Age of Bronze, Vol. 1: A Thousand Ships Paperback – April 1, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Shanower won 2001's Will Eisner Comics Industry Award for Best Writer/Artist for this extraordinary project: the first part of a seven-volume graphic novel about the Trojan War. He has researched every imaginable source about the war, from ancient legends to medieval romances to contemporary scholarship, and synthesized them into a fantastically rich narrative. He's also delved deep into the architectural history of Mycenaean Greece, so that the dress and settings in the book look like Bronze Age artifacts, rather than the Classical Greek styles normally associated with the story. The book begins with the story of Paris, the milk-white bull and the kidnapping of Helen, and goes up to the start of the war Shanower still has a ways to travel before touching the material of the Iliad. He treats the material as historical fiction rather than mythology, as a tale of people, not of gods, though the supernatural aspects of the story are worked in through dreams and visions. Shanower subtly alters his visual style for every flashback sequence: when Priam relates the story of Herakles, the images are cartoonish and the characters larger than life. His dialogue is formal but not florid, and the narrative flow is clear and simple. But the story also has many amazing scenes for an artist the erotic entanglement of Achilles and Deidamia, the feigned madness of Odysseus, the launching of the thousand ships to rescue Helen and lay waste to Troy and Shanower makes the most of them, with a fine-lined style in black and white drawings evoking woodcuts and classical paintings.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
This is the 1st volume in the series. It starts with Paris coming home to Troy and his abduction of Helen, and then Agamemnon who calls on the Achaean kings, bound by their oaths, to get her back. A lot about Achilles too. It ends with them setting off from Aulis to begin the epic war.
This is a must for Trojan War enthusiasts. From homer to Shakespeare, you have a single story of Troy and Shanover also draws on archeology to present the Achaean and Trojan cultures as they really were. Parents might want to preview it for the kids as there is some nudity.
Highly recommended for fans of graphic novels and aficionados of the ancient world alike -- as well as for those who just love a gripping story!
Just like many of us who love the basic tale [multiple tales, really], Shanower found himself increasingly captured by one of the greatest stories ever told. As a talented artist and cartoonist, he evidentally decided to carefully study stories revolving around the Trojan War, cull out inconsistencies, cull out the supernatural, and turn it into multiple, sequential comic books. Comic books appeal more to children and young people than to most adults so it follows that this is the audience he is aiming at. On the other hand, he has included graphic scenes of rape, sexual intercourse and human reproduction which would seem to be inappropriate for preteens and early teens. Therefore, who is it aimed at? It seems to me that most literate adults would prefer the poetry and pathos of the original tales themselves.
Perhaps, however, this comic book depiction fails in the same way that virtually all movies on the Trojan War have failed. By rendering the story into pictures, the reader's or watcher's imagination is denied. To be certain, this is true of most good books turned into movies. A movie may seem excellent to a viewer IF he has never read the book. If the viewer has previously read the book, however, the movie is usually found lacking. That's the situation I find myself in. I have read--and enjoyed--multiple translations of the Trojan War story. I am passionate about the subject. Therefore I'm bound to be nonplussed by a comic book although I am impressed by the author's talent and research.
I had always thought that the Iliad was a too-lengthy poem story and really, there was nothing more to it than Helen of Troy, the Trojan Horse, Achilles etc.
Having finished this first volume, I can't say that it blew me away, BUT, as a stand-alone comic, it is excellent! It is obvious that this was a labour of love for Shanower and probably is his masterpiece work. The script is excellent, interwoven with interesting personalities and given some context in this rambling story. The drawings are very precise, with terrific perspectives and a thoughtful depiction of how the Greeks/Trojans would have looked like, given the wealth of recent archaelogical evidence.
In summary, this is an excellent comic (would have looked better in colour), and totally outclasses all other indie comics and most major mainstream comics as well.