For all of you lovers of Greek mythology, Jordan Holt’s graphic novel Theseus promises a retelling of the story of Theseus’ life, based on the ancient writings of Plutarch. For all of you lovers of humor, fear not. The author states that, “Behind every grand myth is a true story that’s never been told. This is most certainly not it.”
Theseus is a hilariously aggrieved young man, who sets off on an epic quest to find his father who, according to his mother, is the King of Athens. Theseus is at once skeptical about this, and seems to totally expect that pursuing this destiny will be super easy. His adventures don’t entirely disabuse him of this notion, since help and hindrance both arrive steadily from random Greek Gods. There is a lot of eye rolling and sarcastic sighing. Also a lot of accidentally pushing very large muscular opponents off of cliffs.
Each chapter ends with a fake letter column, which absolutely should be read, despite the somewhat eye-straining color choices for some of them. There are jokes which carry over into the story, informative advice which probably should not be followed, and decidedly unhelpful art instruction.
According to the internet, which is remarkably silent about his career, Jordan Holt is an art professor and illustrator who lives in Tennessee. He funded the printing for the first two volumes of Theseus on Kickstarter; the third and final volume is nearly finished. He has four kids, but none who seem to be old enough to provide the inspiration for teenage Theseus. Holt freely admits to ripping off Greek mythology, and claims to have several fake mustaches which will allow him to dodge the cease and desist orders from Plutarch.