Creator: Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky
Review by Hafsa Alkhudairi
Persephone is a retelling of the Greek legend. The original myth is a romance or a kidnapping narrative (depending on how you look at it). Hades falls in love with Persephone and brings her back to the Underworld as his queen. While there, her blessings allow pomegranates to grow on infertile land. During this time, Demetre, her mother and the goddess of fertility, was very distraught and caused the world to fall into an endless winter. Hades was asked to return Persephone to her mother, but instead of doing so, he struck a deal with Demetre and they shared her. Each was allowed half a year, which is what caused the world to have the different seasons.
The narrative presented here in this Persephone adaptation is very different from the original myth, as it focuses on adventure and the idea of innocence instead. They are not goddesses. There is no Olympus. Stripped of the potentially problematic themes in the original myth, the story here is about equilibrium. An innocent was taken from Hades, and he wants it back. Although the narrative is very engaging, the fact that the story is about family rather than a romance disappointed me. However, the perfect balance of violence and character development helps provide a more well-rounded experience than a romantic angle would (which has become pretty cliche at this point anyway in retellings of this myth).
The art of Persephone is reminiscent of Band-Dessinée. The European art style in this comic is obvious, as its both rough and beautiful. The pastel coloring and strong lines create a very pleasing aesthetic. The juxtaposition of the visual and verbal elements is just right for the tone of the narrative. And, the Band-Dessinée style with the rough lines highlights the bildungsroman elements of the story. Maturity replaces innocence. However, like the narrative, maturity rounds out the innocence.
Verdict: Buy it.
Although it is not my favorite iteration of Persephone’s narrative, this story is great. From the art to the characters, Persephone offers it all. The original story is more of a romantic/kidnapping, while this version of events is more adventurous and familial. The art style is reminiscent of the French comic style Band-Dessinée with its rough finish. Persephone is awesome overall!