There are a lot of great webcomics out there.
Ive written an entire article on them, in fact.
But that article was polished off and published mere weeks before I began Rachel Smythes captivating Lore Olympus.Published on Webtoonone of the internets largest webcomic publishing portalsthe series has rocketed to massive popularity over its nearly two-year run on the service. An absolute gem of a series, Lore Olympus is a deconstruction of the classic Greek myth, The Abduction of Persephone.
This engrossing love story is retold with a delightful modern twist. It is all the more stunning for its stellar art style, engaging characters, and enchanting romance. If you arent already reading it, you should be.
What isLore Olympus?
Launched in March 2018 on Webtoon, Lore Olympus is a creative and fresh approach to the classic Greek myth. Rachel Smythe, the artist and author behind the series, deconstructed the original tale and reshaped it into something sexy, contemporary and enchanting. The story takes a much harsher and more problematic story, sometimes referred to as The Rape of Persephone, and makes it into something entirely new. Hades is reimagined as a suave, damaged businessman whose familial struggles and dog obsession will entice most any reader. Persephone, on the other hand, is a naive, warmhearted newcomer to the busy Olympian life, caught up in the search for her independence. The story follows the duo and their bewitching love story. It completely reimagines the original myth with the added complications of politics, status, and a lingering secret.
There are many reasons to read Lore Olympus, but the simplest is to see Smythes brilliant take on the myth. Her story is flawlessly enthralling, heartwarming, and painful. The characters confront timeless issues through a modern lens, breaking down the romanticization of rape and abduction with grace and intrigue. Smythe updates the series every Sunday, and new readers will find themselves awaiting that notification with bated breath.
You dont have to be a fan of Greek mythology to enjoyLore Olympus. In fact, you dont need to know anything about the original storyor the charactersto understand Smythes take on the tale. (Though readers with a solid background in the original myths will have a leg-up on newcomers.) While Persephone and Hades are the linchpins of the story, there are loads of other mythological powerhouses sprinkled throughout.
Hades brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, are always a delight when they grace a comic with their presence. Smythes characterization of Zeus as an excessive but painfully recognizable adulterer will hit home for many viewers. Poseidons goofy, background role paints the character in a whole new light. The same can be said for all the favorites: Hera, Artemis, Aphrodite, Areseven Apollo. Each new character Smythe adds to her story feels like a memory of their old, vengeful versions, replaced with the gust of fresh air that Smythe breathes into every page of her creation.
Smythes stunning art is nearly as enticing as the characters and storyline of Lore Olympus. Her captivating way of telling her tale often involves carefully considered colors, panels completely without words and evensometimesmusic. Fans of her comic will quickly find themselves dreaming of a hard copy version. That way, they can flip through her beautiful visuals long after the story is complete.
Careful consideration of light and dark play a big part in howLore Olympus is presented. Hades is always depicted in dark colorsblues, purples, and blacksthat match his setting. The underworld is likewise illustrated in dark hues, making Persephone and all of her bold, bright colors pop even more. Each of the characters is represented by a different colorthough some share colorsthat match their personality, lore and background. This careful use of color and texture often communicate more than the words Smythe writes. Her watercolor-esque style marries flawlessly with the whimsical nature of her stories. In the comics heavier moments, however, the art takes on darker tones, colors, and themes.
The future ofLore Olympus
There is a tantalizing rumor out there that Lore Olympus is set to be adapted into an animated series aimed at young adults. Both Deadline and Screen Rant have reported on the possibility. According to these reports, Webtoons is partnering with the Jim Henson Company to create an animated tv series.
I cant independently confirm any of these possibilities, and unfortunately, Smythe did not respond to my requests for an interview. I understand, she is a busy woman and just like her other fans, I want her working away on this weeks update. For now, we will have to rely on reports and pray that the rumors are true.
If the rumors are in fact true, the partnership will be Webtoons first adaptation deal since 2014, according to Deadline. Ashley Griffs, Hensons executive director of television, will lead the project. At Henson, we love stories that inspire, both artistically and intellectually, and WebtoonsLore Olympus does both, she said of the project. Rachel Smythes new take on mythology and innovative design, with a unique female perspective, makes this project perfect for todays young adults. The world ofLore Olympus is a welcome part of the Henson tradition of exceptional fantasy storytelling. It is currently unclear how big of a role Smythe will have in the adaptation.
Regardless of its potential future as ,Lore Olympus is going strong. There is still much to tell of Hades and Persephones story, and that is not to mention the side plots Smythe has expertly planted. Readers would continue flocking to the comic, or potential spin-offs, for Artemis, Eros, Ares and the rest of the cast long after Hades and Persephones story ends.
If you are enjoying Smythes comic and are looking to support it, you can do so through her Patreon.