Official Press Release
BERKELEY, CA — 12 March, 2007 — Award-winning cartoonist Eric
Shanower will discuss Age of Bronze, his graphic novel retelling of
the Trojan War, in his keynote speech for Illinois Wesleyan
University’s Greek and Roman Studies Program on March 15 at 4 PM. In
words and pictures Shanower will demonstrate how he uses both the
literary and archaeological traditions to create a new version of the
story for today’s readers.
The continuing graphic novel series, Age of Bronze, encompasses the
complete story of the Trojan War, from the abduction of Helen, the
most beautiful woman in the world, through the fall of Troy when the
Greeks used the Wooden Horse to gain entrance to the city. Age of
Bronze began publication in 1998 from Image Comics, Inc. Since then
it has won major comic book industry awards, including the Eisner
Award for Best Writer/Artist in both 2001 and 2003. The second volume
of the series, Age of Bronze: Sacrifice, was selected as one of the
Best Books of 2004 by the editors of Publishers Weekly. Last year,
the Italian edition, titled La Eta del Bronzo, won the Gran Guinigi,
the highest Italian comics award.
Shanower draws upon a wide variety of sources for Age of Bronze, to
present what he hopes is a definitive version of the Trojan War
story. The earliest versions of the Trojan War were The Iliad and The
Odyssey, composed by Homer sometime around the 8th century BCE. These
two epic poems formed the foundation of Western literature and have
been famous for centuries around the world. Many of the greatest
writers and artists in history have used Trojan War themes and
episodes in their work — fleshing out the story, adding new
characters and events, and retelling the ancient story in modern
ways. These include the Roman poet Virgil, Chaucer, Shakespeare,
James Joyce, and Eugene O’Neill, among many others. All these
versions of the Trojan War story provide material for Age of Bronze.
In addition to written and artistic sources, Shanower also delves
into the archaeology of Late Bronze Age Greece and the surrounding
areas. Of particular interest is the ancient city of Troy itself. In
the summer of 2006 Shanower traveled to the archaeological site for
the first time. He spent eleven days in Troy and the surrounding
area, sketching, photographing, and talking to the archaeologists
currently digging at Troy. Says Shanower, “I was grateful for the
opportunity to finally visit the place I’d been drawing for so many
years. Hiking across the plain where Achilles and Hektor might have
battled, standing on the ruins of the walls where Helen may once have
stood was inspirational.”
Eric Shanower will be speaking about Troy and Age of Bronze on
Thursday, March 15, at 4 PM at Illinois Wesleyan University, 1312
Park Street, Bloomington, IL 61701. The general public is welcome.
There is no charge.
Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992
by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has
gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United
States. There are currently four partners in Image Comics (Erik
Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image
is currently divided into four major houses (Todd McFarlane
Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline and Image Central).
Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre
and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror,
crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest
artists and writers working in the medium today.