All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by female creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. Here‘s a list of all the books featured so far this month.
We continue with Story(cycle) by Kathryn Briggs…
Story(cycle) is a feminist re-working of Joseph Campbell’s classic “The Hero With a Thousand Faces,” the legendary unpacking of the hero myth. Here, through the use of a number of fictional female characters from myths and fairy tales (Little Red Riding Hood, Lilith, Mono no ke, Persephone, Brigid, Amaterasu, The Little Mermaid, Venus and Dorothy Gale) in addition to Briggs herself, Briggs exlores the very idea of what it is to be a woman. She mixes in snippets of writings by famous female authors (as well as some modern writer acquaintances of Briggs).
The project began life as an art installation but Briggs soon realized that the pieces would work well in a graphic novel format. And holy crap, do the pieces work well in the graphic novel format! Briggs is a stunning watercolor artist and she adapted her work to the sequential format very well.
The whole book’s journey is a bit ethereal, as if it is a dream, but it is a dream that explores some fascinating ideas of how the idea of archetypes affect our lives (but specifically, the lives of women).
Here is a snippet from the Red Riding Hood section…
As you can see, Briggs has a David Mack style to her work (sort of a Dave McKean vibe, as well) and it really works well.
Briggs has an absolutely fascinating blog up about the comic, where she walks you through the evolution of the comic as well as shows more sample pages. You can also find a link to buy either a hard copy of the book or an e-book version.