Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues

Animator/cartoonist Nina Paley's interpretation of the Ramayana utilizes diverse styles and novel approaches in the retelling of a traditional epic as an animated feature film.

Click left thumbnail to learn more about the film on the Sita Sings the Blue site.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Broeck Steadman's cover art for "The Ear, The Eye and the Arm"

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm is an award-winning science fiction novel first published in 1994. Set in 22nd century Zimbabwe, the plot follows three mutant detectives hired by General Matsika's wife to track down the three missing Matsika children.

On the left is the cover art for the first edition. Click thumbnail to view larger image on artist's site. The leftmost character is the Arm, whose mutant powers include the ability to sense what others are feeling and peer into their memories, the latter skill being something that he tries not to use out of respect for others' privacy. He is described as "black" and is a member of the Shona ethnic group.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rémi Bezançon and Jean-Christophe Lie's Zarafa

giraffe, Sudanese boy and Arab man in hot air balloon.
Described by Variety as a 'fanciful retelling' of the journey of the first giraffe taken to France, Zarafa (Arabic for Giraffe) is set in 19th century Sudan, Egypt and France:
Maki, a young Sudanese boy, escapes from a French slave trader and befriends a giraffe calf.  When the giraffe is captured by an Arab man Hassan, Maki tags along with Hassan to protect his animal friend. The trio head to Europe when the giraffe Zarafa is sent to France by the Egyptians as a gift to the French king...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stephen Smirl's Island Tales Comics

Island Tales, created by Stephen Smirl, is a comic anthology based on folklore and mythology from the Pacific. Some stories are adapted from traditional stories while others are modern retellings of the classics.

To the left, art from Nanaue's Bite, a modern version of the Hawaiian folktale of the Shark-man Nanaue. Nanaue's Bite is available for purchase at the Island Tales store.
To the right, Goddess #1 print from the Island Tales print shop.

Visit the Island Tales site to view more art from the various comic book artists who worked on the project.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Leo and Diane Dillon's illustrations for Mansa Musa

The Emperor Musa of Mali was a historical person, so do book illustrations about him belong in a blog focusing on fantasy and mythology?

In this case, the children's book Mansa Musa: The Lion of Mali, published by Harcourt Inc, is a fictional account that abundantly weaves magic and allegory throughout the plot. According to an Africa Access review, "The names are authentic African names. All else... is invented or imagined....It would be tedious to document all the errors of history and background...Teachers looking for reliable African material... should avoid this book."

The first image above depicts Musa and his Tuareg companion in the Sahara against a sensitively-colored backdrop of giant spirit beings who appear like mirages. The lushly detailed second image shows Musa returning to the pomp and splendor of his brother's royal court.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Daxiong's Water Margin series

link to Daxiong's Water Margin gallery
Angoulême International Comics Festival honoree Daxiong reinterprets the 12th century Chinese classic Water Margin. Water Margin, aka Outlaws of the Marsh, retells the legends surrounding a group of 10th century outlaws, from their fantastical origin as 108 ancient spirits released into the world, to their involvement in human history.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Todd Lockwood's Stone Car

Magazine illustration.
Click thumbnail to see full size image on artist's site.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations for Children of the Dragon

Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam is a collection of Vietnamese myths and legends retold by Sherry Garland and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.
De rides the giant raven in The Raven and the Star Fruit.

Pleasantly subtle warm-cool color temperature shift on the raven's feathers. The concentric bands of turquoise in the sea below nicely evokes the clear waters of Vietnam's beautiful beaches.

The marriage of Princess Mi Nuong and Son Tinh, Lord of the Mountains in The Legend of the Monsoon Rains.

Delicious depiction of Southeast Asian fruits in the foreground: durian, mangosteen, starfruit, rambutan... It's nice to see the flora of tropical Asia get some love :-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Will Eisner's Sundiata: A Legend of Africa

Sundiata: A Legend of Africa, published by NBM, is comic book legend Will Eisner's retelling of the Sundiata Epic of Mali:
Emperor Sundiata of Mali is a historical person.

There are supernatural elements in both the oral history and the Eisner adaptation.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rashad Salim's illustrations for Fabled Cities, Princes and jinn

Details of three illustrations from Fabled Cities, Princes & Jinn from Arab Myths and Legends

Left to right: imprisoned 'ifrit , 'Amr with his jinni advisor, jinni in wilderness

For complete illustrations and full-size images, please refer to the book, which contains 18 large color paintings with lush detail and ornate designs.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sara Forlenza's Sarenrae

Click on thumbnails to visit artist's site:

Sarenrae is a sun deity in the Pathfinder RPG from Paizo.