Written by Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Art by Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky and Deron Bennett
Published by Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: May 16, 2018
Kidnapped and forced to eat a fruit cursing her to live in the underworld of Hades, Persephone grows as a person, learning more about the world and who she is in the captivating graphic novel Persephone.
Locatelli-Kournwsky has created a world. This beautifully tragic land that shines light on how perspective impacts how people view their country, how they other foreigners, how they see wars. It’s a tale about understanding how much power humans should have and a tale about learning to mend fences. I love how the story shifts how the reader feels about the imbalance in power, how slowly learning about Hades and its history with Eleusis makes one question their first reaction to the land and their people. Locatelli-Kournwsky delivers the tale well through a coming of age story for Persephone, who learns about who she once was and decides who she will become.
I love Demeter and Persephone’s relationship. I like that Persephone isn’t necessarily angsty towards her mother due to the fact that she is adopted. She’s frustrated with the secrets her mother keeps, sure, but she’s never truly angry with her mother and I do love the fact that Demeter, despite her secrecy, is a good mother to Persephone. I like that they have a good relationship with one another and care deeply for each other.
Rhadamanthus is definitely my favorite character. He’s a hilarious, deeply empathetic ruler who strives to truly help his people. His only wishes are to make sure his people don’t starve to death and to one day prosper. He’s by far my favorite character.
I like Edward Gauvin’s translations of the piece. Translation, in and of itself, is an art form of its own, and while I can’t speak to whether it’s the truest translation of the passages in the original language, I do feel like Gauvin’s work is fantastic and helps creates a captivating tale.
Locatelli-Kournwsky’s art is delightful. I love the hand drawn quality of the comic, the lined shading. It adds a layer of style to it, of tone. I love that, with that hand drawn quality, there’s also beautiful tiny details. There’s a very European feel to the details, especially in the architecture.
The splashes within the graphic novel are amazing. Grand cities span a page, providing a sea of hues and intricacy in gates, in scaling mountainside streets, in the power of light in the darkness, in arches. Every splash in Persephone is mesmerizing.
Read Persephone. Please read it. It’s a beautiful reimagining of a greek tale that spins a tragedy into an optimistic look towards the future. I highly recommend it.
The Verdict: 10/10