Saturday, May 9, 2009

aphrodite's grove

because i am a nerd, i drew up tons of stuff for amazons and paradise island. maps, architecture, dinner menus, the usual junk. anyhoo, this is one doodle i particularly like, a small grove in the island's northern mangrove swamps. the hanging chains are the ones used by herakles, kept here as a reminder of the past. i could write more about it, but who cares?


bko said...

Ummm, I do. There is not enough myth today. Bring it on!!

jim ww said...

yes, please. and now i am wondering just what is on the menu… ?

ben c said...

bko - perhaps later. most of it doesn't actually fit into the 12-page story. it is unlikely, but i might be able to do later WW stories with it. or i'll put it in a sketchbook or something...

jim - cold crab boiled in salt/lime water, rum & pumpkin dumplings, stuff like that. all based on native carib and eastern mediterranean foods.

i'm the sort of nerd who also thought about things like: amazons wouldn't use paper -- the climate is too damp for them to develop it on their own, and both writing and paper appeared in the old world long after they left -- they'd use vellum, or even wax (metal backed) tablets of the sort used by the persians. they also wouldn't need conventional writing as much as other societies would, since they don't need to pass on records to their descendants or circulate them throughout a large, disconnected (and bureaucratic) society. if anything, they'd most likely use something like the germanic runes, and for the same purpose; or use a type of illustrative hieroglyphic system, really more as an organized mnemonic device than as a conventional written language.
and for clothes, there wouldn't be silk or linen, which couldn't be cultivated in the caribbean climate... more likely they'd wear leather and wool (as one-time pastoralists), and perhaps cotton, (which of course grows in the subtropical parts of america) chintz, and cotton-muslin (like linen), which can also be used for oil and even certain poisons.

chrishaley said...

See, this kind of thing is so interesting to read for those of us who are into comics and history.
I'd like to add my name to the list with bko of people who care.

BKO said...


How do you NOT get bogged down in the details. I find the biggest stumbling block for most of us is straying into the details and not focusing on the story. It seems like you most of all have achieved a wonderful balance.

ben c said...

thanks guys! of course, that's assuming my writing is actually any good.

"not getting bogged down"... well, one thing that really helps is that i've been researching this sort of stuff my whole life, i got a BA in ancient history etc, so a lot of this material is already hardwired into my brain. i've also spent decades creating imaginary civilizations for my own amusement, so again, i'm used to thinking along certain "background" lines when i'm doing stuff like this. and i had a LOT of practice with "dracula"... tons of research into victorian typewriters etc, but obviously, if there wasn't room to cram things into the existing story, i couldn't change the story to fit my details! a lot of times i insert things, but they stay in the background,where people can notice them or not, without it being explicitly addressed in the story.
in fact there is a TON of that in the WW story... as i've mentioned before, it was originally mooted as a 52-part story, so i worked out a lot of background, character and plot material that had to be dropped, and a lot more that is just suggested in the story. for example, when WW ends up in the mexican afterworld, there IS a reason why amazonian glyphs are on the wall, and how amazonian weapons tie into the "smoking mirror" legends of the maya. if i had more space i would explain all of that. but there isn't, so someone who just wants to enjoy the adventure can do so -- there is just enough information to carry the story forward -- and someone who is curious can entertain themselves by wondering about those details...and maybe someday i'll have a chance to revisit them!

(as a kid, i loved how c s lewis did that with narnia. he'd causally mention atlantis, or that the white witch was descended from lilith and the giants, but he never goes back and connects/fills in those parts, so there was a sense of something larger, half-glimpsed, with an oneiric power missing from over-explained material. blah blah...)

actually, in a way my WW story/stories are sort of like a snack. they can be enjoyed on their own as little adventures, but you can easily see how any one of them could be expanded into a whole 22-page story.

AtlasMonsterFan said...

Wow, these prelims look wonderful. It looks like you are going to be putting in a lot of mythical themes into this series...not just monsters (although I can't get enough monsters), but classic Greek heros and villans as well.

I'd love to see you explore all the nooks and crannies of Paradise Island...kind of like Ross Andru and Mike Esposito did in WW's title in the early 60s.

ben c said...

ha ha!
the joke is on me! i wrote a super long and probably pompous reply, and it wouldn't post!

alright, short version --
most of what's in the story is non-greek, as WW is having adventures around the world. but one major villain is greek. but in the original version there were lots of tie-ins between greek and non-greek myths (and WW), one that is still in the story involves the valkyres and fenris... if you think about what my story is about, the connection should be obvious.

and i have tons of junk i've done for paradise island. perhaps i can trick DC into letting me do more WW after this...

Anonymous said...

I love it all!!! I love cheetah, I love the jet, I love all your research. Call me if need anything.
SAM Hatmaker