Tag Archives: Mythology

The Epic Book Tour: Gareth Hinds with Homer’s The Illiad

23 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Gareth Hinds is a prolific illustrator who worked in the video game industry for over ten years and still found the time to self-publish. Technically, that’s before Candlewick Press discovered him, and when they called him up to offer a deal, it was one he could not pass up!

Some fans know him for the cult hit, System Shock 2, and others may recall his earlier works, namely his adaptation of Beowulf. His artistic interpretations of literary classics are simply spellbinding. He has published ten books in all, including The Odyssey. As the recipient of Boston Public Library’s “Literary Lights for Children” award, his works can be found in use in classrooms across the country. Reading some of these classical works is not always easy, and to have the right kind of art to have young minds interested in the original material makes the process of learning how to read easier. Perhaps, one day, he may attempt Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Personally, I’m quite drawn to his works which looks at classical antiquity. In Poe: Stories and Poems, my taste for the macabre gets satisfied. His latest work is Homer’s The Iliad which took more than two years to produce! When this book clocks in at 270 pages and 95% of it are illustrations, the wait is certainly worthwhile. It is now available through bookstores like Amazon. To coincide with the release is a book tour. The remaining dates can be found at the end of this interview.

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Lego Ninjago, Masters of Spinjitzu Season 9 is Coming! But is it The End?

17 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Mild Spoiler Alert
* This analysis is based on reading online episode summaries.

The wait should not be long for Season Nine of Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu to air in North America. It’s currently broadcasting in Australia, and nearby territories. The previous chapter, Sons of Garmadon, played April of this year in the States and left viewers with one doozy of a cliffhanger. Half of the team were tossed into the Realm of the Oni and Dragon. Meanwhile, back home, the remaining team are rallying resistance fighters.

Lord Garmadon is back and now rules the capital city with a clenched fist. The way he sees life (including his own minions) and that it’s all disposable makes him far worse than Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars. To defeat him will not be easy. He’s pure hatred. When his son confronts him, it gets televised and most of the world believes the boy is dead. Fortunately, the lad is not and the series bounces back and forth between this story arc and the ninjas with baby Wu trapped in a Mad Max type of world.

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High Chinese Fantasy is Alive in Big Fish & Begonia

31 May

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Big Fish & Begonia () is a beautifully animated film which takes its afterlife seriously. The people living in a mystical Chinese Middle Earth type realm live harmoniously with the elements but when an individual upsets the natural order, the world will retaliate and the cosmic order will need rebalancing.

This movie debuted in 2016 and it got limited play at select film festivals. After two years, it has finally gotten notice by Shout! Factory and FUNimation. Hopefully, another work, I Am Nezha (我是哪吒) will see release. While one is traditionally animated (2D), the other is 3D. Big Fish is a dramatic product whereas Nezha has more comedy action. To catch either work on the big screen is tough; the release from last month only had a handful of theatres doing short runs.

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Peaking into the Layers of Folklore in Pixar’s Coco

24 Nov

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Despite reports of Disney•Pixar having a troubled start in the development of Coco, the movie I saw in all its charming glory and the reveal of how many anthropological experts were acknowledged in the movie credits certainly put any concerns to rest. The fact Hispanic illustrator Lalo Alcaraz was one such person hired on to ensure accuracy made this animated take in what Día de Muertos is about all the more enjoyable. As a group, these people insured this animated film is culturally relevant. Together, with director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 2 & 3) and writers Adrian Molina, Jason Katz and Matthew Aldrich, they made a film that’s true to the spirit of many past Pixar films, where keeping family ties is important.

Not everyone is fully aware about what the Day of the Dead represents. As a film about young Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez) wanting to be a musician instead of a cobbler — against his family’s wishes — just what he has to face in his journey is an adventure. From the land of the living to the city of the dead to find his great-great-grandfather, all he wants is someone’s blessing for what he wants to do for the rest of his life. Upon stealing a guitar in a mausoleum, he inadvertently enters the afterlife and pretty soon, he meets his deceased relatives. They are, pardoning the pun, aghast and side with his great grandmother’s desire to keep the family away from ever enjoying music. None are allowed to listen to it or perform.

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