And Then I Read: AGE OF BRONZE 30

Images © Eric Shanower.

While Eric continues to tell the massive epic story from Homer’s “Iliad,” he’s making it even larger by including other related works, even those not from Greek mythology at all, as in this issue’s focus, the romantic couple Troilus and Cressida, brought together for a lover’s tryst by the scheming Pandarus. This story first appeared in mediaeval times, most notably in a poem by Chaucer and a play by Shakespeare, the latter being, I think, the main source here. It’s an interesting idea, folding these later myths and stories into Homer’s work, it makes this series a sort of metafiction, adding new layers.

While in love with each other from afar, the couple is very timid about getting together, and they need lots of help from the older Pandarus, whose name gave us the verb “to pander” and the noun for his sort of person, a “pander,” one who acts as a go-between for sexual liaisons. All this gives us, the reader, a bit of respite from the horrors of the Trojan War, not such a bad thing, and as always, Eric handles it all with great style and fine art.

A few words on the lettering: Eric has been lettering his own work since he began in the business, and I’ve always liked that and admired his lettering. Gradually over time, though, the lettering has become more stylized, and I’ve been noticing with the last few issues of AGE OF BRONZE that it’s now becoming a bit hard for my old eyes to read. Looking closely, I think the horizontal top bar on the T has become so short that it tends to read like an I, and the very narrow letters with vertical sides like U and N and H begin to look too much alike. Eric has always drawn an extra long center stroke on his E, and now it’s so long that it tends to break up some of the words its in, like SWEET in the second balloon above, which I tend to see as SWE  ET. Eric, if you’re reading, perhaps you might consider us older readers and ease up a bit on the attractive but less readable elements in your lettering.

Despite that minor point, this book continues to be a favorite, and is highly recommended, though getting the collections is the best way to begin it, rather than picking up an issue this far into the story.

One thought on “And Then I Read: AGE OF BRONZE 30

  1. David Goldfarb

    From the very beginning, Shanower has drawn on hugely more sources than Homer…there are tons of lesser sources about the Trojan War (indeed, I think the concept of “fanfic” applies) and he seems to be making a definite effort to include as many as he can. This is not always to the benefit of the story, IMO. Nonetheless it’s great stuff and I always look forward to a new collection.

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