Eric Shanowar Brings "Age of Bronze" To Life

Wed, March 14th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
CBR News Team, Editor

Official Press Release

BERKELEY, CA -- 12 March, 2007 -- Award-winning cartoonist Eric

Shanower will discuss Age of Bronze, his graphic novel retelling of

the Trojan War, in his keynote speech for Illinois Wesleyan

University's Greek and Roman Studies Program on March 15 at 4 PM. In

words and pictures Shanower will demonstrate how he uses both the

literary and archaeological traditions to create a new version of the

story for today's readers.

The continuing graphic novel series, Age of Bronze, encompasses the

complete story of the Trojan War, from the abduction of Helen, the

most beautiful woman in the world, through the fall of Troy when the

Greeks used the Wooden Horse to gain entrance to the city. Age of

Bronze began publication in 1998 from Image Comics, Inc. Since then

it has won major comic book industry awards, including the Eisner

Award for Best Writer/Artist in both 2001 and 2003. The second volume

of the series, Age of Bronze: Sacrifice, was selected as one of the

Best Books of 2004 by the editors of Publishers Weekly. Last year,

the Italian edition, titled La Eta del Bronzo, won the Gran Guinigi,

the highest Italian comics award.

Shanower draws upon a wide variety of sources for Age of Bronze, to

present what he hopes is a definitive version of the Trojan War

story. The earliest versions of the Trojan War were The Iliad and The

Odyssey, composed by Homer sometime around the 8th century BCE. These

two epic poems formed the foundation of Western literature and have

been famous for centuries around the world. Many of the greatest

writers and artists in history have used Trojan War themes and

episodes in their work -- fleshing out the story, adding new

characters and events, and retelling the ancient story in modern

ways. These include the Roman poet Virgil, Chaucer, Shakespeare,

James Joyce, and Eugene O'Neill, among many others. All these

versions of the Trojan War story provide material for Age of Bronze.

In addition to written and artistic sources, Shanower also delves

into the archaeology of Late Bronze Age Greece and the surrounding

areas. Of particular interest is the ancient city of Troy itself. In

the summer of 2006 Shanower traveled to the archaeological site for

the first time. He spent eleven days in Troy and the surrounding

area, sketching, photographing, and talking to the archaeologists

currently digging at Troy. Says Shanower, "I was grateful for the

opportunity to finally visit the place I'd been drawing for so many

years. Hiking across the plain where Achilles and Hektor might have

battled, standing on the ruins of the walls where Helen may once have

stood was inspirational."

Eric Shanower will be speaking about Troy and Age of Bronze on

Thursday, March 15, at 4 PM at Illinois Wesleyan University, 1312

Park Street, Bloomington, IL 61701. The general public is welcome.

There is no charge.

Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992

by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has

gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United

States. There are currently four partners in Image Comics (Erik

Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image

is currently divided into four major houses (Todd McFarlane

Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline and Image Central).

Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre

and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror,

crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest

artists and writers working in the medium today.

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