Years ago, in days of old, I was an aspiring cartoonist. Pathetically, I still nurse vain daydreams about literally going back to the drawing board—so it made my week to learn that I helped inspire, however tangentially, a character in a forthcoming Kid Beowulf graphic novel. Can Charlemagne plush toys be far behind?
Here’s an interview with Kid Beowulf creator Alexis Fajardo, who explains why he chose to develop an all-ages comic in which a 12-year-old Beowulf and his brother, Grendel, romp through the epics of the world:
I was always a bit of a mythology nut when I was a kid so I was familiar with these types of stories. But BEOWULF was the first epic poem I ever read and I remember being struck by the language of it; it was very different from the language of Bulfinch’s or those dreaded “novelizations” of epics that seem crop up. Believe it or not, the poetry really popped: the specificity of the visuals and the characterization of the heroes clicked for me in a way that those other stories didn’t. Epic poetry sounds boring, but it really isn’t, a lot of it depends on the teacher you get and the translation you read, because these heroes are bad-ass and worth reading about.
Fajardo describes his work as “a weird hybrid of the humorous and the heroic,” a worthy combination. It’s no secret that English teachers often inspire cartoonists; it’s neat to see a cartoonist returning the compliment.