Hey, guys! Do you like graphic novels? SO DO I! Today is our stop on The Olympians blog tour and George O’Connor is here with a guest post so hilarious, we’re tempted to keep him, about his newest book: Aphrodite: Goddess of Love. He talks about writing about sex and other mature themes, and how he tailors it to both his younger and older audiences. Check it out and enter for a chance to win a copy!
Hi, my name is George O’Connor and I’ll be your guest blogger today. The almost-all-alliteratively-appellated bloggers at Cuddlebuggery (seriously, have you checked that out? Kat Kennedy, Steph Sinclair, Meg Morley—it would be a perfect score if it weren’t for Paul “I should be named Bill” Beimers messing up their game) have very kindly allowed me to take this space to drop some ruminations in support of my new book Aphrodite: Goddess of Love. Aphrodite is the sixth volume in my ongoing series Olympians which retells classic Greek myths in graphic novel form, one god at a time. What’s even cooler of the bloggers hear at Cuddlebuggery is that they’ve allowed me to WRITE ABOUT WHATEVER I WANT TO.
This is day 4 of my ongoing blog tour, or blogcrawl as I prefer to call it, and for each site I visit, I like to try and connect my post in some way, be it directly or tangentially, with the overarching theme of the site in question. So what about Cuddlebuggery? According to this site’s FAQ (and with the blame squarely placed on the shoulders of Kat for naming it), Cuddlebuggery means: “delicious, flirty, sexy times without actually removing clothes or having sex.”
Okay, we get a little naughty, a little frisky but, essentially, we’re talking about a PG-13 rating. Okay, I can dig that.
Actually, this is a very appropriate for me to write about something that has come up a lot in Olympians, especially in Aphrodite. I write Olympians for an all-ages audience. Greek mythology, as it was originally told, came from a very different time and it’s pretty doubtful whether these stories were intended originally for kids. They’re chock full of sex and infidelities and gore and shocking violence—how do I make something so, for lack of a better term, so ‘adult’ suitable for younger audiences without losing the effect of the original stories? This problem is compounded when tackling a book about Aphrodite—the Greek Goddess of Sex and Love. How does one take a cuddlebuggish route at relating a story about a being of pure erotic force?
That means to me, while I have many adult fans, I am careful to construct my stories and utilize language in a way that’s never explicit. In Zeus: King of the Gods, when Kronos the Titan castrates his father Ouranos the sky with a sickle, the text reads that “he rendered him impotent.” There’s no explicit mention of genitalia being sliced off, and the accompanying illustrations depict the scene in an almost abstract, yet totally appropriate manner. Ouranos, as the Greeks understood him, was literally the sky—it could look bizarre, ridiculous even, if he were depicted with human genitalia. So much more poetic to see a giant slicing open the starry sky, with light bleeding out from the gaping wound.
It also means that, while I have many fans who are children (and indeed, Olympians is primarily marketed as a series for kids) I never write down to them. Some of that is so I do not lose my already mentioned adult fanbase, but even more of that is so I don’t lose the larger portion of my fanbase that are kids. Any parent can tell you – kids are smart—really smart. They are humans after all, maybe not humans that have been around as you or I, but they have the same amazing brains rattling around their skulls as we do—in many, many cases, more amazing as they actively use them to try to process and learn the mysterious ways of this world. It means that I just put it out on the table. I’m every frank, in Aphrodite, about her infidelities and dalliances, as I was about those of Zeus and Poseidon in their books. I don’t dwell on it in a manner that is either salacious or judgemental—it’s just laid out there. Aphrodite has a son, Eros. There’s a lot of different gods who might be his father. It’s hard to say who, exactly, because Aphrodite, who is pure Love, has a lot of love to give.
So essentially I take the PG13 route. It’s all in there, just not blatantly obvious. It’s hidden a little, maybe cloaked, but anyone reading Cuddlebuggery will agree—there’s nothing more sexy than something that’s just covered up a little. Anyone old and mature enough to understand what I’m talking about gets it, and anyone who isn’t, doesn’t.
Don’t forget to check out Aphrodite, out now!
In volume six of Olympians, graphic novel author/artist George O’Connor turns the spotlight on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Look for the same thoroughly researched and wonderfully accessible comics storytelling as O’Connor tackles the story of the Aphrodite from her dramatic birth (emerging from sea-foam) to her role in the Trojan War.
O’Connor has outdone himself with this volume: the story is riveting and the artwork is beyond compare. Greek mythology has never been so vivid!
Follow the rest of the blog tour!
Saturday, February 1
Sunday, February 2
What’s Good in the Library?
The Book Monsters
The Book Rat
Good Books and Good Wine
Dear Teen Me
Books 4 Your Kids
The Book Wars
Literary Grand Rounds
Thanks First Second Books, we have one copy of Aphrodite to give away!
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