The Iliad – a review and short interview with writer Gareth Hinds

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The Iliad by Gareth Hinds is just the latest in his catalog of stories retold. It follows his previous graphic novels on Poe, Macbeth, The Odyssey and more. The Iliad in graphic novel form is a lush trip into a ancient world full of deceit and war. The tale follows Hector, Paris, Aphrodite and the rest of the characters we know from the classic story. I found myself really enjoying this retelling. Hinds has a deft hand at freshening up an old story, and he does it well here I enjoyed the art, especially the coloring. I also really liked the breakdowns of battle plans. It made for a nice addition to the story itself.

I think classic literature fans will really appreciate this, and how the graphic novel format brings just a bit of levity to what is a strong and powerful story. I can admit that I’m definitely looking forward to going back and checking out what came before from Hinds and his publisher, Candlewick Press.

As an added bonus, I got a chance to ask Gareth Hinds himself some questions through his publisher. It would have been nice to sit down and talk to the man, but interacting through email is how it’s done now, and really I can’t find fault with that.

Interview Questions:

1. What draws you to the specific classics you choose to reimagine?

I tend to like really old stories with mythological elements. Beyond that it’s a combination of which stories I like the best myself, which ones I think would be the most fun to illustrate, and which ones I think are taught the most (since English teachers, students, and school libraries are probably my best customers).

2. What is next?

I’ll be announcing this in just a few days. It will be something a little different that I think your readers will particularly appreciate, so keep an eye out for it!

3. Do you have a favorite so far? ( I know authors say they don’t pick favorites, but I do..lol)

The Odyssey was my favorite of the classics when I was in school, and has been my most successful book. But I think The Iliad is my biggest achievement.

4. What’s your process like?

I’ve written about that here, and there are a number of videos on my YouTube channel showing parts of the process for The Iliad, The Odyssey, and some of my other books.

5. What is your unicorn? The one story you are really dying to get your hands on?

I tried to get the Vonnegut estate to consider a Slaughterhouse-Five adaptation, but they didn’t go for it. If I removed all time and commercial considerations, I’d like to take on War and Peace. And I have some original stories kicking around that might someday be ready to illustrate and publish. But the answer to #2 is also a bit of a dream project which is becoming reality 🙂

 

The Iliad was released by Candlewick Press on March 12th.

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