Saturday, November 29, 2008

Herakles Graphic Novel Plot, Part 3: How Does Hera Think?

Since our version of the Twelve Labors of Hercules centers around the conflict between Hera and Hercules, we projected ourselves in Hera's mind. With every trap she sets, she expects Hercules to die. Yet, he survives every labor and defeats every monster she sends his way, beginning with the two snakes which should have ended his life while still a baby.

For our sequence of labors, we started with the fight against the Nemean Lion. After all, that's where Hercules gets his trademark hide! However, rather than send him next to the greatest monster of all, the Hydra, as is the traditional sequence, we slowly upped the ante, so the reader could experience Hera's growing frustration. After the fifth Labor, Hera is flummoxed and buys time by sending her foe to his oddest labor: ranch cleaning (Augeas' Stables). And the students planning that episode (Nick Collins and Natalie Berger) came up with a surprising, yet beautifully-timed narrative twist.

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