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Mythology > Mythweb.com May 31, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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What it is: Mythweb.com is a Web site that covers the basics of Greek mythology. Although it’s safe for kids and designed for use in classrooms, its offhand narrative style and comical cartoon illustrations make it an entertaining refresher for myth-lovers of any age.

What it’s all about: Writer Joel Skidmore and political cartoonist Mark Fiore teamed up to produce the most eye-catching portion of the site — the Heroes’ stories. Here, you’ll find short and snappy recaps of the stories of Hercules, Perseus, Odysseus and more, complete with colorful snapshot cartoons, some of which are animated. The site also features profiles on the major Greek gods as well as short takes on the familiar stories of King Midas, Atlas, Tantalus and others, explaining how they are still relevant today. And then there’s the encyclopedia, a handy (and searchable) index of characters and terms. So if you don’t have time for the full story and just need to know who exactly the Harpies were, or whatever happened to Orion, this is the place.

Why we like it: Certainly I’m impressed with the site’s usefulness and depth, but it’s the entertainment value that really lights my Prometheus-style fire. Skidmore’s quick and casual retellings of the old myths (“Heracles lopped off the one head that was supposedly immortal” or “‘Okay, okay, don’t get yourself into an uproar,’ he said to Perseus, though not perhaps in those exact words”) paired with Fiore’s dead-on funny illustrations make stories you’ve heard many times seem new again. And if you’re a bit rusty on your Greek lore, you’ll actually learn a thing or two while you’re grinning your way through the site’s archives. Now that sounds like a real gift from the gods.

grmythtantalus.jpg Mythweb.com’s illustration of the story of Tantalus

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