Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Graphic Novel on Greek War for Independence

Sons of Chaos, Chris Jaymes
Illustrated by Ale Aragon
IDW Publishing, hb., 192 pp

When I received an email about this book I was intrigued. I obviously did not read closely enough. The comment, "perfect for fans of Game of Thrones" should have tipped me off.

The book is attractively made, large size, with nice artwork. It tells part of the story of the Greek war to throw off Ottoman rule in 1821. This is a story with which I am not very familiar, so I thought this might be a good way to learn. Good, historically accurate graphic novels can be very useful (and I have reviewed some others on this site). However, I cannot recommend this one.

First, since I had missed the Game of Thrones reference, I was surprised by the scantily clad women and portrayals of orgies and rape. The book is also very graphic in detailing violence with, for example,  numerous severed heads with gaping moths, etc. The storyline itself is simply twisted and depraved. Someone might simply respond, that I misunderstood the audience for this book. That is certainly true, though these things were not crucial for the story and were not edifying for me as an adult either.

Secondly, and perhaps more centrally, the story telling is obscure. I had difficulty following the flow of thought and catching the connections between characters. It was often difficult to follow. Related to this, I am not sure of the accuracy of the account. I looked into the history after reading (partially because it left me unclear), and at least the account here is significantly truncated. It does not, in fact, tell the story of the Greek war for independence. It gives a certain version of the beginnings of the uprising.

So, sadly, this is not a great resource. There was promise here, but it seems the interest was more in telling a sordid tale than in relating history.