Cover image for The epic of Gilgamesh
The epic of Gilgamesh
Dixon, Kevin H., illustrator.
Seven Stories Press first edition.
Publication Information:
New York NY : Seven Stories Press, [2018]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 195 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.
"The Epic of Gilgamesh is the Ur epic--the hero's journey, quest, and education--inscribed onto damp clay tablets several millennia before Odysseus or the priest of Ecclesiastes found their voices. Sumerian versions of the epic date back almost 5000 years. It is a Bildungsroman of a bad king learning to become a proper human being and therefore a wise king, and to do so, besides defeating lions and monsters and surviving great physical and emotional suffering, he must face, and answer, the first (and last) great question: mortality. Translated into English and presented here in its entirety as a graphic novel, this version of The Epic of Gilgamesh is a father/son project by scholar and translator Kent H. Dixon and his son, the comix artist Kevin Dixon, who bring a fresh take on this great work. The reader is slowed down by the artwork and visual jokes and the artist's wry hat-tippings to various masters (Crumb and Gilbert Shelton alongside Schultz and Capp, Popeye and Krazy Kat, Uderzo's Astérix and Hergé's Tintin), and then, once the reading pace has shifted into lower gear, having all these aspects complementarily drawn out, makes for an especially satisfying counterpoint to the low-key, the wise and cynical and morally sophisticated, and sometimes sublimely Olympian humor."--Page 4 of cover.
In which we meet the randy young king and demi-god Gilgamesh and his equally untamed future friend, Enkidu--a wild man of the steppe -- In which Gilgamesh and Enkidu fall into a terrible fight over Gilgamesh's abuse of power -- Now past friends, the two heroes decide to seek out the monster of the cedar forest, Humbaba, and slay him--just for the fame of it -- In which the heroes journey to Humbaba's lair, through good omens and bad -- The heroes, with help from the sun god Shamash, defeat the monster Humbaba, and speed their raft home with his gory head mounted high -- The goddess Ishtar propositions Gilgamesh, who rejects and insults her, as does Enkidu; in revenge, she leads down the bull of heaven to crush them. They defeat it, but Enkidu has a dream -- For their arrogance "one of the heroes must die". Enkidu falls sick, curses everyone, is reprimanded by Shamash, and, after 12 days, he dies -- In which Gilgamesh laments, at great length, the loss of Enkidu -- "If Enkidu can die, so can I", reasons Gilgamesh and sets out across the desert to seek remedy of the only mortal to have beaten death, encountering lions and scorpion men en route. He even traverses Shamash's tunnel -- Gilgamesh comes upon Siduri, who tries to convince him the secret of life is not immortality. But Gilgamesh forges on and with Siduri's directions, and some wrong moves, he finally finds Utnapishtim, the Babylonion Noah. -- Utnapishtim relays the story of the flood and his unique survival. But this is not for Gilgamesh, who can't stay awake for even a week. Utnapishtim does direct him to a plant of enduring youth, but a snake steals it. Gilgamesh is left boasting of his great deeds and the wall he built around Erik. -- Dream-like, Enkidu reappears, to help Gilgamesh retrieve his stick and his puck from the Netherworld. But he becomes trapped; finally Gilgamesh persuades a god to let him out and Enkidu's ghost returns to teach his friend the secrets of the Netherworld.
Added Uniform Title:
Graphic novelization of (work): Gilgamesh.
Format :