«Pop Mythology» is a new home for the kind of delving into myths that’s usually predicated with comments like «I reckon» and «Hang on, I’m going to order another beer. Want one?»
There are countless websites that take joy in scoffing at representations of myth in pop culture. Whenever they crop up in comics or movies people love splitting hairs down to the quantum level. That is not what we do here.
For us, mythology is a ‘gateway’ to learning how cultures and people work! So we love it when they pop up in comics and movies. Reading the myths of some far-off culture can be an exercise in developing empathy for other cultures as well as for the grimier aspects of our own. And, if we’re doing it right, we should also be able to shed light on the nuggets of wisdom we can take from these ancient peoples even today.
Comics and Mythology
For decades (arguably millennia, but we’ll get around to that) ‘narrative art’ has been the best place to show mythological stories in a way that would enchant, mystify and inspire generations!
From the passage of a soul through the Duat in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, through the battle between the Lapiths and Centaurs on the metopes of the Parthenon, all the way to Jack Kirby’s New Gods, when it comes to depicting myth visually, narrative art is king!
(A big part of this, even today, is that it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to buy paint and practice than it is to put CGI through its paces!)
So, we’re going to waltz between myths in comics, comics as myths and dive head first into the academic world of ‘mythology’ to try and extrapolate meaning and fun out of the dry and often dull world of academia.
Mythology Had A Purpose!
Whenever you pick up a book about mythology you often get one of three things:
A) An overly simplified group of children’s stories,
B) A dictionary filled with obscure references to etymology or academic jargon that make your head explode and your soul whither and die,
C) Or a book whose paragraphs are quagmires of dangerously dull ‘analyses’, so much so that you run a serious risk of being anaesthetised to within an inch of your life!
We want to avoid all that, so we’re going to get a bit weird.
We Love The «Woo Woo»
At «Pop Mythology» we want to show how fascinating myths are from all over the world and how our daily lives could benefit from knowing more about Sheela Na-Gig or Papa Legba or Baldur. And benefit in more ways than just trying to sound smart in pubs.
We’re also not going to shy away from the «Woo Woo» side of myth.
«Woo Woo» is a term we use for when we start leaning in to esotericism and the so-called «occult».
(Don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get cursed from reading this website!)
The reason for us leaning into this part of myth is that it’s important to remember that these stories, though entertaining, come from real functioning religions. They’re the products of magical thinking, so in order to really try to understand them we have to stretch those muscles. Muscles that are often atrophied in this modern rational world.
If we broaden our approach to myths with the use of magical thinking we might be able to extract real, ‘actionable’ wisdom from them. Whether it was a warning away from flirting with another’s husband/wife or a recommendation that it’s probably not a great idea to eat that purple fuzzy mushroom over there … myths are so entertaining because they are vessels for information that was meant to be put to use on a daily basis.
Or was it the other way round?
Anyway, at «Pop Mythology» we’re going to manoeuvre through all the woo woo and madness of myth and we hope you’ll have as much fun reading it with it as we do writing it!