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Behind the Magic curtain #3 August 23, 2010

Posted by cbrotherson in Commentary.
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Hello and welcome to the third and final part of brief features looking behind the scenes of Magic of Myths, issue by issue. Sorry for the long delay between this and Issue three (which you can read by clicking on this sentence to go to the season one sampler) – it’s been a very busy month and as we push towards the completion of the final few issues lots of other stuff have been building up on the way. But you’ll hear about that in due time. Right now it’s time to pull back the curtain, and as usual it’s best to read Issue 3 if you haven’t already as there are spoilers ahead…

It’s in the male

You’ll probably have noticed the distinct lack of positive male role models in Magic of Myths so far. The trickster, for the record, is also female (although for a trickster who can change shape, gender isn’t necessarily a fixed thing), and Tink, while far from antagonistic, isn’t exactly the most charismatic of fellows.

A tale of men and frogs. Or frogs and men…

It’s fair to say that Magic of Myths is a very female story, however, the male role is definitely something which will play a large part of the tale, in many more ways than one.

The choice of a new generation

Much of Magic of Myths is about choices – the choices we make for good or bad in our lives and then having to deal with the consequences of them. Issue 3 in particular asks some questions of Eve’s judgment. Her taste in men is clearly suspect with not a single good experience between the history we’ve been shown. This is something that will be explored again soon enough as gender and gender roles become increasingly important to the story.

So, with Eve’s bad choices over the non-fairer sex, it’s strange to see her pick the right apple to progress through the trial. When given the choice of a shining, perfect apple, a slightly mundane and less appetising one, and a rotten one, Eve manages to pick the first – which is curious given the clue (“choose the fate your tastes deserve.”). Is it, as the trickster suggests, luck? Or did Eve truly feel that from all the bad apples of men she’s chosen in her life, she truly deserved a good one? Worse, does she think that the only goodness she deserves exists in fantasy, as her final words hint towards?

Bluff, double bluff, triple bluff

Eve’s choices and ability to choose her own fate is something which will be particularly important by the end of this volume. Take in mind the first choice we see her make is the wrong one (in Issue 1, where she chooses to fight instead of reason), it doesn’t bode too well down the line…

An apple a day

When picking a fruit for Eve’s trial, I was originally going to have three different types rather than just all apples, but for the sake of narrative simplicity three apples made the most sense. For a start, that particular fruit has a lot of symbolic weight to it, and it’s one of the more commonly used fruits in fairy tales, myth, legend and parables (likely because of the symbolic significance).

The apple of your eye

So, what symbolism does the use of apples have here? Well, aside from it being an easy narrative jump from Eve’s bad experience with choosing men (the ‘bad apples’ in her life, as it were), it was the fruit used in one of Hercules Twelve Labours; the apple was also considered in ancient Greece to be sacred to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite (again, tying to Eve’s bad luck in love); men are unique in their possession of an Adam’s apple and part of this is a tale is about them;  in Latin, the words for “apple” and for “evil” are similar in the singular (malus –apple, malum – evil) which is the reason why the trickster sings “malum, malum”, overlapping her intent; and, of course, there’s the symbolism of a biblical Eve being seduced into taking the forbidden fruit. Although it’s worth noting that even though Eve takes a bite of the apple – and everything that entails – she leaves it behind at the end of the issue…

Hold your colour

Colour is very important to Magic of Myths. Going too much into why would give too much away, but the use of colour in this particular issue should highlight why it’s vital to the story in a more obvious way. While red is often seen as the colour of danger, it’s inverted here along with the colour green (to pass). Along with the colour of gold, there are layers of misdirection employed by the trickster – the red apple is the most appetising, but would red mean death? But also, the magical barrier is red, so would it be a simple matching of colours? The green apple should mean progression (as to turn the red barrier green), but is that a red herring? The golden colour surely would signify the way forward – a colour of success – but it’s the worst looking apple… but if it’s the worst one, then surely it would mean that’s the one to pick as isn’t the goal of a trickster to make the obvious seem hidden? Wouldn’t it be a true test if Eve had to bite into a rancid apple to progress rather than a fresh, pristine ‘too good to be true’ apple?

Purple rain… some stay dry, while others feel the pain

Hmm, what was that about reality vs. perception again…?

Read the Magic of Myths: season one sample here: http://wp.me/PSxcG-d9


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