Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sketchbook Sneak Peek: Polyphemos

Here's something to give you an idea how far ahead I work on this series. Both this monster, Polyphemos the Cyclops, and the previously spotlighted Minotaur, are not due to make an appearance until Book 5 of Olympians, dealing with Poseidon. Right now, I'm hard at work on the finished art for Book #, The Glory of Hera, and so far, only book 1 Zeus: King of the Gods is available in stores. Still, these guys are appearing in my sketchbook now so that when it comes time to draw them down the line, I've worked out all the kinks of their design.

Myth records two very different interpretations of the Cyclopes. There's the Earth-born "uncles" to the Olympians, allies of the gods, whom we've met already in Zeus. Then there's the terrible cannibalistic brute Polyphemos as depicted in the Odyssey. I've opted to depict them as different species entirely, with no more in common than they both must have monocular vision. The head of Polyphemos here is based off an elephant's skull, as it has been often theorized in modern times that the Ancient Greeks would find the skulls of extinct pachyderms and mistake the trunk-hole for a giant eye cavity. I can definitely see that. Looking at the skull now, I wonder if I shouldn't give my Polyphemos some tusks?


  1. was poesiden really polyphemos's father

  2. Sure was. No less an authority than Homer himself says so in the Odyssey.