Sunday, September 12, 2021

REVIEW: Punderworld (graphic novel, vol. 1) by Linda Sejic

Punderworld is a Greek mythology comic serialized on Webtoon. I bought my copy of this volume brand new.


Hades has been lovesick for Persephone for a century or two, but he's always been too shy to do anything about it. Plus, Persephone's mother, Demeter, is well-known for her stony attitude towards any of her daughter's potential suitors. And surely someone like Persephone would never be interested in a guy like Hades, her complete opposite.

Except she's definitely interested. But she doesn't even know who he is, and all her overprotective mother will tell her is that he's some minor god. It seems like the two will never get a chance to really spend some time with each other, until Zeus gets involved and does a little meddling.

My previous experience with this series was brief snippets the creator posted in Twitter, which I occasionally stumbled across and very much enjoyed. I hadn't realized it had gotten serialized anywhere. When I heard it was being released in print, I instantly pre-ordered it.

In her afterword, Sejic said that this series started off as a coping mechanism for dealing with artistic block. It was never supposed to turn into a full-blown comic. And yet it did, and I'm glad.

Like I said, the stuff I saw on Twitter was just snippets, probably Sejic playing around. I remember seeing a version of one of the pages with Zeus and Hades, but almost all of this volume was new to me. 

As someone who liked the Hades and Persephone myth when I was a teen, and then felt a bit guilty about it as an adult when I kept coming across adaptations in which Hades was the brooding bad-boy captor, I really liked Sejic's interpretation of the story. Rather than being a brooding jerk, Sejic's Hades was busy, responsible, and a little awkward. Sejic's Persephone was very much into him, fairly sheltered, and also very responsible and a little awkward. I'm interested to see how the rest of the myth plays out in this adaptation.

Volume 1 occasionally felt a little repetitive (a few flashbacks were shown multiple times, although slightly different portions or from different viewpoints) and didn't have as much on-page Persephone and Hades as I'd have liked. Still, I enjoyed it a lot and am really looking forward to Volume 2. The humor is wonderful, Hades and Persephone are cute together, and I love Sejic's artwork. The whole thing with Persephone's crown varying depending on her mood is great.


Ten pages of bonus content - Sejic explains how the series came about, talks about some of the character designs, and more, with full-color artwork.

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