If we do not learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it. Maybe that’s why so many ancient texts have survived to modern times; as an attempt to teach the simple morals and lessons of long ago in the hopes that we as a species are not entirely doomed. Ancient texts are taught in an education environment, but many people are reading them for pleasure and thus the need for creative covers designs.
Required reading in many high schools and colleges, the Odyssey has also been rewritten into plays, movies, and here, a graphic novel. The manner in which the story is brought to the reader doesn’t matter as much as long as the details are correct. And judging from this cover, readers are going to be taken on an epic journey as they flip the pages of this book. The Odyssey journeys with the main character Ulysses as he tries to make his way back home after the Trojan War. On his journeys, Ulysses is constantly tested and always facing obstacles. The incredible illustration on the cover of this book is a fantastic way of showing those struggles, all in one fantastic moment that beautifully sums of the frustration of the book. A tiny, fragile vessel is tossed on unfriendly seas as a monstrous, giant figure, presumably a god, looms nearby with a scowling look on his face. This one frozen moment perfectly exhibits the fear, the courage, and the incredible feats that are lived by Ulysses in this story. It is almost impossible to combine so much into one image, but this cover has done it wonderfully.
Another ancient story that has begun to gain new life in modern education is that of Gilgamesh. And even though story is normally left for those required to read it, or simply those who love to get their hands on anything from ancient times, the cover has made this book into something that is more likely to be picked up for casual readers as well. Sometimes, it is the simplest things that are the most effective, and that is definitely the case with this cover. A plain, grayish background floods most of the cover, interrupted only by the darkly contrasting red letters of the title, as well as the helpful information that this story is a translation, and a strangely discomforting figure taking over the top. The biggest part of the discomfort caused by this figure is that, with its unusual placement on the cover, it appears that the reader is actually lying down, and this giant, stone-like man is looking down on them. It’s a mind trick that immediately makes this cover memorable, and persuades the reader to want more from the story than just the vertigo inspiring front image.