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Dean Hale , Shannon Hale , Victoria Ying

Diana: Princess of the Amazons

YEAR:

COUNTRY: United States of America

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Title of the work

Diana: Princess of the Amazons

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Details

Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Victoria Ying, Diana: Princess of the Amazons, Burbank CA: DC Comics, 2020, 135 pp.

ISBN

9871401291112

Genre

Graphic novels

Target Audience

Children

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Male portrait

Dean Hale (Author)

Dean Hale (nd) is a writer of children’s graphic novels. He is married to Shannon Hale, and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.Together they have four children, and have co-written several works (see bio Shannon Hale).  


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Female portrait

Shannon Hale , b. 1974
(Author)

Shannon Hale (b, 1974) is a writer of children’s and young adult novels. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is married to Dean Hale.  Together, they have four children, and have co-written several works. Hale’s novels and graphic novels focus on empowering narratives for girls, and include several novelisations of well-known fairy tales, including the Books of Bayern Series (2003-2009), the Princess Academy series (2005-2015), the Rapunzel’s Revenge series (2008-2010) co-authored with Dean Hale), the Ever After High Series (2013-2017), the Princess in Black series (2014-2017, co-authored with Dean Hale), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series (2017-2018 co-authored with Dean Hale), and several standalone novels.  


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Female portrait

Victoria Ying (Illustrator)

Victoria Ying (nd) is an author and illustrator of children’s graphic novels and a Visual Development artist at Disney studios. She lives in Pasadena with her husband and two cats, and has worked on several major animated films including Tangled (2010) and Moana (2016).  


Sources:
Illustrator website (accessed: March 20, 2020).


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Summary

Diana is the only child on the island of Themyscira, where she lives with the Amazons (her mother, Hippolyta, and many Amazon aunts). She loves the island and its wildlife. However, as the only child, she feels isolated—everyone else on the island is a grown-up, and expert in their chosen crafts and activities.Her mother is too busy with statescraft, her aunts are busy with their soldiering (Dessa), exercise (Antiope), and teaching (Clio), and do not share her interest in the animals. One day, helping her aunt Lysa with her pottery, Diana hears again the story of how she was born: her mother Hippolyta had fashioned her from clay and breathed life into her. Taking a lump of clay, she tries this for herself. A companion emerges from the clay—a friend her own age, at last!But this friend, whose name is Mona, has a bad attitude, working on Diana’s negative emotions and influencing to do naughty things. This includes, swimming across to a nearby island where ‘Doom’s Doorway’ offers a gate into the realms of Tartarus.  Taunting Diana to prove her strength as an Amazon and remove the crossbar on the gate, Mona then climbs up and unlocks it, releasing the monsters of Tartarus.  

Diana discovers that her new friend is in fact the sorceress Circe in disguise, causing mischief among the Amazons. Joining with her aunts to fight the wicked creatures (including Circe), Diana discovers that she has important skills, and that she is a valued part of her community. Once the evil has been removed, and Diana apologises for her part in the mischief and agrees to carrying out chores as reparation, Hippolyta also apologises to Diana for being too busy to spend time with her, and appoints her as the island’s first wildlife steward, keeping an eye on, and caring for its animals.

Analysis

This graphic novel for young readers presents a coming-of-age story for a young Diana, the daughter of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. It is produced through DC Comics, and their ‘Graphic Novels for Kids’ series, and shows the childhood of the popular Wonder-Woman figure. In it, Diana falls victim to the sorceress Circe, but through doing so, helps resolve an ongoing dispute between the sorceress and the Amazons. The story is cast in traditional coming-of-age family-drama terms: in which a busy Queen has not enough time for her daughter, who gets into trouble because of feelings of loneliness and frustration. Creating the troublesome playfellow Mona (a shape-shifting Circe) externalises Diana’s negative emotions, and provides a way to present them for young readers. As Mona encourages Diana to play tricks on her mother and aunt, Diana’s discomfort may resonate with readers thinking about their own emotions.  

The novel is presented simply, with clear dialogue and vivid illustrations. The island of Themyscira is populated with a wide range of animals, from kangaroos to leopard cubs, suggesting that it is a kind of idyllic Arcadia, where the lion may lie down with the lamb. Perhaps Circe’s appearance is similar to that of the snake in Eden of Biblical tradition—Diana must face temptation and work out how to resist wickedness, with the help of the adults in her life when it becomes clear what is going on. The novel is thus highly moralistic, but the moralism is aimed at both child and adult, acknowledging that both are at fault, and showing mother and daughter reconciling and growing throughout.  


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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Diana: Princess of the Amazons

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Details

Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Victoria Ying, Diana: Princess of the Amazons, Burbank CA: DC Comics, 2020, 135 pp.

ISBN

9871401291112

Genre

Graphic novels

Target Audience

Children

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Male portrait

Dean Hale (Author)

Dean Hale (nd) is a writer of children’s graphic novels. He is married to Shannon Hale, and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.Together they have four children, and have co-written several works (see bio Shannon Hale).  


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Female portrait

Shannon Hale (Author)

Shannon Hale (b, 1974) is a writer of children’s and young adult novels. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is married to Dean Hale.  Together, they have four children, and have co-written several works. Hale’s novels and graphic novels focus on empowering narratives for girls, and include several novelisations of well-known fairy tales, including the Books of Bayern Series (2003-2009), the Princess Academy series (2005-2015), the Rapunzel’s Revenge series (2008-2010) co-authored with Dean Hale), the Ever After High Series (2013-2017), the Princess in Black series (2014-2017, co-authored with Dean Hale), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series (2017-2018 co-authored with Dean Hale), and several standalone novels.  


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Female portrait

Victoria Ying (Illustrator)

Victoria Ying (nd) is an author and illustrator of children’s graphic novels and a Visual Development artist at Disney studios. She lives in Pasadena with her husband and two cats, and has worked on several major animated films including Tangled (2010) and Moana (2016).  


Sources:
Illustrator website (accessed: March 20, 2020).


Bio prepared by Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au


Summary

Diana is the only child on the island of Themyscira, where she lives with the Amazons (her mother, Hippolyta, and many Amazon aunts). She loves the island and its wildlife. However, as the only child, she feels isolated—everyone else on the island is a grown-up, and expert in their chosen crafts and activities.Her mother is too busy with statescraft, her aunts are busy with their soldiering (Dessa), exercise (Antiope), and teaching (Clio), and do not share her interest in the animals. One day, helping her aunt Lysa with her pottery, Diana hears again the story of how she was born: her mother Hippolyta had fashioned her from clay and breathed life into her. Taking a lump of clay, she tries this for herself. A companion emerges from the clay—a friend her own age, at last!But this friend, whose name is Mona, has a bad attitude, working on Diana’s negative emotions and influencing to do naughty things. This includes, swimming across to a nearby island where ‘Doom’s Doorway’ offers a gate into the realms of Tartarus.  Taunting Diana to prove her strength as an Amazon and remove the crossbar on the gate, Mona then climbs up and unlocks it, releasing the monsters of Tartarus.  

Diana discovers that her new friend is in fact the sorceress Circe in disguise, causing mischief among the Amazons. Joining with her aunts to fight the wicked creatures (including Circe), Diana discovers that she has important skills, and that she is a valued part of her community. Once the evil has been removed, and Diana apologises for her part in the mischief and agrees to carrying out chores as reparation, Hippolyta also apologises to Diana for being too busy to spend time with her, and appoints her as the island’s first wildlife steward, keeping an eye on, and caring for its animals.

Analysis

This graphic novel for young readers presents a coming-of-age story for a young Diana, the daughter of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. It is produced through DC Comics, and their ‘Graphic Novels for Kids’ series, and shows the childhood of the popular Wonder-Woman figure. In it, Diana falls victim to the sorceress Circe, but through doing so, helps resolve an ongoing dispute between the sorceress and the Amazons. The story is cast in traditional coming-of-age family-drama terms: in which a busy Queen has not enough time for her daughter, who gets into trouble because of feelings of loneliness and frustration. Creating the troublesome playfellow Mona (a shape-shifting Circe) externalises Diana’s negative emotions, and provides a way to present them for young readers. As Mona encourages Diana to play tricks on her mother and aunt, Diana’s discomfort may resonate with readers thinking about their own emotions.  

The novel is presented simply, with clear dialogue and vivid illustrations. The island of Themyscira is populated with a wide range of animals, from kangaroos to leopard cubs, suggesting that it is a kind of idyllic Arcadia, where the lion may lie down with the lamb. Perhaps Circe’s appearance is similar to that of the snake in Eden of Biblical tradition—Diana must face temptation and work out how to resist wickedness, with the help of the adults in her life when it becomes clear what is going on. The novel is thus highly moralistic, but the moralism is aimed at both child and adult, acknowledging that both are at fault, and showing mother and daughter reconciling and growing throughout.  


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