Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Terry Denton, Story Maze. The Eye of Ulam. Sydney, Allen & Unwin Children's Books, 2001, 130 pp.
Action and adventure comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Terry Denton's Story Maze 2: The Eye of Ulam (Sydney: Allen & Unwin Australia, 2001). Courtesy of the Publisher.
Author of the Entry:
Lynnette Lounsbury, Avondale College of Higher Education and The University of New England, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel A. Nkemleke, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
, b. 1950
Born the youngest of five boys in Melbourne, Australia, Terry Denton loved art from a young age and drew constantly in his spare time. He studied architecture at Melbourne University, was a comedic theatre actor and regularly created cartoons for the University newspapers. After University he spent time on his art working in animation, painting, etching, sculpture, cartooning and shop window design. In 1984 he wrote and illustrated Felix and Alexander which was published in 1985 and won the Australian Children’s Book Council Picture Book of the Year in 1986. Since then he has written and/or illustrated more than 100 books, including the Gasp! books and TV series, the Wombat and Fox books, and the Bumper Books (1, 2 and 3). He began collaborating with Australian writer Andy Griffiths in 1997 and they developed the Just! series, followed by The Cat on the Mat is Flat, The Bad Books and more recently the hugely successful children’s comedy series The Treehouse books-13, 26, 39, 52, 65 and 78. He has won more than fifteen children’s choice awards throughout Australia and another 40 more with Andy Griffiths. These include the Australian awards – The Multicultural Book of the Year, Best Designed Picture Book, Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award 2014 and The Australia Book Industry Association Book of the Year for older readers in both 2012, 2013 and 2015.
In 1991 he worked for the Australian Children’s Television Foundation on the TV show Lift-Off, spending two years planning the program and designing the puppets. Terry does many school visits throughout the year holding both writing and artistic workshops. He is also a fine artist and has held several exhibitions in Melbourne.
Official website (accessed: July 3, 2018).
Morriss, Maureen, "Highlights of the 1995 Children's Book of the Year shortlist [Book Review]" [online], The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy 18.3 (1995): 219–227.
Winner of the 2015 ABIA book of the year [online], Incite 36.6/7 (2015): 12–13.
Profile at the thelitcentre.org.au (accessed: March 3, 2018).
Bio prepared by Lynnette Lounsbury, Avondale College of Higher Education and The University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
The second in the "Storymaze" series follows the surfing adventures of Nico, Claudia, and Mikey through parallel worlds and across the universe. Nico is competing in the World Surfing Championships against a surfer named Hercules when help is requested by their Duryllium friend Icon, who is in the midst of a battle with his brother Vidor over the throne of their kingdom. They find and save Icon, who has been blinded and left for dead on the battlefield and take him to a gingerbread cottage in the woods where a kindly witch helps them to heal him. He is, however, blind. She tells him that to reclaim his kingdom he must deliver the eye pendant around his neck to a stature of Ulam the Magnificent where, if it fits, he will be shown to be the true ruler of Duryllium. The witch reveals that long ago, Prometheus created three eyes, one of which has the power of vision, in the Underworld, but that the true eye was lost over the years. Icon learns he must also face three tests of his leadership skills before he can even see if his “eye” is the true one. If he fails, or it is the false eye, he will end up in the Underworld pushing balls of manure up a hill. In an attempt to convince Vidor to participate in the challenge, Claudia (dressed as Ganesha, the god of cunning deeds) infiltrates a masquerade ball where Vidor falls in love with her and admits to her that he has stolen the real eye from his brother and replaced it with a false one. Claudia gives Vidor excessive champagne until he passes out and they intend to switch the eyes. A mishap occurs and the eyes are dropped and muddled. Eventually, Nico just chooses one of the eyes and hands it to Icon. Neither now knows who has the real eye of Ulam. The next day they enter a maze and they subdue a group of Ammit-like crocodile Bone-Crunchers with music and poison gas, to finally climb to the top of the statue with the eye. Vidor arrives first and delivers his eye to Ulam who rejects it. Icon tries next and the eye is accepted. He is then crowned king of Duryllium.
Graphic novel for children, with a science-fiction and comedy approach to classical myth and antiquity.
There are several clear references to Greek and Egyptian myth in The Eye of Ulam. The characters abandon their selfish desires – in this case, to win an Olympic style surfing contest against a formidable opponent named Hercules – to complete a quest to determine who is the rightful heir to a kingdom. They have to face mortal trials to achieve this, including the temporary blinding of the lead character, Icon. The story also has parallels with the story of Oedipus. The object of desire for the group is the Eye of Ulam, an all-seeing guide with links to classical motifs such as the eye of Ra, Horus, and the Graeae. There are fairy tale references such as that of the witch in the gingerbread cottage, though she is more of a guiding witch than a malevolent one. The final maze and test are designed to allow fate or the gods (in this case Ulam) to choose the most worthy leader via a special object (the eye of Ulam) forged by Prometheus in the Underworld. The subjects of the test must use both cunning and bravery to survive, battling beasts of the Underworld to reach the statue, which inevitably chooses the more noble, kind, and wise leader over the ambitious and homicidal one. Icon’s sight is returned to him after he learns to appreciate his blindness and embraces his role as a potential king. The story is told by a Narrator character who functions similarly to the Chorus in a Greek drama, continually breaking the fourth wall, commenting on, and judging, the characters and their actions, and foreshadowing elements of the story yet to come.