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Terry Denton

Story Maze (Series, Book 5): The Minotaur’s Maze

YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY: Australia

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Title of the work

Story Maze (Series, Book 5): The Minotaur’s Maze

Country of the First Edition

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2003

First Edition Details

Terry Denton, Story Maze 5: The Minotaur’s Maze. Sydney: Allen & Unwin Children's Books: Allen & Unwin, 2003, 137 pp.

ISBN

9781741140880

Genre

Action and adventure comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Fantasy fiction
Fiction
Fractured fairytales*
Humor
Illustrated works

Target Audience

Children

Cover

Missing cover

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


Author of the Entry:

Lynnette Lounsbury: Avondale College of Higher Education and The University of New England, lynnette.lounsbury@avondale.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

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

Daniel Nkemleke, Universite de Yaounde 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Male portrait

Terry Denton , b. 1950
(Author)

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.


Sources:

Official website (accessed: July 3, 2018).

Morriss, Maureen. Highlights of the 1995 Children's Book of the Year shortlist [Book Review] [online]. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, Vol. 18, No. 3, Aug 1995: 219-227. 

Winner of the 2015 ABIA book of the year [online]. Incite, Vol. 36, No. 6/7, Jun/Jul 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, lynnette.lounsbury@avondale.edu.au


Summary

The fifth book in the Storymaze series follows the surfing adventures of Nico, Claudia and Mikey through parallel worlds and across the universe. The story begins with the trio winning a holiday to the tropical planet of Knossos. The story diverges into two paths at this point, as it has in the other episodes, whenever the trio attempt time travel. Their time travel device fractures times leaving them in two alternate realities. One puts them at a weight loss spa and the other at a weight gain spa. The first reality becomes the main story when they meet King Minos who owns the spa and he hosts the holiday they have won. After a few days Nico and Mikey are so desperate to eat meat that they sneak out of a nearby burger place and while eating are told about the Minotaur’s Maze. The Minotaur, a bull headed man born to the Queen has been trapped in a nearby maze, built by the legendary Daedelus for the protection of the Kingdom. The trio decide to try and find out why the minotaur is imprisoned and discover it is because he is incredibly handsome, something the ugly Knossians find disturbing. Claudia is determined to rescue the Minotaur and the three attempt the maze, but are unable to find their way through. All attempts to go over, around and through fail. Nico quits to go surfing, but Claudia and Mikey meet a talking spider named “Charlotte” who offers to lead them to the centre of the maze. Nico nearly drowns and has to be rescued by Ariadne, the King’s daughter. The two of them follow the spider’s web and meet Claudia and Mikey in the centre of the maze just as they find the minotaur. The creature is angry, but calmed by Ariadne who speaks for her new friends. After they calm the beast, they convince him to leave the maze and explore life outside, but they realise that they no longer know how to get out of the maze. Nico remembers another story from his schooling – that of Icarus and Daedalus – and the group plan an escape out and out over the maze by building their own wings. The group fly out of the maze and while the trio of heroes escape unharmed to a nearby island, the Minotaur flies too close to the sun, melting the wax on his wings and plummeting into the ocean. He is unable to swim, and is attacked by killer dolphins and man-eating sardines. He does not survive. The story finishes with the narrator describing the various broken hearts left behind after the story – those who have loved and lost because of the maze.

Analysis

Graphic novel for children, with a science-fiction and comedy approach to classical myth and antiquity. 

The Minotaur’s Maze is similar in style to the other books in the Storymaze series in its engagement with myth, in particular Greek myth. In this case, there are two levels of mythological storytelling - the subverted Minotaur myth with its tenuous connection to the original tale; and the Icarus tale, which is a direct re-telling of the original myth. The story is once again fractured by various “choose-your-own-adventure” options and there are various endings to the choices the reader makes. 

This particular story has a greater focus on tragic love than the others, though it has been a recurring motif. Many of the characters love someone who does not or cannot love them back and the narrator makes comment on the nature of tragedy and broken heartedness. The overarching story is that of the Minotaur who is imprisoned because of his physical appearance but who, when he finally braves the world, is unable to cope (flies too high) and ends up drowning (or being eaten, it is not clear). It is a fusion of two myths and the final product, while manic and convoluted, has a clearer arc than many of the other Storymaze tales. It features again the chorus-style narrator who comments on the action but also makes judgements about the characters and their choices.


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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Story Maze (Series, Book 5): The Minotaur’s Maze

Country of the First Edition

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2003

First Edition Details

Terry Denton, Story Maze 5: The Minotaur’s Maze. Sydney: Allen & Unwin Children's Books: Allen & Unwin, 2003, 137 pp.

ISBN

9781741140880

Genre

Action and adventure comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Fantasy fiction
Fiction
Fractured fairytales*
Humor
Illustrated works

Target Audience

Children

Cover

Missing cover

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


Author of the Entry:

Lynnette Lounsbury: Avondale College of Higher Education and The University of New England, lynnette.lounsbury@avondale.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

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

Daniel Nkemleke, Universite de Yaounde 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Male portrait

Terry Denton (Author)

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.


Sources:

Official website (accessed: July 3, 2018).

Morriss, Maureen. Highlights of the 1995 Children's Book of the Year shortlist [Book Review] [online]. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, Vol. 18, No. 3, Aug 1995: 219-227. 

Winner of the 2015 ABIA book of the year [online]. Incite, Vol. 36, No. 6/7, Jun/Jul 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, lynnette.lounsbury@avondale.edu.au


Summary

The fifth book in the Storymaze series follows the surfing adventures of Nico, Claudia and Mikey through parallel worlds and across the universe. The story begins with the trio winning a holiday to the tropical planet of Knossos. The story diverges into two paths at this point, as it has in the other episodes, whenever the trio attempt time travel. Their time travel device fractures times leaving them in two alternate realities. One puts them at a weight loss spa and the other at a weight gain spa. The first reality becomes the main story when they meet King Minos who owns the spa and he hosts the holiday they have won. After a few days Nico and Mikey are so desperate to eat meat that they sneak out of a nearby burger place and while eating are told about the Minotaur’s Maze. The Minotaur, a bull headed man born to the Queen has been trapped in a nearby maze, built by the legendary Daedelus for the protection of the Kingdom. The trio decide to try and find out why the minotaur is imprisoned and discover it is because he is incredibly handsome, something the ugly Knossians find disturbing. Claudia is determined to rescue the Minotaur and the three attempt the maze, but are unable to find their way through. All attempts to go over, around and through fail. Nico quits to go surfing, but Claudia and Mikey meet a talking spider named “Charlotte” who offers to lead them to the centre of the maze. Nico nearly drowns and has to be rescued by Ariadne, the King’s daughter. The two of them follow the spider’s web and meet Claudia and Mikey in the centre of the maze just as they find the minotaur. The creature is angry, but calmed by Ariadne who speaks for her new friends. After they calm the beast, they convince him to leave the maze and explore life outside, but they realise that they no longer know how to get out of the maze. Nico remembers another story from his schooling – that of Icarus and Daedalus – and the group plan an escape out and out over the maze by building their own wings. The group fly out of the maze and while the trio of heroes escape unharmed to a nearby island, the Minotaur flies too close to the sun, melting the wax on his wings and plummeting into the ocean. He is unable to swim, and is attacked by killer dolphins and man-eating sardines. He does not survive. The story finishes with the narrator describing the various broken hearts left behind after the story – those who have loved and lost because of the maze.

Analysis

Graphic novel for children, with a science-fiction and comedy approach to classical myth and antiquity. 

The Minotaur’s Maze is similar in style to the other books in the Storymaze series in its engagement with myth, in particular Greek myth. In this case, there are two levels of mythological storytelling - the subverted Minotaur myth with its tenuous connection to the original tale; and the Icarus tale, which is a direct re-telling of the original myth. The story is once again fractured by various “choose-your-own-adventure” options and there are various endings to the choices the reader makes. 

This particular story has a greater focus on tragic love than the others, though it has been a recurring motif. Many of the characters love someone who does not or cannot love them back and the narrator makes comment on the nature of tragedy and broken heartedness. The overarching story is that of the Minotaur who is imprisoned because of his physical appearance but who, when he finally braves the world, is unable to cope (flies too high) and ends up drowning (or being eaten, it is not clear). It is a fusion of two myths and the final product, while manic and convoluted, has a clearer arc than many of the other Storymaze tales. It features again the chorus-style narrator who comments on the action but also makes judgements about the characters and their choices.


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