Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Blake Hoena, Estudio Haus, The 12 Labors of Hercules: A Graphic Retelling. North Makato, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2015, 32 pp.
Instructional and educational works
Children (8–14 yo)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, email@example.com
Estudio Haus (Illustrator)
Estudio Haus is the name of a group of illustrators established in 1997 from Buenos Aires. They specialise in comic and illustration. Their work has been published worldwide. Estudio Haus run their own school of art and organize many conferences and exhibitions, including the biggest Latin American comic-book convention.
Profile at the directoryofillustration.com (accessed: July 6, 2018).
Profile at the capstonepub.com (accessed: July 6, 2018).
Prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Blake Hoena (Author)
Hoena is an American writer originally from Wisconsin. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has written more than 50 books for children, among them Everything Mythology, Odysseus, Perseus and Medusa and many more on various subjects, from football to dinosaurs.
Official website (accessed: July 2, 2018).
Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: July 2, 2018).
Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, email@example.com
This is a graphic novel retelling of the myth of Hercules. It opens with Hercules as a grown man, ordered to serve king Eurystheus, and it ends with Hercules being turned into a constellation of stars. In addition, the novel contains notes titled "ancient facts" and a glossary, a further reading section, websites and an index.
The reason behind the labours is briefly stated at the beginning: "in her jealousy, Hera drove Hercules mad with rage. In his madness, Hercules killed his wife and children in a fire" (p. 4). As a result, Hercules receives his labours, which are then retold.
After the 10th labour, the king tells Hercules he is not pardoned yet because others helped him during the labours (Iolus assisted him with the Hydra and the rivers washed the stable) and, therefore, he has to perform more tasks. At the end, it is mentioned that Hercules joined the Argonauts and that he was finally lifted by Zeus to Olympus, where he married Hebe.
This book is aimed at young readership and has didactic aims in explaining the story; it also contains explanations and a glossary. While the ancient facts explain different parts of the stories, it also offers an interesting observation. For example, on page 18, there is an explanation about Ares and how he is different from Mars: "Ares…wasn't an important god to ancient Greeks, but because ancient Romans valued conquest, Mars was one of their most powerful gods." This short remark offers a cultural comparison to the young readers and further insight into the ancient world. It also passes (perhaps unintentionally) a moral judgment on the ancient Roman vs. Greek society concerning war.
Some changes have been made to suit the tale for this age group. While Hercules kills his family, a fire is a remoter way than killing them with his own hands. The fight with the amazons accentuates the sentiments of mutual mistrust and betrayals (due to the machinations of Hera). In the end, it is narrated reveals that Hercules killed Hippolyta. In another youth-targeted adaptation of the myth, the author avoids any mention of Deianeira since her part of the story involves jealousy, betrayal and the death of Hercules. Thus Hercules and the young readers receive their happy ending when Hercules marries Hebe on Olympus.
The book also had a content consultant, Laurel Bowman, from the Greek and Roman studies department at the University of Victoria, Canada. This demonstrates the author and publisher's desire to be as accurate as possible, although some details were left out due to the age group of the readers. At the beginning, there is a note that indicates that the adaption is based on The Library by Apollodorus. This also exhibits the seriousness with which the people in charge treated the book and the source material. An interesting choice by the illustrators is made with the capture of the Erymanthian boar (p. 13). Hercules carries it over his shoulders, and the king is hiding in a large vase, very similar to the ancient vase painting of this episode, reflecting the research that the illustrators put into their work.