Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Post regarding Fiery Girls in General, and Medusa in Particular


With my paper dolls, I like to do things that aren't just two arms and two legs because it keeps things more interesting... so I've spent a lot more time than the average person on the planet contemplating a variety of human-animal-mash-ups. In an effort to keep things classy, (and not to feel like the villain from "The Human Centipede" with his beloved three-dog) I've done mostly things inspired from such unlikely places as the Dungeons & Dragons Bestiary and classic Greek Mythology.

Case in point was my decision to do Medusa, even though I personally loathe Greek art. There was never a more unbearable Art History Class than the one spent looking at their columns with the slightly different ornate tops and all their geometric zig-zaggy-boxy-whatnot. But aside from a ripped up version of a sorority-house-toga, I was able to have fun with Medusa in all her half-snake-half-woman monstrosity.


Medusa Jointed Paper Doll - Snaketastic!
Before I started drawing her, I was contemplating such questions as, "Is she ugly or pretty?" and "Did she have a bow in 'Clash of the Titans'? What kind of bows did the Greeks use? Do I really care or am I just gonna draw something that looks cool and let the history majors send me nasty emails?" And there were so many questions that I decided I had to Google Medusa to reread the story, since aside from her infamous decapitation... I really couldn't remember WHY she existed or WHY she was all "Get out of my ruins or I'mma kill you!" and such.


"I'mma kill you! and such!"

It turns out, Medusa's story is just unspeakably horrible. It's like kneejerk/cringe/brow-furrowingly awful... something I've come to expect from "The Days of Our Lives" style of mythology that the Greeks dish up. There's several versions, but basically while Athena was making her daily rounds to all her temples, she caught Medusa being raped by a dude (sometimes Poseidon, sometimes not) and Athena decided she would punish Medusa for... you know... having the audacity to be brutally attacked in her temple instead of just coming to slaughter birds as sacrifices like a normal girl. (It all makes more sense if you're Greek.)

Medusa with her snake hair. All the snakes probably had names, but
I don't know them because Medusa's Wikipedia page didn't specify.
So Medusa was cursed with snake hair and a snake tail, and that really neat superpower where she can turn people to stone if they make eye contact. Since that curse makes it hard to date, or shop for groceries, or wear pants... Medusa went to haunt some lonely island for the rest of her days, and munch on rats. But no, that wasn't bad enough - then a bunch of Greek guys had to want to go hunt her as a trophy so she had to arm herself and fight back, lest she be brutally murdered on top of her rape.

I ended up my research really *liking* Medusa cause in spite of all that - she's fiery, and if we were all being honest, we always suspected Perseus was kind of an idiot anyway right? So I vote for the fighter girl with the awesome eyes.Of anyone in that story, I want to be the most like her. If you'd like to buy her to hang over your work desk as a reminder to be a tough-girl then she's in my Etsy Shop.





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