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In which Anubis is mildly annoyed and Hermes’ gets in trouble.

Anubis is another Underworld deity who suffers from the curse of lazy writers who think every mythology is the same as weird ol’ Christianity. Actually, Egyptian mythology in general gets a lot of weirdness attached to it thanks to our obsession with non-existent curses and walking mummies. Because to us death has negative connotations and since most of what we have of Egyptian archaeology is from a funerary context, we tend to make their religion look morbid and sinister, when in reality it was anything but. And poor noble, stoic Anubis really doesn’t deserve the nonsense that gets attached to him, and much as I enjoyed the Mummy movies, they’re very mean.

On the subject of the Mummy movies, here’s a fun fact: did you know that both the Scorpion King and Imhotep were real live Egyptian historical figures? Yep. In fact there were two kings called Scorpion, both of whom lived and ruled during the earliest period of Egyptian history, the Predynastic period. We know practically nothing about the first Scorpion, but the second might have been the father of Narmer, the great king who united Upper and Lower Egypt. Imhotep was even more interesting, he was literally a genius. He was a talented engineer and architect, designer of the Step Pyramid, and also a gifted doctor. He was so respected that on his death he was deified (hence the reference to him in this comic), so turning him into an angry, evil mummy in the movies is more than a little rude.

Anyway, back to the comic. I’ve got to say, trying to draw Anubis face on was really tricky. His costume is based on New Kingdom men’s costumes, with all the usual jewellery and a bit extra… From the reign of Akhenaten onwards, earrings were quite popular so although Anubis himself is never depicted with pierced ears in Egyptian art, I thought it would be fun to give him a couple. Behind him are the tools of his trade: a mummy with its canopic jars and Anubis’ symbol the imuit fetish, an animal skin tied to a pole in a pot (no, I don’t know what it’s for either). The colours are taken from Egyptian art, and just for the record, painting Egyptian jewellery with watercolours is really, really difficult.

And, yes, I know I misspelled “chthonic”.



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