Medusa Picture

Happy Halloween! Here is one of the most famous monsters from Greek mythology. The Gorgon Medusa.

I made this drawing for Medusa, a Swedish popular science magazine about ancient Greece and Rome. I was inspired by archaic and early classical depictions of her. I tried out different colours for the background and chose between this one and one with an orange colour as background. In the end I sent this to them, since violet, at least to me, was more easy on the eyes.

Early Greek writers, like Hesiod, portrayed Medusa as a monster from the beginning, born by the two sea gods Keto and Phorkys who produced many other monstrous beings. Unlike her two sisters, Medusa was mortal. When Perseus cut off her head the winged horse Pegasus was born, Medusa’s child with the god Poseidon who once had slept with her on a meadow with spring flowers.

According to later traditions (and probably the most well-known version today), Medusa was once a beautiful girl who either compared herself to Athena in beauty or was raped or seduced by Poseidon in the temple of Athena. To have sex in a sacred place was absolute taboo and a very serious insult to the god or goddess which the place was sacred to. Athena couldn’t punish Poseidon, so Medusa got all the blame for it and Athena turned her into a monster. Yeah, Athena was quite an asshole in that myth and a good example of the more disgusting sides of the patriarchal ancient Greek society. Maybe that’s why I actually prefer the older tradition where Medusa was born a monster and where she had sex without getting punished for it (if that was not a rape too. Sometimes it’s hard to tell). Every time I draw Medusa I feel a bit sad that she had to die, because she could easily be made into a funny and badass character. Well, we still have her sisters Stheno and Euryale of course...

Hope you will all have a nice Halloween. Tomorrow I'm going to Stockholm to sell my comics at the Artist Alley on Comic Con. I think it's the first time they arrange something like this, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens...
Continue Reading: Keto