You have probably heard of the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades numerous times, in various renditions, styles, and imagery. “Lore Olympus” by Rachel Smythe introduces a modern take on the drama, gossip, and chaos-filled Olympic pantheon, making their immortal lives just a bit more recognizable to our own.
Yearning to escape the doggedness and smothering of her overprotective mother Demeter, Persephone seeks an independent life on Olympus. Faced with the additional challenge of understanding herself and her place amongst the gods, at just 19 years old, Persephone is swept up and caught in the expectations, whims, and sinister plans of her much, much older seniors. While a number of the familiar tales are woven within this story, Smythe does an amazing job at infusing a slice-of-life feel into the mythical world. She focuses on Persephone, a normal girl who wants to make friends, attend college, and doesn’t recognize her own strength. She meets and makes friends, enemies, and even a crush along the way. Oh and she just happens to have magical powers.
Another unique point is Smythe’s iconic style choice. Smythe opts for the unconventional, depicting her characters, regardless of gender, in skins of blues, pinks, yellows, and reds which contribute to understanding their individual personalities. Smythe illustrates a host of diverse body types both human and the like. She brings out a new definition of beauty in Persephone who rocks her curves, pixie cut, and has an eye for fashion, while also reeling in readers with a comparatively more subdued but good-looking Hades. Smythe gives the rest of the major gods equally creative makeovers, which you will have to read to see.
Overall, Smyth brings her Webtoon to life with vibrate but simple colors, letting the dialogue and characters tell the story. With a mix of modern and ancient, she incorporates the timeless feel into a spicy and very emotional story of love for others but also for yourself.