Alright, welcome back to our next entry of La Metafeminine En Español! This time we’re going to be looking at a selection of works where Gorgons and Stone Transformation were the primary metafeminine aspect on the cover.
We get things started with a bit of a dud;
Right off the bat El Libro Pasional No. 93: El Laberinto De La Muerte (The Passionate Book: The Maze Of Death) starts off strange. Medusa is the gorgon within the pages, so I assume she’s the one pictured on the cover. But I have no idea why she is portrayed there as a kindly old woman. I was hoping that we’d get some sort of compassionate telling of her tale within, but no. Inside there are only four panels (out of a 100+ page book) which illustrated Medusa, three of them bust/head shots and the fourth a bad body silhouette. And she’s scary, but looks a guy right in the face and…nothing happens.
They don’t even fight.
There’s a couple women in skimpy outfits within, but in general avoid this one. It’s not worth the money.
Moving on to one which at least has a better looking cover…
Your opinion of Medusa’s portrayal in Joyas de la Mitologia No. 25 – Perseo y La Gorgona (Jewels of Mythology – Perseus and the Gorgon) will depend on how you like your gorgon. If you said “asleep and completely inactive from start to finish” then this is the book for you.
Yeah, you read that right. Medusa doesn’t do anything more in the comic than she does on the cover – although she is portrayed with feathery wings inside. She’s in eight panels – including shield-reflection and post-beheading appearances – and just lies with her eyes closed the entire time except for the panel where she’s actually beheaded.
And somehow she manages to petrify one random guy while sleeping.
I’d list an appearance of the Fates as something to look for – named La Damas Grises (The Gray Women) in the story – but they’re pretty nasty looking. If you like the cover and want to see more of the lovely-woman-with-snake-hair version of Medusa sleeping then go for it, but overall it’s another one I won’t recommend.
Fortunately Joyas de la Mitologia No. 278 redeems the usually reliable publication with this next issue;
Presenta: La Mujer Que Tenía El Corazón de Piedra (Presents: The Woman Who Had The Heart of Stone) tells the story of Anaxarete. You don’t get many adaptations of Anaxarete – a woman who spurned an interested man so acidly that he killed himself – and it’s interesting to see the story play out in graphic form. Ultimately, as Anaxarete remains completely cold to the man even after his death, she is turned to stone by the gods.
In this story it is the man’s mother begging the gods that all of Anaxarete should be as stony as her heart, and it comes to pass. We don’t see the actual stone transformation happen, but we see her posed while flesh-and-blood in one panel and then being unloaded from a cart as a stone statue – in the same position – on the next page.
I have to recommend Joyas de la Mitologia No. 278 for purchase despite two downsides; the lack of transformation on panel and the slightly lesser art quality than that found in other issues (although not unacceptable). But the cover is fantastic (although unrelated to how things actually play out within), Anaxarete’s maintained pose between fleshiness and stoniness is well done, and sometimes you really want to enjoy a metafeminine punishment that is coming to a deserving character. Anaxarete fits that bill well.
Closing things up is;
Novelas Inmortales No. 501: Triunfos del Amor (Novels Immortals: Triumphs of Love) turned out to be a great purchase, as was No. 462. Honestly, I went back and forth on whether to include it in this entry or next week’s, but I felt the cover demanded it be filed primarily under Stone (you’ll understand what all that means later).
First, let’s look at the cover. Anyone interested in petrification knows that Galatea appears in the upper right. Its a great flesh-to-stone transition – although I bet that chisel hurts. Beneath Galatea is a woman with bird wings growing from her back. We’ll get to her later.
Now, Novelas Inmortales is a black-and-white book, the first of today’s stories. While I’m not usually pro-B&W, sometimes it does force some detail work that could be overlooked with color. For example, the first thing that we the readers -and Pygmalion himself - see when Galatea starts to transform from stone to flesh is that the solid orbs that had made her eyes begin to develop irises.
From there her transformation to a real woman is shown mostly through small motions, but it is a beautiful sequence full of joy for the couple. That alone is worth the cost of the book, but if you also want to see Pygmalion get all up on his creation while she’s still stone then there are a few earlier sequences for you.
Now, about that winged woman from the cover. That is Alcyone, who throws herself into the ocean when she learns her beloved has drowned at sea. Great work is done with Alcyone’s transformation, which takes place roughly over four panels.
At first, Alcyone holds up her hands, clearly aware that something strange is taking hold of her. Then, over the next two panels, her arms sprout feathers and transform into full wings. The transition of arms to wings is well done, and has great detail. It also looks nothing like her illustration on the cover.
We don’t see any facial alterations or other changes – she grows wings and then we see her as a fully transformed bird in the next panel – but what we do get is fantastic. Between Galatea and Alcyone we have two great – and purchase worthy – metafeminine tales in Novelas Inmortales No. 501.
Oh, and yes, there is also the tale of Baucis and Philemon within, but their transformation into trees is barely shown.
Anyway, those interested in the change Alcyone underwent should tune in next week as we tackle our final La Metafeminine En Español - El Reino Animal!