Kristine Evans BFA Thesis Spring 2012
Kinoko’s The Epic of Gilgamesh
Kinoko’s The Epic of Gilgamesh issue #1 is a comic book retelling of the ancient Mesopotamian world classic The Epic of Gilgamesh. This thesis focuses on the research I did to gain enough understanding of this ancient work of literature in order to create a new and informed version that a modern audience could connect with. Acknowledging the myriad cartoonists who have created historic retellings before me, I highlight the work of Seymour Chwast, Robert Crumb, and especially Osamu Tezuka. Looking at the history, art and culture of ancient Mesopotamia led me on a journey of research and understanding of the archaeology of these civilizations and the context of the ancient world in the more globally leaning civilization of today. I found parallels within the story of Gilgamesh that hold relevance today, including mortality, loss and the failures of tyranny. I press on the importance of these connections as they remind us of the continuing struggle that cognizant existence carries. In realizing that early civilization shared the same uncertainty and inability to grasp their own place in the universe, I feel more connected to my humanness and the human race with which I share life on this planet.