Mythical Beasts & Modern Monsters
Beastly bullies, meek monsters, and why Donald Duck is finally proven totally useless.
By Maria Popova
Mythology is such a rich source of creativity and storytelling genius, full of wildly imaginative creatures — from the Minotaur to unicorns to Big Foot. Today, we’re turning to this age-old treasure chest and looking at three curious, quirky dissections of the mythical monsters ecosystem.
A FIELD GUIDE TO TALKING BEASTS
From the Bible to Tim Burton films to Budweiser commercials, anthropomorphic creatures and talking bests abound. And they’re predictably consistent — so it’s always handy to know what you’re dealing with. That way, you can come prepared for your next encounter with a large talking bird or an opinionated lizard.
Thanks to lunchbreath, one of our favorite irreverent illustrators, now you can — enter the Field Guide to Talking Beasts.
We always knew Donald Duck was a useless, pantless sucker.
MYTHICAL CREATURES MIXOLOGY CHART
It’s hard to outcool the brilliant simplicity of a good Venn diagram, with its uncanny power of illuminating and clarifying. Which is why we love this fabulous Mythical Creatures Mixology Chart, inspired by the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection of guardian beasts.
With names as hilarious as Harpy and Cockatrice, we bet some of these beasts were given countless wedgies and stuffed in the beast school lockers by the Big Bad Minotaur and his posse of, erm, bullies.
THE HIERARCHY OF MONSTERS
Speaking of hierarchy of powers, that’s no small matter in beast world. So blogger Chris Braak has done the dirty work of an elaborate who-would-win pitting and produced this simple yet not-to-be-contested Hierarchy of Monsters, based on how dangerous the monsters are against each other and to all the other monsters on the list.
So there you have it, a who’s-who, who’s-better-than-whom, my-monster-is-cooler-than-your-monster of the beast world.
And should you ever run out of mythical beings to marvel at, we can never get enough of Stefan G. Bucher’s Daily Monster, which is so good it got a book deal.
Published January 29, 2010