Epicurus the Sage

Epicurus the Sage

Infobox comic book title
title = Epicurus the Sage

caption = Volume 1 of "Epicurus the Sage" (1989). Pencils and inks by Sam Kieth.
schedule = Biennial
format = Graphic novel
publisher = Piranha Press
date = 1989 - 1991
issues = 2
main_char_team =
writers = William Messner-Loebs
artists =
pencillers = Sam Kieth
inkers = Sam Kieth
colorists = Steve Oliff
creative_team_month =
creative_team_year =
creators = William Messner-Loebs Sam Kieth
TPB = Epicurus the Sage
ISBN = 1-40120-028-1
subcat=DC Comics
sort=Epicurus the Sage

Epicurus the Sage was the name of a 2-issue limited series written by William Messner-Loebs, with art by Sam Kieth. Each issue was bound in a graphic novel format, and was 48 pages long, without advertisements. It was published by Piranha Press, the "alternative comics" imprint of DC Comics.__FORCETOC__


Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus appears as the main character of the book, traveling the ancient world with Plato and Aristotle's young pupil Alexander the Great, sometimes with Aristotle himself. Together, they wander into various major Greek myths (e.g. the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades), and discuss the philosophical questions raised, with a great deal of slapstick humor. [cite book | last = Rothschild | first = D. Aviva | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Book-length Comics | publisher = Libraries Unlimited | date = 1995 | location = | pages = 126-127 | url = http://books.google.com/books?id=wQVJxnfmVtgC& | doi = | id = | isbn = 1-56308-086-9]

The book mixes history, mythology, and humor to relate the teachings of Epicurus. The narrative tends to anachronistically show other vaguely contemporary writers and thinkers, such as Aesop (who died two centuries before the historical Epicurus was even born), as backwards, foolish, fascistic, or all three, while the philosophy of Epicurus is portrayed to be more tolerant and humanistic; it is pointed out more than once that Epicurus is one of the only ancient philosophers who would teach women.

Various notable personages, from both history and mythology (e.g. Alcibiades and Zeus), appear as secondary characters.

Issues and reprints

The original run of the comic consisted of two issues:

*#1 - "Visiting Hades" (1989)
*#2 - "The Many Loves of Zeus" (1991)

Collected editions

In 2003, both books of the series were reprinted in a trade paperback (ISBN 1-40120-028-1) by Cliffhanger, an imprint of Wildstorm. This book featured a new painted cover by Sam Kieth, a black and white "Epicurus" story from "Fast Forward" #3, and an all new 36-page Epicurus story by Kieth and Messner-Loebs.


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