Hyattsville Author Draws an Illustrated ‘Iliad’

Gareth Hinds Iliad Homer illustration
THE ILIAD. Copyright © 2019 Gareth Hinds. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

A Hyattsville illustrator will soon release a graphic novel version of Homer’s Iliad.

Gareth Hinds has illustrated classic literature for several years, including King Lear, Beowulf, the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe and The Odyssey, so it was natural that he’d tackle the prequel.

Hinds got his start in drawing the classics with a Grimm fairy tale he made for a senior project in art school. That experience led to a grant from the Xeric Foundation, which he used to self-publish a full-length version of Beowulf.

Marketing that book himself taught him a valuable lesson. At most comics shows, he wouldn’t get much visitors, but the first time he went to an English teachers’ conference, he was inundated.

The success of the book led to a contract with Candlewick Press and inspired most of his other projects, which are targeted at classics that are frequently taught in middle and high schools. But not all classics are the same: Hinds says The Odyssey is his best-selling book, but the Shakespeare works haven’t sold as well, perhaps because the market is saturated with the Bard.

Hinds said he loves the local arts scene along the Route 1 corridor.

“My wife and I recently moved from Takoma Park, where we were renting a small apartment,” he told the Hyattsville Wire. “We wanted to buy a house, and we have friends who turned us on to how wonderful Hyattsville is.”

Hinds will hold a launch party for the Iliad at Vigilante Coffee in Hyattsville starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15. He’ll give a half-hour presentation and drawing demonstration on how he does his work as well as

sign copies from My Dead Aunt’s Books.

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