Looks like Santa needed a little help this year. That’s Thor with his hammer Mjöllnir, his belt of strength, his iron gloves, and his… goat cart. Well, we can’t all have a sleigh. This cart is normally drawn through the heavens by two goats–but there is something special about these goats. At night Thor cooks them for dinner, then the next morning he waves his hammer over the bones (unbroken), and the goats spring back to life! Pretty nifty. Only this time Loki split one of the bones to get the marrow out (a role played by Thjalfi in the story of Thor’s trip to Útgarða-Loki), and one of the goats ended up lame. Dammit Loki! Well, now Loki is transforming into a reindeer (with a familiar headlight) to help pull the sleigh. I mean cart. This is typical of Loki’s role in what we call the “Mythological Present” (after the creation of the world is over and done, but before Ragnarok). 1) He gets the gods into trouble (brings one of the giants a goddess, separates Thor from Mjöllnir, makes a deal with a giant, kills an otter, etc), 2) He is forced to fix the problem, which usually involves a) traveling between the world of the gods and other worlds (usually that of the giants), and/or b) changing his shape, whether into an animal or a woman. Often he turns into a bird, the better to travel between worlds, but in one story he turns himself into a mare in order to lure away a stallion which was helping a giant (didn’t lure fast enough apparently–he ended up pregnant). His function as mediator between spaces is tied to his in-between nature– his father is a giant (this is a whole topic in itself…), and his shapechanging and gender shifting mark him as a boundary-crossing, tabu-breaking trickster.
I’d been working on this picture for a bit as a parting gift to my Reading and Composition course. Normally I like to sing a version of Thor’s Fishing trip to my classes at the end of the semester (to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “Took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down”), but I had to take a trip to Estonia at the end of this semester, and didn’t get to do a final “goodbye”.
But aside from the “end of semester” occasion, I’d been wanting to make a picture that would fit well on a mug–so now I have one! Available for purchase from callego.deviantart.com. Which leads me to my sales pitch:
Still looking for that little something for Grandma? Why not buy her a mug with a Viking on it? Or better yet, a mug with my comic about the Vikings, the Native Americans, and lactose intolerance on it? Great for drinking milk from.
OK, I realize an obscure blog with book reviews and pictures of Vikings is probably not your “go-to” for Christmas presents (or whatever other presents you may be buying this time of year), but hey, my computer broke and I had to buy a new one, plus my water pump in my car is leaking and it’s going to cost a lot to get it fixed, so why not help support a starving lecturer/artist in Norse mythology by buying a puzzle or a mug or a poster? There is a Christmas sale on at DeviantArt right now, so this is the time to get something! Well, photo prints are on sale at least– 15% off. I believe mugs, puzzles, magnets, etc, are all the same price. I ordered a few things to see how they would turn out (pictured at left). The delivery time took a bit longer than I wanted, so try to leave some wiggle room if you are ordering things for Christmas. Also, most of my pictures don’t work as well on mugs as I’d like– most of the mug is blank. That said, I’ve got a few things (the lactose-intolerance comic, and my Thor-Santa pic above) which should wrap around a bit more, so you might want to give them a try. My favorites so far are the magnets and the puzzles–the latter are only around 250 pieces (if you get one of the photos as a puzzle), but it’s still pretty fun for a quiet night at home. And if you still aren’t sold, well, don’t worry, you are welcome to keep visiting this blog, even if you don’t buy any of my amazing merchandise. This is just for fun, after all. Fun, and cold hard CASH!!!