On Offering Praise to Odin

There’s a comic from DC/Vertigo I’m really enjoying right now — Brian Woods’ Northlanders. It’s about Vikings, and it’s told in story arcs.

The first trade paperback, Sven the Returned collects the first eight-issue story arc (for the budget price of ten dollars!), and it’s a pretty involving tale of a young man who left his homeland in the Orkneys for a life of adventure and pleasure in Constantinople, until he has to return home — where he has to deal with local politics and invading Saxons.

Really quality stuff. Issues #9 and #10 are about the sack of Lindisfarne, and the current story arc is about the conflict between the Irish and the Vikings in the eleventh century. Give it a try. The artwork on each story arc has been top-notch. I thought Sven the Returned had a certain Lord of the Rings or King Arthur (that being the vastly underrated Antoine Fuqua film) quality to it.

Vikings!

Now that I’ve plugged comics, let’s offer up praise to Odin.

Yes, today is Ash Wednesday, and I wrote a few years ago about the holiday’s pagan origins. Because, let’s be honest, there’s not an original bone in Christianity’s body, and Ash Wednesday was a Viking ceremony to purify warriors.

The story of Ash Wednesday is entwined with the story of Sigurd and the Volsungs, which is the subject of an upcoming book from J.R.R. Tolkien, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun.

Enjoy today — and may the weather be great. Offer up some praise to Odin. And read Viking comics. :)

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