Once Upon a Time: How Myths Teach Us the Truth of Life

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One of my great regrets in life is having not discovered Neil Gaiman sooner. I was first introduced to his writing two years ago when I picked up a copy of American Gods at a local bookstore. Soon after, I began swooping up editions of his Sandman series, scaling London’s mystical underworld in Neverwhere, and fighting dark spirits with his magical tale The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Today, I am hopelessly compelled to read everything he writes—an obligation for which I have no complaints.

Gaiman has built a career as a master storyteller, accumulating a wide array of awards and leaving his fingerprints all over popular culture. To date, two of his books have been adapted into films (Stardust and Coraline), he has guest written for Doctor Who, and some have gone so far as to credit him as one of the pioneers of modern comics.

As a child, Gaiman recalls begging his parents to leave him at the local library while they went to work. It was there that he fell in love with authors like J. R. R. Tolkien, Gene Wolfe, C. S. Lewis, Edgar Allen Poe, and G. K. Chesterton, among others. Around the age of six, he discovered the Marvel comic books where he was first exposed to the Norse gods Odin, Thor, and Loki. This seemingly modest encounter sparked within him Norse Mythologya flame that has yet to be extinguished for the Nordic pantheon.

That passion led him to write his latest book, Norse Mythology, a modern retelling of the Asgardian gods that debuted at number one on The New York Times bestseller list in its first week of publication…

*You can read the rest of this post at Fathom Magazine.

Illustration Courtesy of Mike Norton.

Wonder, Belief, and Buddy the Elf

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Most of us have a story or two of odd gifts we have received for Christmas. Mine is the bundle of green sticks I got when I was six years old. They were tied neatly with twine and set among the gift-wrapped items that had accumulated under our tree. But they were not a surprise. My dad and had I ribbed one another throughout the year about how our behavior would directly influence the presents we would reap from Santa’s benevolence. When December arrived, he joked that while I had not been bad enough to earn stockings filled with coal, I made the cut for the next worst gift—a pile of sticks. “Just wait and see,” he assured me.

But I smelled deceit…

*You can read the rest of this post at Christ and Pop Culture.

Illustration Courtesy of Thomas Powell Griffith.

The Faithful Beginnings of March Madness

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Of all the sporting events on a yearly basis, this month marks my favorite—March Madness. A long, hard-fought basketball season draws to a close with conference championships culminating in Selection Sunday, which launches the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Sixty-eight teams from across the country are chosen for the tournament bracket. But only one will remain standing as the national champion. Win and move on. Lose and go home. There’s nothing like it…

*You can read the rest of this post at Fathom Magazine.

Cover image by Emile-Victor Portenart.