Humans need stories.
We need to believe the world is a place with rules that are there even if we don’t necessarily get them, we need to dream of a better future before we can build one, we need to think the monsters lurking in shadow can be defeated with a spell, we need something that lets us believe the things we do have some heroism to them, we need villains to defeat and sunsets to ride into when our work is done.
We need fantasy. Because reality often feels grey and unfair, and stories help us think that maybe there’s something better out there, that everything makes sense after all. This is the Power of Storytelling.
Once upon a time we channeled all this need for fantasy into gods, legendary beings and stories we could load with our faith, our urge to believe. But in time, rationality won and we decided we didn’t need myths anymore. So we cast them aside.
Maybe. Or maybe we didn’t.
Because these stories keep springing up again and again, stronger and stronger, more and more alive. Because the Power of Storytelling cannot be stopped and in time it has bled into what we call “pop” culture, as USA science fiction writer Ursula K. LeGuin brilliantly explains in “The Language of the Night”.
This kind of reasoning is why we chose to label Epigoni with a word like Mythpop. It’s our personal summation of the ideas of writers like Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and China Mièville about the Power of Storytelling and everything it can accomplish.
Throw in a dash of aesthetics from directors such as Quentin Tarantino and John Woo, with their sharp suits and theatricality bordering on grotesque, then fill in the gaps with Disco Elysium-style navel gazing, run some ancient mythology through a vaporwave filter and mix with all the collective imagination our society is capable of. Then you’ve got the beginning of something.
And if you really think Mythpop is something we came up with, think again. Look at Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman“, “The Books of Magic“, “American Gods” and “The Boys of Anansi”, or at Alan Moore’s “Promethea“, or Supergiant Games’s Hades. Or at the world of “Percy Jackson & The Olympians“, by Rick Riordan, “Fables” by Bill Willingham or the superheroic universes of Marvel and DC Comics, especially stuff like “Kingdom Come “by Mark Waid and Alex Ross.
But even in the real world, you have things like the 2021 Olympics, where more than one athlete showed quasi-religious devotion to pop culture through outlandish poses, good-luck charms and speeches honoring the stories that helped them push beyond their limits.
What we mean is, Mythpop has been here for a while. We just came up with a name for it. But anyone who knows a little bit about magic should be aware that naming things gives you power over them.
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