Sparta: The Comic Book

Sparta: The Comic Book

On October 9th, the first issue of a five-part monthly comics series set in ancient Sparta came to life.
‘Titled Three, it’s a fictional story centred on three fugitive helots set in the 360s BC. The author is the well-known UK comics author, Kieron Gillen, supported by the equally renowned comics artist Ryan Kelly and colourist Jordie Bellaire.

The title purposely evokes the mythologised Sparta of Frank Miller’s and Zack Snyder’s 300; but Gillen’s aim was to counter-balance that over-glorified image through a more authentic depiction of Sparta in its period of crisis, incorporating in particular its exploitation of the helots. What may make Three especially interesting to classicists is his consultation throughout the production process of colleagues in Nottingham’s Department of Classics and Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies.
Balancing historical authenticity and the demands of the ‘action comic’ genre has been one of the challenging but fascinating aspects of the collaboration, on which we hope to reflect in future oral and written forums.

Three is published by Image Comics and issues are available digitally via their website: Hard copies can be ordered from local comics stores, such as (in the UK) A collected graphic novel edition is expected in Spring 2014.’ Email in Classics List

I would like to thank for the above information Prof. Steve Hodkinson, who (I think) acted as a consultant. Hence, the series is highly recommended!

You may find more information in Kieron Gillen’s Workblog. This is also the source of the wonderful image!

Economic historian and numismatic consultant

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