Well, it’s nearly the end of October.
This may not be significant to you, but it is to me. At the start of the month (actually the second day of the month, since I didn’t know it was happening!), I decided that it might be fun to join in with a social media initiative called #Inktober. There was a different prompt every day, to inspire you to do a drawing which you could then share on Twitter etc.
I’ve been wanting to do more drawing for a while, and this seemed like a great incentive to pick up a pen and get on with it. So on Day 2 I drew a little dragon, for ‘Wisp’.
I was not planning on drawing more dragons. I didn’t have a plan at all; I was just going to draw stuff for my own amusement. But… people liked my anxious little dragon and asked for more. Within a week he had a name (Smol), a growing fan base and numerous requests for Smol merchandise, and #Inktober had turned into Smol Dragon Month in my house.
I’m now very attached to my nervous and frequently surprised little dragon. Smol is part of the family; my son talks over the prompts with me and comes up with ideas (which is why there’s been some Pokemon creeping in).
Smol, unsurprisingly, has an occasional interest in Classics too. Here he is (for ‘Dig’), being an ArchaeSmologist.
Here he is as Smol the Thunderer (for ‘Storm’):
…and doing his finest Claudius impression for ‘Hide’…
…and wearing armour inspired by the Prima Porta statue of Augustus.
He even came to visit Arbeia (with fetching rain-hat) for the ‘Outpost’ day.
I’m going to miss my little classical dragon when we fall off the edge of October – although my very sore fingers won’t! I have promised, though, to bring him back, so there may be dragons at Christmas time too! And I’m slowly adding Smol products to my shop, in case you fancy buying yourself a notebook or a mask…
I should add that all through #Inktober I’ve been inspired by Helen Forte’s wonderful Minimus drawings, complete with Latin captions: do check them out here. She’s also produced this wonderful Latin sheet for all your Hallowe’en needs:
Wishing you all a happy/spooky/completely uneventful Hallowe’en (delete to taste), from me and my dragon!
This week from around the Classical Internet
Auction of Caratacus coin – Daily Mail
Brutus coin sells for £2.7m – The Times
Netflix ‘Blood of Zeus’ series – Thrillist
VR bust of Hercules – The Art Newspaper
Comfort Classics this week
Comment and opinion
Classical pumpkins – The Iris
Greek Quarantology – NPR
Ghosts and mourning – Sententiae Antiquae
An ancient ghost story – Greek Myth Comix
Draining Rome’s swamp – World Tribune
The Birthday Party and Oedipus – Tragic Geek
Folklore, fluting and feminism – Eidolon
The British Museum and antiquities trafficking – Hyperallergic
The story of ostracism – Smithsonian Magazine
A vote against plague (by Flint Dibble) – Sententiae Antiquae
Medical words from Latin and Greek – Bellaria
The narcissism of the West – Eidolon
Podcasts, video and other media
The Roman Empress – Emperors of Rome
Dead Poets Society – Myths and Legends
Caesar, ethnography and empire (with Rebecca Futo Kennedy) – AP Daily
The kingdom of Aksum – The Ancients
Classics in transition – The gic’s Podcast
Why is the story of Dido so appealing? – The Forum
Latin for absolute beginners – Classical Association of Scotland
Mon 9 Nov: Mapping Pausanias’ Greece – The Open University