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Disney’s Hercules inspired Rachel Smythe to create Lore Olympus

"I was forever changed"

Lore Olympus banner
Image credit: WEBTOON (Rachel Smythe)

Romance can happen where you least expect it, even in the Underworld. Lore Olympus an extraordinarily popular romance webcomic that focuses on the relationship between the goddess Persephone and Hades, ruler of the Underworld. The beloved Webtoon is written by Rachel Smythe, a longtime lover of Greek mythology.

During a spotlight panel at New York Comic Con, Smythe revealed the unlikely inspiration for her award-winning webcomic. “Greek mythology was an early love. I believe I was in middle school. Disney’s Hercules came out, and I went to the theater, and I was like ‘wow.’ I was forever changed,” Smythe recalled.

”Like most academics at the age of 12, I knew I must research this. I particularly liked Hades; he was fun. I found out he had a wife, and she was not in the movie. Well, she was in the background of a party scene, and she had a very big cocktail. It is not to scale. Who gave her that? I was in my goth stage, and I was like ‘I must know about this woman living in the underworld. I’m very excited about it.’ So, I read the history.”

If you have seen Hercules and have read Lore Olympus, then you know that they couldn’t be more different in tone. It’s amazing to think that Disney’s animated musical helped inspire an adult-oriented romance comic. It’s a testament to how malleable Greek mythology is, and the genres it can transcend. Inspiration can come when you least expect it, and you never know what it will inspire you to create.


Lore Olympus Returns For Series Conclusion in 2024

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About the Author
Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Contributing writer

Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.
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