Dragons

 

If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons

– Ilona Andrews

 

Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI members! Summer is here and that means more fun spent outside. As a child I loved to explore different places around the neighborhood hoping to run into something different or unique, such as cool caves that hopefully led to mythical creatures. In speaking to that, my younger years and still to this day I have an affinity towards dragons. They have always been fascinating in their history and place within our culture. So let’s take a look at this, including some facts and comic covers!

 

 

The reason this Run The Table is written today is the movie Reign of Fire has been on quite a bit lately on the ole tube. This jump started the idea to get this written up for your consumption. The flick is highly underrated. The cast includes McConaughey, Christian Bale, and Gerard Butler all before they were household names. This is no Puff the Magic Dragon. These bad boys are something fierce and wiped out most of the planet. Anyways, for those who haven’t seen it, find it now and watch, and those who have, rewatch it and I promise you it still holds up after 17 years!

The word “dragon” comes from the ancient Greek word “draconta,” meaning “to watch,” suggesting that the beast guards treasure, such as mountains of gold coins or gems. Yet, this doesn't really make sense because a creature as powerful as a dragon surely doesn't need to pay for anything, right? It's probably more of a symbolic treasure, not for the hoarding dragon but instead a reward for the brave knights who would vanquish the evil beast.

Scholars believe that the fire-breathing element of dragons came from medieval depictions of the mouth of hell. The entrance to hell was often depicted as a monster's literal mouth, with the flames and smoke characteristic of Hades belching out.

“Although dragons (or dragon-like creatures) occur commonly in legends around the world, different cultures have perceived them differently. Chinese dragons, and Eastern dragons generally, are usually seen as benevolent and spiritual, representative of primal forces of nature and the universe, and great sources of wisdom. In contrast, European dragons, as well as some cultures of Asia Minor such as the ancient Persian Empire, were more often than not malevolent, associated with evil supernatural forces and the natural enemy of humanity”

Alright, let’s have a look at some of the amazing covers which have comic alive on comic covers!

*Omitted are Savage Dragon, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Gojira / Godzilla, Sea serpents, Loch Ness Monster, GNs, and HCs. Strictly Dragons comics!

 

 

There are some amazing covers based on dragons! These mythical creatures have been part of our cultural lore throughout the entire world for centuries. I will leave you with a few facts about these wonderful beasts for your consumption.

  • In ancient Mesopotamia, dragons, as we know them today occurred in literature as either benevolent (doing good) or malevolent (doing bad) creatures. It was depicted as a mixture of lion, eagle and scorpion and associated with weather gods.
  • For the Old English, dragons were depicted as greedy hoarders and, in the epic poem Beowulf, a sleeping dragon is awakened when a cup is stolen from its pile of treasure. It then goes on a rampage.
  • Dragons have existed in Chinese culture and folklore for centuries. It is the highest-ranking animal in Chinese animal hierarchy. It is typically snake-like with four legs.
  • In ancient Chinese mythology, the people believed that there were three species of dragons; these were known as “lung” (sky), “li” (sea) and “kiau” (marsh) dragons.
  • The ancient Celts, also revered dragons as wise and powerful animals who often had the gift of prophecy. They worshipped dragons and thought them akin to gods, as they felt they symbolized the joining between this world and the next. They also thought that dragons guarded the gates of the Underworld — so when you died, you were greeted not by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, but by a ferocious beast.
  • Stories from the Middle Ages say that knights would go out to fight dragons as a test of their bravery.
  • It was believed that if you took a bath in a dragon’s blood it helped you see into the future.
  • The term dragon has no zoological meaning, but it has been applied in the Latin generic name Draco to a number of species of small lizards found in the Indo-Malayan region

 

Finally, those with kids, boys or girls, I can’t recommend these books enough. They will read them over and over again. A solid pickup!

 

 

Talk soon,

 

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8 comments

  • A. J. Diesel

    I LOVE that DragonSlayer cover!!! Sweet article man!!!

  • gideontged

    X-men 181 was/is one of my favorite covers. Oh, little Lockheed.

    I also remember collecting Dragon Magazine. Late 80s early 90s. Not comics per se but the art was beautiful. Issues 115 and 122 to be specific.

  • Avatar

    Did I miss something? Why does Fin Fang Foom make so many appearances in DC books?

    • Avatar

      Unfortunately those aren’t real comics. The “Super-Team Family Presents…” covers are crossover covers dreamed up by a blog site. They’ve been going for a long time and literally have created thousands of team up and crossover covers over the years with a mini-synopsis to go with them. While not genuine many of them are admittedly pretty awesome.

    • Mike Morello

      Love this awesomeness! Fantastic group of covers! Well done, Clint. I need that game of thrones parrillo soooooooo badly!

      Anyone who loves this stuff, check out old Dragon magazines from the 80’s. They were strategy mags for D&D. There are some amazing covers on those, too.

      Also (shameless plug), for write-ups on the two D&D covers above and the Dragonslayer cover, check out Cover Tunes #43 and #44.

  • Avatar

    That makes. Cool team ups. Thought I was going a little crazy.

  • accustomfigures
    Avatar

    Reign of Fire is an awesome, and a movie that isn’t talked about enough. Another one a bit further back that is still absolutely watchable is Dragon Slayer from 1981. The practical FX are awesome! But as a toy guy my all-time is Tiamat from the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon of the 80’s. I’m looking at her right now on my desk. Super rare and mint. Cool article!

  • Ben C

    Love FFF, bought up a fair amount of 23/24s

    Great piece Clint!

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