The Nemean Lion and his colleague the Erymanthian Boar were both ferocious monsters. The Nemean Lion – yet another child of Typhon and Echidna – had golden fur that was invincible to attack and claws so sharp they could tear through armour while the Erymanthian Boar was simply vicious and wild with no super-powers.
Both were ultimately defeated by Heracles as part of his Twelve Labours. The destruction of the Nemean Lion was indeed his first task. Heracles trapped the beast in its cave and then clubbed and strangled it to death, having discovered that no weapons could pierce its hide. He then used one of the lion’s own claws to flay it and he then wore the lion skin about himself for protection. The capture of the Erymanthian Boar was Heracles’ fourth labour. On the advice of Chiron the Centaur, Heracles drove the Boar into deep snow to give himself an advantage and then wrestled it.
I decided to draw the monsters waiting around for Heracles to show up. Thinking of the Aesop’s Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, I imagined them being rather complacent, anticipating easy victory, not preparing at all, as they assumed they would easily defeat their foe. I drew them sitting back to back, trading stories of humans they had ripped to shreds. They both look rather goofy and the Erymanthian Boar would probably benefit from going on a diet.
That couple sure was busy producing baby monsters for Heracles to deal with. I love the goofy faces on these two. It kind of makes them so much less menacing.
Thank you. I also love the fact that Echidna, mother of monsters, gave her name to a funny little Australian animal.