The Cyclopes were a race of giants with a single eye in the middle of their foreheads. They were skilled blacksmiths and constructed the magical weapons of many of the gods, including forging Zeus’ thunderbolt, Hades’ helm of darkness and Poseidon’s trident.
The most famous Cyclops in Greek Mythology was Polyphemus. He was the son of Poseidon and a sea nymph. Polyphemus lived on an island that Odysseus and his men happened to make land on during their epic journey home after the Trojan War. The men helped themselves to Polyphemus’ food and drink which he stored in a cave so when the Cyclops returned home he trapped them in the cave and started feasting on the men. Fair trade. Odysseus – giving his name as Nobody – got the Cyclops drunk on strong wine. Then, with Polyphemus dozing in a drunken stupor, Odysseus blinded him with a sharp stick. Polyphemus then had to resort to feeling his sheep as he let them out to graze in order to ensure the men were not escaping among them. Odysseus, however, being wily, had instructed his men to hang from the undersides of the sheep to avoid detection. Having made their escape, however, Odyssesus’ arrogance got the better of him and he revealed his true name to the Cyclops as the ship departed the island. He was to regret his conceitedness as Polyphemus was able to ask for assistance from his father, god of the sea, to exact revenge upon Odysseus and add further trials and tribulations to their journey.
I wanted to make my Cyclops look lunkish, like something you would lure down a mountain with a haunch of meat. I wanted him to look brutish and strong but also dim – because Polyphemus had to be a bit lacking in smarts to be tricked so readily by Odysseus’ Nobody ruse. I drew him slack-limbed with dreadful teeth, wearing fuzzy pants and slippers adorned with human skulls. I thoroughly enjoyed drawing the Cyclops and am rather happy with how the finished piece turned out.