American Gods My Ainsel 1 NM David Mack Variant Cover Dark Horse Neil Gaiman St


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Writer: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
Artist: P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton
Colorist: Jennifer T. Lange, Scott Hampton
Cover Artist: David Mack

The bizarre road trip across America continues as our heroes gather reinforcements for the imminent god war!

Shadow and Wednesday leave the House on the Rock and continue their journey across the country where they set up aliases, meet new gods, and prepare for war.

The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula Award-winning novel and hit Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a graphic novel!

The second arc begins here!

”This adaptation is sincerely long overdue.” – Paste

There is a lot to be glad about, and this comic contributes to the general feeling. It rings true to the novel, has gorgeous Scott Hampton art and, it feels weirdly familiar. That is because the language of the novel is right there, in an oddly respectful way: an adaptation that visually translates the feelings of the novel, and that walks apace to it.

In this issue, two important things happen: Wednesday reveals some of the cons he used to perform with his now-disappeared old associate. Also, Shadow arrives at Lakeside and meets Mr. Hinzelmann. For me, that was the turning point for the novel. This oddly cheerful man, with earmuffs and a big old car, embodies what American Gods meant to portray: how we survive, what sacrifices we are willing to make in order to preserve who we were.

My Ainsel #1 marks the beginning of the second arc in the American Gods series adapted from Neil Gaiman’s classic novel. We jump right in to Shadow and Wednesday continuing their travels across America. In this issue, they begin in a snow-covered Wisconsin. The pace of the main action in this issue moves rather slowly, but that gives us time to appreciate all of the other stories that contribute to our understanding of this world.

The storytelling motif in American Gods so far has made the series feel like a compilation of myths, lessons, and historical vignettes. P. Craig Russell continues the trend in this issue. As they enjoy a meal at a family restaurant, Wednesday tells Shadow two tales about conmen whose schemes bring them in large sums of money. These cons are carefully planned and crafted. They require specific props and good timing. Wednesday proudly mentions a history of grift, seemingly enjoying the memories just as much as the success in pulling them off.

The juxtaposition with Wednesday’s stories and his flirting with the waitress make the scene even more amusing. I felt as though I was sitting there at the table with Wednesday and Shadow, getting glimpses into the narrated stories, only to be interrupted by the waitress bringing a drink or offering dessert. It’s a relatable way of interweaving story time with everyday life.

Of course, the weather is getting colder, building anticipation to the storm that was brewing in the first part of the series. The characters frequently refer to the cold, and the temperature certainly helps maintain the bleak atmosphere. Scott Hampton’s art in this issue also contributes to the grimness of the surroundings. People are rather rigid, while the dream world appears as a swirl of blurred colors. Everyone and everywhere are simultaneously a dreary part of America and of the stories that compose the land.

Shadow’s dream sequence suggests that there is a relationship between the waking world and the dream world. Both can potentially have an influence on one another. In his dream, Shadow seeks to find a way to bring Laura back to life in the real world. But he also has a sense that if he dies in his dream, he will die in the real world, as well. Life, death, waking, and dreaming all seem to be commingled—which further blurs lines between reality and fantasy. The entire sequence feels darkly celestial, and Shadow seems to be experiencing a transformative moment. With mythological creatures, gods, and ghosts present in this series, it seems that Shadow, too, must be something more than human—or perhaps has the ability to become something more than human.

Shadow continues his journey solo, but, of course, meets someone new. And Hinzelmann has his own story to share—a tale that sounds real enough but has a few fantastic details. That’s the type of story that really makes sense in American Gods, though. We never really know the truth, because anything seems possible. Sometimes, it feels like everything we read in this series is part of an anthology of dream stories—all contributing to a universe of collected knowledge, trickery, and life (and death) lessons.

American Gods is an American fantasy drama television series based on Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel of the same name and developed by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green for the premium cable network Starz. Produced by Fremantle North America and distributed by Lionsgate Television, the first season premiered on April 30, 2017. Fuller and Green served as the showrunners for the first season and were replaced by Jesse Alexander for the second season. Charles H. Eglee serves as showrunner for the third season. Gaiman serves as an executive producer.

Ricky Whittle plays the series’ lead Shadow Moon, who meets a strange man named Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) after being released from prison and soon becomes embroiled in a large-scale conflict between the Old Gods and the New Gods, who grow stronger each day. In May 2017, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on March 10, 2019. The following week, Starz renewed American Gods for the third season, which premiered on January 10, 2021. In March 2021, the series was canceled after three seasons.

The series received praise for its visual style and acting and received two nominations at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Main Title Design and Outstanding Special Visual Effects. It also received three nominations at the 8th Critics’ Choice Television Awards, including Best Drama Series, Best Actor in a Drama Series for McShane, and Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Gillian Anderson.

Near mint, 1st print. Bagged & Boarded.