This new issue, American Gods, My Ainsel #1, follows Shadow and Wednesday after their attack at The House on the Rock.
When the first story arc appeared, Geekdads and Geekmoms alike were thrilled: the best Neil Gaiman novel was finally being adapted, not only to the comic form, but to a brand new TV series as well.
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.
One of the big things that helped me progress from children to adult literature was a collection from Bruguera: a Spanish publishing company that featured classics adapted to comic form. In one page they presented the abridged novel, and next to it, they adapted it to a comic. That way, the narrative, the weird new words, the ambiance, were helped along with the visuals.
In that fashion, I read David Copperfield; Voyage to the Center of the Earth, and many others. I feel this could be true for this comic: if any teen that is old enough picks it up, they may want to read the novel next, and wonder at the possibilities contained in it. For me, this is a great way to attract new readers to the written word.
Writer: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
Artist: P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton Colorist: Scott Hampton
Cover Artist: David Mack
March 14, 2018
FC, 32 pages; Ongoing
Featured image by Scott Hampton, all images belong to Dark Horse Comics