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American Gods Volume 1: Shadows

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This supernatural American road trip fantasy tells the story of a war between the ancient and modern gods. The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning novel and new Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a graphic novel for the first time! The first in a three-volume adaptation of Neil Gaiman's modern classic! Shadow Moon gets out of j This supernatural American road trip fantasy tells the story of a war between the ancient and modern gods. The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning novel and new Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a graphic novel for the first time! The first in a three-volume adaptation of Neil Gaiman's modern classic! Shadow Moon gets out of jail only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain where to go from here, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard--thrusting Shadow into a deadly world where ghosts of the past come back from the dead, and a god war is imminent. Collecting the first nine issues of the American Gods comic book series, along with art process features, high res scans of original art, layouts, character designs, and variant covers by BECKY CLOONAN, SKOTTIE YOUNG, FÁBIO MOON, DAVE MCKEAN, and MORE!


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This supernatural American road trip fantasy tells the story of a war between the ancient and modern gods. The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning novel and new Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a graphic novel for the first time! The first in a three-volume adaptation of Neil Gaiman's modern classic! Shadow Moon gets out of j This supernatural American road trip fantasy tells the story of a war between the ancient and modern gods. The Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award-winning novel and new Starz television series by Neil Gaiman is adapted as a graphic novel for the first time! The first in a three-volume adaptation of Neil Gaiman's modern classic! Shadow Moon gets out of jail only to discover his wife is dead. Defeated, broke, and uncertain where to go from here, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who employs him to serve as his bodyguard--thrusting Shadow into a deadly world where ghosts of the past come back from the dead, and a god war is imminent. Collecting the first nine issues of the American Gods comic book series, along with art process features, high res scans of original art, layouts, character designs, and variant covers by BECKY CLOONAN, SKOTTIE YOUNG, FÁBIO MOON, DAVE MCKEAN, and MORE!

30 review for American Gods Volume 1: Shadows

  1. 4 out of 5

    Swaroop

    American Gods: Shadows #1 is a visually appealing and nice piece of artwork! Of course, this graphic adaptation is not as good as the masterpiece novel, but it's a cool way to recollect all those memorable memories from Neil Gaiman's American Gods However, my recommendation would be to first read the book - because that's where you will experience the true and original Gaiman! American Gods: Shadows #1 is a visually appealing and nice piece of artwork! Of course, this graphic adaptation is not as good as the masterpiece novel, but it's a cool way to recollect all those memorable memories from Neil Gaiman's American Gods However, my recommendation would be to first read the book - because that's where you will experience the true and original Gaiman!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    I'll admit it: I can't get enough of Gaiman's take on all kinds of gods and mythological beings so as soon as I was made aware of a graphic novel version, I had to check it out. The story is more or less the same as in the novel/TV show: Shadow has spend a few years in prison and shortly before he is about to be released, his wife dies in a car accident. With no home to go back to and no job (his best friend, who had held a spot for him, died in the same car crash), he accepts the offer of the mys I'll admit it: I can't get enough of Gaiman's take on all kinds of gods and mythological beings so as soon as I was made aware of a graphic novel version, I had to check it out. The story is more or less the same as in the novel/TV show: Shadow has spend a few years in prison and shortly before he is about to be released, his wife dies in a car accident. With no home to go back to and no job (his best friend, who had held a spot for him, died in the same car crash), he accepts the offer of the mysterious Mr. Wednesday to become "his man". But what started out as a sinmple gig as the bodyguard to a hustler soon beconmes very confusing and dangerous as there are several parties involved, not all benevolent. And Shadow soon doesn't know whom to trust or what to think of the people that claim to be gods. This first volumes tells the story up to the point when Shadow is leaving Jakal and Ibis after helping them out with their funeral home for a while. For anyone wanting to know my opinion of the story itself, please read my review for the novel here (print) and here (audio). What is left to say about this adaptation? Well, it is rather remarkable that this story can be told in so many different ways and holds up in all of them. This comic version is no different. The story sucks you right in and the art makes everything come to life. Some characters were not drawn the way I had imagined them (or how they are shown in the TV show) and the art in general wasn't always 100% to my liking (too "ugly") but it was always done on purpose and worked very well for the different episodes (flashbacks to ancient times as well as the different POVs in present day). Moreover, this volume includes some seriously gorgeous cover art!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    I read the book over 15 years ago, but this is one of the most faithful adaptations I can remember. I found myself instantly transported back to my first time reading the book. Long time Gaiman collaborator, P. Craig Wilson, gets the pacing right, letting the story dictate the pace of the comic letting it take as many issues as it takes to tell the story properly. Adaptations can often just be paragraphs of text with some pretty picture. Thankfully, that's not the case. Gaiman's wonderful prose I read the book over 15 years ago, but this is one of the most faithful adaptations I can remember. I found myself instantly transported back to my first time reading the book. Long time Gaiman collaborator, P. Craig Wilson, gets the pacing right, letting the story dictate the pace of the comic letting it take as many issues as it takes to tell the story properly. Adaptations can often just be paragraphs of text with some pretty picture. Thankfully, that's not the case. Gaiman's wonderful prose is still here but is edited down to what is needed to tell the story in a visual medium. Scott Hampton abandons his painted style except for one surreal sequence, opting for concise pencils instead. Colleen Doran, Glen Fabry, Walt Simonson and more are brought in to tell the stories of the gods peppered throughout the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Right up there with 300, Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Maus - the cycle of deicide we have set in motion for our own purposes is looked at in a profoundly unique way.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Devann

    Listen, I love American Gods. I don't necessarily have a 'top 5 novels' list, but if I wanted to sit down and make myself be decisive, American Gods would probably be in it. Why the lower rating then? Because at least 95% of this is just word for word exactly what happens in the book. I know that some people are going to love that, but I just reread the book last year so I'm kind of sitting here like 'what is the point then'. I guess the artwork could be the point, but I'm not exactly wild about Listen, I love American Gods. I don't necessarily have a 'top 5 novels' list, but if I wanted to sit down and make myself be decisive, American Gods would probably be in it. Why the lower rating then? Because at least 95% of this is just word for word exactly what happens in the book. I know that some people are going to love that, but I just reread the book last year so I'm kind of sitting here like 'what is the point then'. I guess the artwork could be the point, but I'm not exactly wild about it either. I much prefer adaptations when the person obviously understands the source material enough to change things up or even add things while still staying true to the tone of the original. I know a lot of people are diehard 'adapt the book line for line into a comic/TV show/movie' fans, and those people will love this, but to me that's just boring because why do the exact same thing twice?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    I was going to wait for these to come out in a collection, but I happened to be at the comic book store in Brockport and they had the first 6 issues on the shelf, with the P. Craig Russell covers. Sorry, credit card… I love “American Gods”: it is easily one of my top ten favorite books of all times, and P. Craig Russell knows just how to turn Neil Gaiman’s words into beautiful illustrations (just see “Murder Mysteries” ), so I definitely picked this up with a favorable prejudice. But as you may k I was going to wait for these to come out in a collection, but I happened to be at the comic book store in Brockport and they had the first 6 issues on the shelf, with the P. Craig Russell covers. Sorry, credit card… I love “American Gods”: it is easily one of my top ten favorite books of all times, and P. Craig Russell knows just how to turn Neil Gaiman’s words into beautiful illustrations (just see “Murder Mysteries” ), so I definitely picked this up with a favorable prejudice. But as you may know, when you love a book, you can easily get fiercely defensive if you feel the transition to another media doesn’t quite work… This graphic novel really can’t be referred to as a comic book because it really is an illustrated version of the first chapter of the original novel. Not quite word for word, but it keeps Neil’s beautiful prose, making it rather text-heavy for a comic book, and guides you through the story with the illustrations. Now Russell is a bit abstract as far as comic artists go: if you are used to very sharp and highly detailed illustrations, you might find this a little vague and water-color-y. I personally really enjoy his style specifically because it is so unique and so different from traditional comic art, but it really is a question of personal taste. If there’s any nitpicking to be done, I’ll go ahead and say that my only problem is that the characters look nothing like how I pictured them in my puny brain when I read the original novel (same goes for the cast of the TV show, and I loved it passionately anyway, so obviously it’s a minor nitpicking). As I read the book, I wondered: can I really hold it against an artist that they didn’t draw those characters exactly the way I had imagined them? I could, but that would hardly be fair: the poor guy is not in my head, and that’s not his job. So what if his Mr. Wednesday is not exactly like MY Mr. Wednesday? Isn’t it perfectly appropriate that we should all see him a bit differently? Highly recommended to curious Gaiman newbies and fans of the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    First off, I haven’t read the original American Gods novel or seen the television show, so I have no idea how closely this graphic novel follows the story. I can only rate it on its own merits as a graphic novel. And I have to say, this was an excellent reading and visual experience for me. I’ll come right out and admit that I’m not a big fan of Gaiman, but for some reason, I keep giving him more chances to impress me or at the very least, not disappoint me, as I read book after book by him. Thi First off, I haven’t read the original American Gods novel or seen the television show, so I have no idea how closely this graphic novel follows the story. I can only rate it on its own merits as a graphic novel. And I have to say, this was an excellent reading and visual experience for me. I’ll come right out and admit that I’m not a big fan of Gaiman, but for some reason, I keep giving him more chances to impress me or at the very least, not disappoint me, as I read book after book by him. This is one of the reasons I chose to read this story as a graphic novel since it seemed a safer bet than reading the book with at least some great artwork to carry me through it. But now, I’m intrigued, and I’m thinking about going back to read the book at some point once I’ve finished all three volumes in the graphic novel series. In volume one, Shadow Moon has been doing his time in prison for the past three years and is about to be released. He’s done some reflecting during that time and is determined not to mess his life up again. He has a loving wife waiting for him and a best friend offering him a job upon his release, so he can’t wait to start over again. But only days before his release, he finds out his wife has died in a car accident and he soon learns his best friend died along with her. So now, he’s heading home to nothing when he encounters a strange man on the plane who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. He persuades Shadow to take a job with him, as a right hand man of sorts. But just who is this mysterious Mr. Wednesday and what is Shadow’s part in the man’s shadowy business affairs? Plagued by nightmares and awakening horrors, Shadow gradually finds out the answers to these questions and more as the old gods get ready to do battle with the new gods in America. I think this story is more relevant than ever today than when it was first published in 2001, considering the current political climate in the US and what those governing now seem to value. So I’m curious to see where this story will go in the next two volumes and where the US will stand by the time I’m done reading them. If I have to complain about anything, it would be that the character development is fairly slim in the graphic novel with Shadow Moon passively doing what he must as deemed by Mr. Wednesday, no matter where it takes him or how distasteful it is. He’s like a wind up man, tottering here and there at his boss’ request with little thought about what he desires for himself. And Wednesday, he’s a cipher, definitely in command, but seemingly without force does he force others to do his bidding. But maybe this surface treatment of the characters also works to the story’s advantage, in keeping with the strange dreamlike quality Shadow’s life has taken on. As I mentioned, the artwork, done by multiple graphic artists, is excellent in varying styles, from beautiful watercolor scenes in pastel colors to near photo realistic, full color scenes done in deep, harsh tones. These pictures were probably worth a thousand words each, literally, in conveying the story since at times the text was limited. But at other times, the text took over as old folklore tales came to life and enriched the novel. So this graphic novel is both a good introduction to this story or a great supplement to it for those who’ve read the original book already and want more. I’m looking forward to reading the next two volumes as soon as they’re published. And in the meantime, I’ll continue reading about the old gods and myths which I couldn’t help researching online while reading this novel.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    An absolutely stunning adaptation of the first half (I think. It's been way too long since I read it, so the details are hazy) of Neil Gaiman’s classic novel! Shadow has just been released from prison. His world has been upended because the wife he thought was waiting for him has just died in a car accident, the incident in fact prompting his release a couple of days early. In a semi-daze, he begins the journey home. On a plane, he finds himself sitting beside a man who seems to know exactly who An absolutely stunning adaptation of the first half (I think. It's been way too long since I read it, so the details are hazy) of Neil Gaiman’s classic novel! Shadow has just been released from prison. His world has been upended because the wife he thought was waiting for him has just died in a car accident, the incident in fact prompting his release a couple of days early. In a semi-daze, he begins the journey home. On a plane, he finds himself sitting beside a man who seems to know exactly who he is. This is seemingly impossible because, through a chain of events including a missed flight and a complementary upgrade to first class, there is no way anyone could have predicted where he would be sitting. And yet the man--Mr. Wednesday, he asks Shadow to call him--greets him by name, and even knows of his wife's death. He offers Shadow a job as his assistant/chauffeur/bodyguard. He says there's a storm coming, and it soon becomes apparent that Wednesday is more than he seems … There's a struggle for power going on, between the old gods and the new. Everyone seems to want Shadow on their side, and there's also the issue of his dead wife, who is definitely dead, but insists on showing up at odd times anyway. It's also a glorious road trip through the American midwest. This is one of the best prose-to-comics adaptations I’ve ever seen. Too often these projects either condense things to an absurd degree, or are much too reverent towards the source material, cramming whole pages of the Author’s Sacred Prose into speech balloons and captions, slowing the reader’s pace to a crawl. The pacing is just right on this book, though, and it appears that Dark Horse has granted the creative team all the space they need to do a proper job of it. The art is lovely! Scott Hampton, P. Craig Russell, and Glenn Fabry (and Walt Simonson and Colleen Doran) have never looked better. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next volume. Highly recommended!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    American Gods Vol 1 covers all the material in the novel up to Shadow going to Lakeside. This comic is obviously an adaptation of the novel. The gist? Shadow is let out of prison early due to the death of his wife. He meets Mr. Wednesday and is hired. Mr. Wednesday is actually Odin and is recruiting Shadow to help the Old Gods in a fight against the New Gods (tv, highways, internet, etc). As a side note-Wednesday has a few different origins, depending on what language you are using. In Old English American Gods Vol 1 covers all the material in the novel up to Shadow going to Lakeside. This comic is obviously an adaptation of the novel. The gist? Shadow is let out of prison early due to the death of his wife. He meets Mr. Wednesday and is hired. Mr. Wednesday is actually Odin and is recruiting Shadow to help the Old Gods in a fight against the New Gods (tv, highways, internet, etc). As a side note-Wednesday has a few different origins, depending on what language you are using. In Old English (English spoken by the Anglo-Saxon settlers from roughly 450-1066) it was Wōdnesdæg, in Middle English (English as it was spoken 1066- Late 15th Century) it was Wednesdei. Both mean "Woden's Day" or "Odin's Day" (Odin and Woden, as well as Wotan, are all the same guy but Odin is Norse and Woden is Germanic). Though the current spelling of Wednesday, likely derives from the Old Frisian (Old Frisian is a West Germanic language spoken between the 8th and 16th centuries in the area between the Rhine and Weser on the European North Sea coast) version which was wednesdei. If you speak French or Italian then it is mercredi or mercoledì, respectively. That means "day of Mercury" (from the Latin dies Mercurii). If you are wondering how Odin got mixed up with Mercury, in approximately 170 AD Vettius Valens (an astrologer and contemporary of Ptolemy) spoke of the Germanic God named "Wodanaz" or "Germanic Mercury". So now you know. Umm back to the comic- so Shadow and Odin wander around America trying to recruit the Old Gods to come fight. It is a trippy story as only Gaiman could tell. The comic form works well due to the visual medium being an excellent vehicle in helping the reader to visualize the story. I rather enjoyed the art work and it helped to give me an idea of what Shadow/Mr. Wednesday or even Mad Sweeny looked like. There is obviously a Vol 2, as this volume ends with Shadow going to Lakeside, WI. If you enjoyed the novel then you will appreciate this excellent adaptation. If you haven't-then you will still enjoy this excellent tale, but certainly do pick up the next volume.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Antonomasia

    I'm not sure I've read the American Gods novel in full since 2002 or 3, so a lot of this post is about differences between the comic and the TV series, and it may not be of much interest to those who haven't seen the series. Maybe comics are a very small world - or maybe the comics that interest me are a very small world. Last month I read collected volumes 1-5 of Hellblazer, issues 1-46, originally published 1988- 91. Neil Gaiman wrote a guest issue, and Glenn Fabry was a noted cover artist for I'm not sure I've read the American Gods novel in full since 2002 or 3, so a lot of this post is about differences between the comic and the TV series, and it may not be of much interest to those who haven't seen the series. Maybe comics are a very small world - or maybe the comics that interest me are a very small world. Last month I read collected volumes 1-5 of Hellblazer, issues 1-46, originally published 1988- 91. Neil Gaiman wrote a guest issue, and Glenn Fabry was a noted cover artist for the series. The Neil Gaiman connection here goes without saying, but American Gods: Shadows (2017) has spectacular covers by Fabry - which I didn't know when I decided to read it. A number of them, I'd say, are more interesting art than the Hellblazer covers. (Okay, that's partly because I find it weird when he makes Constantine look like Rik Mayall - but these AG covers are wonderfully detailed works of art.) Not only that, but when I hit the 'Coming to America' mini story about Salim and the Ifrit, I thought, 'this is the best panel art in the whole damn book, whose is it?' It was Fabry, the only set of panels he'd drawn in it. (Another weird little parallel with Hellblazer was the way the vertical scar over Wednesday's eye is the same as that on Simon Bisley's illustrations of Constantine for the late-series covers of the late 00s and early 2010s. Maybe it's just an easy way to draw a character with a scarred eye?) The main art, by Scott Hampton, did the job and was basically unobjectionable. Though I do like something a bit more detailed or characterful. The very best thing he drew IMO was winter trees in the background… Although some illustrations invoke the TV series, for the most part it's obvious this comic is adapted from a novel. There are a lot of panels where the descriptions aren't the sort where every word counts and - even if they've been trimmed a bit - evoke prose writing that expects to go on for paragraphs. I'd love to know more about the timing and relationship between the comic and the TV series. Some characters in the comic look so much like the actors that they have to have been based on the TV versions, especially the Ifrit. Many others look like totally different people, but occasionally take on facial expressions just like their actors, as Wednesday and Salim each did once or twice. Where character appearances differed between comic and TV, usually the comic version made more sense - even whilst the actors are excellent in their roles. Scraggy comics Mad Sweeney looks like my old idea of the character from the novel - much like the Rainbow Riches leprechaun - and fittingly dressed like William H. Macy in Shameless USA; less telegenic than the Conor McGregor lookalike he is on TV. Ian McShane inhabits the role of Wednesday perfectly (plus he seems to evoke Gaiman as RL presiding spirit), and as a result the comics incarnation, who looks different, doesn't seem to have anything like as much charisma. But at the same time, if you'd heard without further info that McShane was playing a modern version of an ancient god, you'd probably assume from his looks that it would be Greek or Roman; this taller, red-headed Wednesday is more like the standard fictional and artistic idea of a Norse god. (Albeit it's Thor who was nicknamed Redbeard in sagas.) The comics gods are mostly older in appearance than their TV counterparts, which makes sense in their stories. I think it gives the show more vibrancy to have them a variety of ages - I'm not sure if this is ageism on my part but. In particular Mr. Nancy in the TV series, with his BLM-relevant speeches, it seemed fitting to make younger. Perhaps the biggest difference is in minor characters: for example, Bilquis' first conquest(?) is much better looking in the comic than on TV. The biggest difference between the comic & novel, and the TV show, is in Laura's story (and her team-up with the longer-lived TV Mad Sweeney and the younger TV Salim, the latter whom I find very likeable). In the novel, I found Laura & Shadow boring. I did too the first time I watched the TV series (only 4 episodes). But then when I watched it again, and the whole series and the next, I thought she was a great character, anything but boring. Laura in the comic was a travel agent and wears a sensible skirt suit, and basically seems (so far) responsible except for her affair. On TV she was, when alive, a small-time bad girl who never managed to get her life to match her ambitions. As a zombie, she's been forced to exchange sex appeal for brute strength; she grapples implicitly with this, loving the strength that means she can now back up her confrontational nature, but feeling lost that she can't flirt effectively or be physically desirable any longer. There's something epic about the force of her personality, even more so because it's made tragic by her limited lifespan as a zombie. And, even more so after the episode in the second series where 18th century hustler Essie McGowan (Essie Tregowan in the comic and novel) is played by the same actress as Laura, Laura seems like a frustrated trickster goddess in waiting - a type of woman who's existed for all of history, making her fortune via seduction, sneakiness and petty crime because that was usually the only possibility if not born rich, and it required a lot of guts and ability to ignore social norms - and for whom there should have been a sacred avatar. Except that she's of a type that's rarely been respected unless they made it all the way up to Empress or similar. So yeah, it's a bit flat to come back to this more normal sensible version of Laura. Racial ambiguity is a significant part of Shadow's life story and appearance in the novel, and it's easier to drawn that in a comic than it is to cast in someone who is *also* a good actor for the role in other respects. As the comic follows the 2001 novel, it has less to say about race, whilst the TV series has made itself more contemporary by making present in the directing, and subtly in the script, questions like "How is it for Shadow being around all these old white gods?" There seems to be an almost constant racial tension in the show, and sometimes an overt sense of menace mingled with old white people's clumsiness, as between Czernobog and Shadow. Yet, for some reason I have never been able to fathom, Shadow in the TV series, although it's emphasised he's an intelligent, well-read guy, is weirdly slow to suspect/understand who the gods are. (IMO even if he's sceptical, he would twig their identities soon enough, he might just think it was a dream or hallucination.) Shadow in the comic is quicker on the uptake about this - which is good. Sam Tallbear is another character who's been altered somewhat for the TV series to make her a stronger and more contemporary representation - and her story about the Norse gods Coming to America is used at the start of the TV series, replacing the one about Vikings killing a Skraeling (Indian). The TV series (despite the very stupid decision to fire Orlando Jones) projects a sense of contemporary centre-left social responsibility when set alongside the comic & novel, written at a time when pop culture was less overtly political - a sense of responsibility also evident in the decision not to include fringe historical theories about e.g. the Ainu, or Egyptians, the Welsh or Irish, or West Africans, or the Chinese reaching America before Columbus. (Although they've still left in the lines about America being a bad land for gods, which have never made a great deal of sense - and were among the first flaws I became aware of in the novel, and which demoted it from my all-time favourites.) The comic is uneven about updating smaller details for the present: Shadow has an e-ticket for the plane, and a vision is described as 'streaming images' but a bankrupt-stock warehouse still contains Ninja Turtle toys and Bill Clinton watches, as it would have in 2001. (Did the writer think it would be too depressing for the audience to change the latter to Obama memorabilia?) And sometimes I'm just confused: the current version of the novel ('author's preferred edition') totally misses out the scene shown in the TV series where Audrey tries to have sex with Shadow after the funerals. I *think* that in the original novel they actually did - that scene made an impression on me when I was younger - but that's not easy to check now. Some reviews from readers who read the comic soon after the novel suggest it may get repetitive to read both in a short space of time. However, for someone like me, who wouldn't mind a refresher on the novel, but doesn't really want to do 600 pages worth of re-reading, it makes sense. For all that I've mentioned a few criticisms here, I enjoyed this adaptation and found it interesting to see how this story worked in another medium.

  11. 5 out of 5

    mayy

    That was really good. Very original concept with very beautifully original illustrations. I love Neil Gaiman and I love this story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    DNF @ 40% There's a lot going on here, but I'm bored. I've now tried reading the original novel and this graphic format, and I think the story just doesn't do anything for me. 🤷‍♀️ DNF @ 40% There's a lot going on here, but I'm bored. I've now tried reading the original novel and this graphic format, and I think the story just doesn't do anything for me. 🤷‍♀️

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Basically, Re-read. Review - https://youtu.be/mNMgDjEK48k Basically, Re-read. Review - https://youtu.be/mNMgDjEK48k

  14. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    I’m not sure what I was expecting from this, but it wasn’t a word-for-word presentation of the novel itself. The only difference was the inclusion of the, well, graphics. I think this three-part series of graphic novels would be perfect for someone who hasn’t yet read the book, or a superfan looking for a slightly different experience that doesn’t change a thing about the story they love. However, as someone who likes the book a good deal without quite loving it, and who has read the novel more I’m not sure what I was expecting from this, but it wasn’t a word-for-word presentation of the novel itself. The only difference was the inclusion of the, well, graphics. I think this three-part series of graphic novels would be perfect for someone who hasn’t yet read the book, or a superfan looking for a slightly different experience that doesn’t change a thing about the story they love. However, as someone who likes the book a good deal without quite loving it, and who has read the novel more than once, this felt incredibly repetitive to me in spite of the art. Also, there is some really weird sexual content in this story that is much easier to skim over when presented in pure prose. Some of the images that accompanied these scenes in the graphic novel iteration were difficult to stomach. But as always, Gaiman tells an incredibly interesting story. As this is such a faithful, virtually unabridged version of the novel, I will be skipping the other two volumes of this series for now. But, like I said, I can see this being a huge hit for both superfans and newcomers alike.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kati

    I wanted to read more graphic novels and more books by Neil Gaiman so when I was looking through overdrive I came across the graphic novel of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I thought this was a perfect book for me to read because this book was actually what I was looking for in the first place. I've been wanted to read the physical book of American God by Neil Gaiman for a long time now because I want to watch the tv show so I decided to read the American Gods graphic novel first to see what I th I wanted to read more graphic novels and more books by Neil Gaiman so when I was looking through overdrive I came across the graphic novel of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I thought this was a perfect book for me to read because this book was actually what I was looking for in the first place. I've been wanted to read the physical book of American God by Neil Gaiman for a long time now because I want to watch the tv show so I decided to read the American Gods graphic novel first to see what I think about the plotline and aspect of the book. And I loved and enjoyed this amazing graphic novel so much that in November I'm going to read the physical book on audio through overdrive because the physical book is a huge book it is over 635 pages long, so there is no way I'm going to read the physical book plus I am really loving listening to audiobooks this year. I won't get into any details about this graphic novel because I think every reader knows what American Gods is all about plus I think readers should check out this graphic novel and see what they think about it themselves. But my favorite part of this graphic novel is the artwork it was so beautifully artistic that I just love how the artwork brought each character to life in this graphic novel. I just could stare on and on of the artwork for a long time. All and all I loved and enjoyed the graphic novel of American Gods I can't wait to read more Neil Gaiman books soon!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    It's a visual take of American Gods - which I loved (book and TV show). So, I went into this expecting an easy 5 starrer. I wasn't disappointed. This story works incredibly well in a visual medium, and I highly recommend checking this out or the TV show if you like the book. Well worth it. It's a visual take of American Gods - which I loved (book and TV show). So, I went into this expecting an easy 5 starrer. I wasn't disappointed. This story works incredibly well in a visual medium, and I highly recommend checking this out or the TV show if you like the book. Well worth it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Trang Tran (Bookidote)

    I loved this graphic novel, even better than the novel itself. I think American Gods is a story that need visuals to come alive.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Petergiaquinta

    Not as rich as the book, but a whole lot better than the Showtime series, this first part of Neil Gaiman's graphic novel adaptation of his American Gods takes Shadow Moon from the penitentiary through his experience in Cairo, IL, with Ibis and Jacquel. Don't get me wrong; there are moments in the Showtime series when everything feels like it's running on all cylinders and its extra material and camera work add a mind-blowing visual dimension to Gaiman's original, with both its imaginative depicti Not as rich as the book, but a whole lot better than the Showtime series, this first part of Neil Gaiman's graphic novel adaptation of his American Gods takes Shadow Moon from the penitentiary through his experience in Cairo, IL, with Ibis and Jacquel. Don't get me wrong; there are moments in the Showtime series when everything feels like it's running on all cylinders and its extra material and camera work add a mind-blowing visual dimension to Gaiman's original, with both its imaginative depictions of the Old Gods as well as its vision of a decrepit America, an America replete with shitty roadside attractions, decaying towns, and crappy diners. But inevitably, nearly every episode of the show seems to break down by the end leaving me dissatisfied, and ultimately despite so many excellent visuals at work, the tone rarely matches that of Gaiman's original, and the New Gods never feel quite right, especially Mr. World. But here, unlike in the show, Gaiman is doing the adaptation himself and he manages to do a much better job of capturing the tone of his novel, although there are a few things that don't come together very well thus far. For example, the conflict with the New Gods has not been vocalized very clearly so far, and although the scene with Media's incarnation through Lucille Ball works well, the depiction of Tech Boy really falls flat. As long as Gaiman is around to tinker with the material and communicate with the artists, I imagine the product will be pleasing. The problem with the show, as with the recent seasons of Game of Thrones, is that when lesser talents presume to pick up the narrative threads left to them by far greater writers, they can't help but fuck it all up. Anyway, despite the graphic novel's ridiculous depiction of Mr. Wednesday, who looks here like some smarmy Eurotrash real estate agent (Ian McShane may look nothing like how I pictured Wednesday in the book, but he has managed to make the All-Father all his own), and its tendency to move too quickly through the material (we need more of the back stories, especially the coming-to-America stories), Volume 1 of American Gods will not fail to please fans of Gaiman's book. Here's hoping I can find Volume 2...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    I am some what surprised that I was luke warm on this. I was expecting a lot from this graphic novel and it started well for me, but i found the last half of the book really heavy going. I think there was just too much going on, with the storyline and with the art, I just found it mentally tiring to read. So overall was left a little disappointed. I am wondering if a 'less is more' approach would not have been better with this story. I am some what surprised that I was luke warm on this. I was expecting a lot from this graphic novel and it started well for me, but i found the last half of the book really heavy going. I think there was just too much going on, with the storyline and with the art, I just found it mentally tiring to read. So overall was left a little disappointed. I am wondering if a 'less is more' approach would not have been better with this story.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mr Osowski

    Great adaptation of the first part of the novel.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I read the original novel ten years ago and enjoyed it a lot. So I was a bit disappointed when I watched the TV adaptation last year and found it a bit frustrating; I liked the visuals and the acting, but the scripts were pretty weak and didn't seem to line up completely with my memories of the book. This adaptation seems more faithful, though like the rest of Dark Horse's Neil Gaiman Library of graphic adaptations it is also a bit stiff and lifeless. At least I can better remember what I liked I read the original novel ten years ago and enjoyed it a lot. So I was a bit disappointed when I watched the TV adaptation last year and found it a bit frustrating; I liked the visuals and the acting, but the scripts were pretty weak and didn't seem to line up completely with my memories of the book. This adaptation seems more faithful, though like the rest of Dark Horse's Neil Gaiman Library of graphic adaptations it is also a bit stiff and lifeless. At least I can better remember what I liked from the original novel, even if the magic isn't quite all there.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Having read the book and loving it, knowing that a graphic adaptation was out there, I was left wondering if it was any different. This is a fairly word per word version of the first arc of the novel which was great to read again but the artwork itself was not as engrossing and in some scenes didn't do enough justice to the scenes as written but I did love some of the David Mack pieces that are in between the issues but then again it was hard to not love them with their color and touch of magic. I Having read the book and loving it, knowing that a graphic adaptation was out there, I was left wondering if it was any different. This is a fairly word per word version of the first arc of the novel which was great to read again but the artwork itself was not as engrossing and in some scenes didn't do enough justice to the scenes as written but I did love some of the David Mack pieces that are in between the issues but then again it was hard to not love them with their color and touch of magic. I think this is one of those books that my imagination is best imaging the scenes rather than having an artist interpretation of them so I might just reread the book yet again.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. When thinking about literary Gods, Neil Gaiman comes to mind. His accomplishments so far have successfully garnered an incredible fan base that will hands-down praise his work forever. If you have ever read any of his work, you will notice that his fascination for dreams and mythologies is unprecedented, as his portrayal of his ideas reaches deep into the realm of creativity. American Gods is one of those work of fiction that successfully convey You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. When thinking about literary Gods, Neil Gaiman comes to mind. His accomplishments so far have successfully garnered an incredible fan base that will hands-down praise his work forever. If you have ever read any of his work, you will notice that his fascination for dreams and mythologies is unprecedented, as his portrayal of his ideas reaches deep into the realm of creativity. American Gods is one of those work of fiction that successfully conveys his love for mythology and explores a whole cultural dilemma lived by many who often travel to lands where they discover a colossal clash of cultures. While it was a long ride when I first read it, it was still a very thought-provoking read that only offered its readers any form of gratification upon reaching the ending. With a comic book adaptation of his work, it was only a matter of time before his imagination was put to even better use. What is American Gods: Shadows about? Upon his release from prison, Shadow Moon is lost in a world that he has yet to acclimate to as he discovers tragic news regarding his wife. While he dreaded this opportunity at a second chance, never would he have imagined it to kick off as it did. In denial, he continues with his plans until he crosses paths with the mysterious Mr. Wednesday who wishes to employ him. His demeanor and knowledge of the world, as well as Shadow’s personal life, astonishes him and leads him to ponder Mr. Wednesday’s proposition. What could possibly go wrong if he were to serve him as his bodyguard? Unfortunately for him, a storm is brewing and it is far bigger than he could have ever imaged it. Based entirely on Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, this first volume collects issues #1-9 and covers part of the original story and more. When I first read the novel, I felt like I was being dragged around to different pit stops that would commence a whole new adventure with mysterious people who hide their real intentions until it’s too late to realize. Sooner or later you realize where the story is headed, you start to connect the dots and you understand that this isn’t a story focused solely on Shadow. This is a story that looks beyond his environment and into the world of Gods. While his decisions are the driving force of this novel, it is a game of ideologies that is ultimately explored in the background. To understand it all, you, unfortunately, need to stick around till the last pit stop and you need to take a moment to reflect on the whole trip. While Neil Gaiman’s writing style is what saves his novel from being dropped by many halfway through the adventure, the comic book format does an even better job in not only being loyal to the novel’s content but to give it the perfect pacing that allows the reader to quickly consume all the information and grasp the scope envisioned by Neil Gaiman for this story. The artwork in American Gods: Shadows is appreciable. It is nothing that would maintain your jaw glued to the ground but it grows on you as the story progresses. At first glance, it leaves a poor impression with a style that remains rough and blurry with very little attention to details, whether it’s the character designs or the environment. Most of the appeal comes from symbolism and imagery amplified by Scott Hampton’s style. Some of the side-stories featuring Gods are also drawn by other artists who each embrace their styles and allow the story to proliferate and elevate Neil Gaiman’s ideas to new heights. With artwork by Walter Simonson, Colleen Doran, and Glenn Fabry, the creative team behind this volume is solid and each of their roles within the narrative is justified without ever giving the reader the impression that they are reading the work of multiple artists. As you reach the ending, you also come to realize that the art style perfectly fits with Neil Gaiman’s imagination and conveys his exotic and eccentric ideas focused on dreams and mythos. American Gods: Shadows is an outstanding comic book adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel and triumphantly translates visually the war between Gods in our time. Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: https://bookidote.com/

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    Beautiful, albeit perhaps overly cautious adaptation of Gaiman's famous book. While the recent TV show American Gods took a rather creative approach to retelling this story, the graphic novel is extremely faithful to the original novel. Some may love this; others may find it an unnecessary retelling. For what it is, the art is atmospheric and the pace consistent to what I want from the story. I love American Gods and I'm certainly not going to complain about getting another version! Beautiful, albeit perhaps overly cautious adaptation of Gaiman's famous book. While the recent TV show American Gods took a rather creative approach to retelling this story, the graphic novel is extremely faithful to the original novel. Some may love this; others may find it an unnecessary retelling. For what it is, the art is atmospheric and the pace consistent to what I want from the story. I love American Gods and I'm certainly not going to complain about getting another version!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Neil Gaiman is a wonder, and reminds me every time I read his work that his aesthetic is on an entirely different plane. The first volume of this three volume trilogy pays beautiful homage to the original novel, but it also is a wonderful reminder to the reader of how Neil Gaiman cut his teeth in the comics medium. Rather than just put out a simple comic book version of his book, Gaiman is able to create a beautiful and stirring graphic novel that doesn't just pay lip-service. This book is a rea Neil Gaiman is a wonder, and reminds me every time I read his work that his aesthetic is on an entirely different plane. The first volume of this three volume trilogy pays beautiful homage to the original novel, but it also is a wonderful reminder to the reader of how Neil Gaiman cut his teeth in the comics medium. Rather than just put out a simple comic book version of his book, Gaiman is able to create a beautiful and stirring graphic novel that doesn't just pay lip-service. This book is a real work of art and captures the love and attention to the myth of the American consciousness. There are problems with this book, as I'm sure it exists largely to plug the television series, but regardless the story lends itself fantastically to the medium of comics. There are moments in this text that were fine in prose, but now because they are blended with images they assume new meanings and sensations that are almost sublime. There is a beautiful idea in American Gods which is that gods are not just apathetic omnipotent beings, above humanity. They are humanity made manifest in often fallible forms. Whether it's jinns, leprechauns, Egyptian deities, the internet, television, cell phones, of the old father-trickster Odin, gods are as much a part of the human experience as the mortals that fashion them. American Gods is a chance to observe the eccentricities of humanity, and how they have developed into mythos and pantheons throughout the age. Our gods are ourselves, and they are just as fucked up as the rest of us. Long live Neil Gaiman!

  26. 5 out of 5

    mina

    I knew I wasn’t a Gaiman fan before picking this up and still I picked it up, which is something I regret now but what’s done is done. I wasn’t enjoying it but it was … okay I guess, however then there’s this scene with Lucy Ricardo who isn’t Lucy Ricardo (obviously) and “she” asks if he ever wanted to see Lucy’s tits… As someone who watched I love Lucy and really liked the series I found it distasteful.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Angie Pinchbeck

    This was a fantastic adaptation of the novel! The story didn't lag, and the art was gorgeous. This was a fantastic adaptation of the novel! The story didn't lag, and the art was gorgeous.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mladen

    Finally an adaptation worth the time (unlike that utterly dreadful TV series). Looking forward to vol. 2.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fats

    I haven't read the book (!!!) but I watched the TV series. This is the first volume of the graphic novel adaptation and my first time meeting Shadow, Mr Wednesday, and the rest of the lot. It was good but it didn't feel as epic as when I first read The Sandman series. Artwork was okay. Overall, a good read. I haven't read the book (!!!) but I watched the TV series. This is the first volume of the graphic novel adaptation and my first time meeting Shadow, Mr Wednesday, and the rest of the lot. It was good but it didn't feel as epic as when I first read The Sandman series. Artwork was okay. Overall, a good read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Savindi

    Amazing start. Art was great not much the drawings. Very beautiful.

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