Exclusive: First Look At American Gods Comic Character Designs

Already considered a modern classic, American Gods turned classic mythology on its head, while creating a postmodern fable all its own. Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Neil Gaiman spins an inventive yarn about ex-con Shadow Moon, a man caught between the coming war between the ancient gods (such the Norse and Christian deities) and contemporary gods (Media and Technology). Last year, Starz announced their forthcoming adaptation of the beloved book as a television series, with renowned creator/showrunner Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and producer Michael Green (Smallville) bringing their own visual interpretation to the Gaiman's tale.

Fans excited to watch their favorite characters come to life, though, will have to wait until it debuts in April, unless they luck into a South By Southwest screening. Fortunately, for those who can’t make it to SXSW but just can't wait, America Gods' own four color format is heading to print a little bit sooner.

In a Screen Rant exclusive, comic publisher Dark Horse reveals their extensive (and reportedly faithful) 27-issue adaptation of Gaiman’s engrossing tale. We have a first look at the character designs by Scott Hampton (Hellboy) who provide illustrations for P. Craig Russell (The Sandman: Dream Hunters) who is co-scripting the comic book take (along with Gaiman).  We also have three covers of the #1 issue and a preview sequence:

[vn_gallery name="American Gods: Shadows #1 – Comic Book Preview" id="893603"]

The extensive plot will be broken down into three sections with nine issues each, telling three smaller story arcs, including Shadows, My Ainsel, and The Moment of the Storm. The first issue is scheduled to arrive on March 15, at least half-a-month ahead of American Gods’ cable debut in April.

In addition to Hampton’s art, a rotating crew of guest artists will also provide panel work, with Walt Simonson (Thor), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Colleen Doran (The Sandman), and writer Russell also lending their talents to American Gods. Glen Fabry (Preacher) and Adam Brown (Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens) will also draw up covers, with David Mack (Kabuki) working on variants and legendary Sandman artist Dave McKean creating an alternate cover for the first issues. Dark Horse Publisher Mike Richardson expressed his excitement about the upcoming series, which will be released in America and the United Kingdom:

“Neil’s American Gods is on track to be the biggest comic book launch for Dark Horse Comics since the bestselling Fight Club 2 series. We’re thrilled with the book’s amazing creative team, and with the series generating international headlines, I’m very pleased to let fans know that Dark Horse will be releasing the American Gods comic books in the UK.”

In light of Gaiman's numerous contributions to the comic book realm, in particular his critically lauded run on Sandman, Dark Horse’s comic book adaption is an appropriate tribute to his long-form vision. Landing in advance of the TV production should also prove beneficial, since both comic lovers and those curious about the American Gods series can get an early look at the author’s clever and darkly funny tale in a different format – giving fans of the novel a chance to see their favorite characters like Mr. Wednesday, Shadow Moon, Mr. Nancy, and Media realized sequentially and visually before the Starz premiere.

Of course, viewers and comic fans can expect the Dark Horse series and cable saga to tell somewhat varied tales. Although both mediums are image-oriented and the source material is the same, adapting the novel to television versus comic books offers an entirely different set of circumstances and challenges, ones which should make both takes unique in their own right; giving fans of American Gods an entertaining fable set to unravels in two varied mediums.

Next: American Gods to Premiere at SXSW 2017

American Gods: Shadows #1 arrives on March 15, 2017.

Source: Dark Horse

Key Release Dates
  • American Gods release date:
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