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Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Grimey Drawer



Q: WHAT IS AMERICAN GODS?

A: You already know because you read the book.

Discuss all the book poo poo here, talk about what poo poo is different between the book and the show, speculate about what book poo poo is going to make it into future episodes, and keep that poo poo out of the other thread!

Q: WHERE CAN I WATCH AMERICAN GODS?

The first episode has dropped on Starz. It's available on Amazon Prime everywhere for free except where you need to input your Starz credentials

Q: WHAT'S DIFFERENT SO FAR?



Technical Boy in the book was a fat pimply nerd in a trenchcoat who wished he was in The Matrix. Since it's been a decade and a half since the book was written, the TV show portrays him as an annoying youtube personality. His limo now exists in virtual reality, and his henchmen, who were nondescript in the book, are now faceless assholes from the internet who are fans of the wrong parts of Clockwork Orange and have the polygon count of a PS2 videogame.



Steve Yun fucked around with this message at May 2, 2017 around 07:40

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Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

Could people please stop fighting the avatar war over my avatar. I really appreciate people being nice about it but I'm feeling crappier that people are wasting money because someone is an asshole than I am about the avatar in the first place.


spoilers

Goddamn Particle
Oct 10, 2013


It looks like Bilquis and her victim got updated in a similar but more subtle way than Technical Boy. In the book she's a sex worker, he's a john and he's kind of an rear end in a top hat, not a middle-aged divorcee getting back into the dating scene. The idea of a predatory woman going on Tinder and targeting a poor lonely dude who just wants to be loved is reminiscent of the things Red Pill types believe in. And most stories about gods have some element of "the belief shapes the god" so even though her origin is a millenia-old half-demon, she could have been changed somewhat by it.

JustinMorgan
Apr 27, 2010


I have to say I'm disappointed they're only going to be taking this season up to House on the Rock. That's barely 150 pages into the book, any ideas what they're using as filler? Doesn't Media not even show up until after that point?

precision
May 7, 2006

Double great.


JustinMorgan posted:

I have to say I'm disappointed they're only going to be taking this season up to House on the Rock. That's barely 150 pages into the book, any ideas what they're using as filler? Doesn't Media not even show up until after that point?

Her first scene is right after the House, yeah. Almost nothing happens before the House in the book, Shadow and Wednesday do the bank robbery and then go meet Mr. Nansi and that's pretty much it.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

daisy fresh and arrow straight


precision posted:

Her first scene is right after the House, yeah. Almost nothing happens before the House in the book, Shadow and Wednesday do the bank robbery and then go meet Mr. Nansi and that's pretty much it.

I thought the Chicago stuff happened before then? I'm looking forward to it, I spent a bunch of time with elderly Eastern European immigrant relatives as a kid and that part struck me as shockingly well-observed. I may have even been (jokingly) threatened with being hit with a hammer once or twice.

Also, thanks for the thread, OP!

Crow Jane fucked around with this message at May 2, 2017 around 11:47

JustinMorgan
Apr 27, 2010


Crow Jane posted:

I thought the Chicago stuff happened before then? I'm looking forward to it, I spent a bunch of time with elderly Eastern European immigrant relatives as a kid and that part struck me as shockingly well-observed. I may have even been (jokingly) threatened with being hit with a hammer once or twice.

Also, thanks for the thread, OP!

Oh no, I'm definitely looking forward to it. I'm just curious if anyone's hinted as to what material they're going to be using. I have Anansi Boys sitting on my shelf and i should probably read through that if they're pulling stuff from there as well.

precision
May 7, 2006

Double great.


Crow Jane posted:

I thought the Chicago stuff happened before then?

Ah yeah, you're right.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009


Peter Stormare as Czernobog is going to be a lot of fun and I don't know if they could have cast anyone better for that.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

daisy fresh and arrow straight


I'm looking forward to Cloris Leachman as Zorya as well, she's always rad.

vonnegutt
Aug 7, 2006
Hobocamp.


Coming here from the TV-only thread, still annoyed by the legions of people who didn't figure out/are surprised that Shadow is black or mixed-race. I don't know how many times people have to ask him, in novel, where he's from (or even that one guard asking if he had "n***** blood"), but it seems pretty silly that readers didn't pick up on that.

I seem to recall an interview with Gaiman where he said he didn't want to describe Shadow as being "cappucino colored" or whatever cliche nonsense people write when they write black characters, as black people don't go through their day thinking about what food matches their skin. I thought it was pretty realistic to only have it come up when other people brought it up.

Apparently Gaiman had the same problem with Anansi Boys, which is about the sons of Mr. Nancy. Because the main character is a nerd, he couldn't be black! Despite his dad being the incarnation of an African deity.

DentD
Aug 13, 2015

I can predict the future! And you're going to be OKAY.


Yeah I kind of boggled at one person imagining Shadow as a Danzig type of looking character. Bruh did we read the same book?!

Hubbardologist
Jan 19, 2007

Secretly force socialism, communism and imperialism types of government onto the people of the United States of America.


I first read the book when I was about 15 or 16, and I assumed Shadow was white, probably because (a) I'm white and often project my identity into the protagonist of whatever I'm reading, (b) white people are overrepresented in many forms of media, (c) I probably skimmed over the moments that mention his or his mother's background, or (d) a combination of all three.

When I was doing the "who would you cast" game with a friend a few years down the line I suggested some white actor for Shadow and I got learned.

Now I view Gaiman's decision to not explicitly state Shadow's heritage as pretty clever, and it's made me think more about assumptions we make of characters in books and why.

Anyways I look forward to thinkpieces in Vox, Buzzfeed and the Atlantic smugly mocking people for making a big deal of Ricky Whittle being cast in the role.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

daisy fresh and arrow straight


At the very least, I think we can all agree that Ricky Whittle is a gorgeous, gorgeous man.

DentD
Aug 13, 2015

I can predict the future! And you're going to be OKAY.


^^ oh yes.

On the note of Shadow's race now being very explicit in this new medium, I'm not sure how to feel about the imagery at the end of the episode where he's lynched by a white mob. Yes, I realize that within the story it ties into some overarching themes about his godly heritage. But I feel like this was a very conscious decision on the shows part to make some kind of commentary on American racism. I don't know if it's gonna pan out or fail miserably but I doubt this will be the last example of blatant racist imagery we see.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009


Hubbardologist posted:

Now I view Gaiman's decision to not explicitly state Shadow's heritage as pretty clever, and it's made me think more about assumptions we make of characters in books and why.

It's more an indicator of just how little attention people pay to the books they read.

Of course Shadow is black. Never mind the characters that say something about it throughout the book, his name is literally Shadow.

This is like the people that were upset over Rue being black in the Hunger Games movie even when she's explicitly described as black in the book.

a kitten
Aug 5, 2006



Fallen Rib

Was the bit where Wednesday pokes fun at Shadow's name in the book? I don't remember but i love it.

I'm a little disappointed we aren't getting to House on the Rock this season, but i heard somewhere that they are/have already filmed there. So this is for sure getting at least one more season? I know it's supposed to be three, but i don't know if that's a "we'd like to be able to do three, if possible" or "we are contracted for and already producing three seasons".

Disgusting Coward
Feb 17, 2014


lol that OP is some weaksauce temper tantrum poo poo. didn't you fuckers realise that "some turbosperg's op telling you to do a thing" is legally binding in 48 of the US states and 95% of commonwealth countries?

lol "hey are you black or something?" is like the third thing anyone says to Shadow in the book how can you think he's Danzig

lol at people being all "hey man spoiler who wednesday is" when he literally says TODAY IS MY DAY while lightning flashes in a show called American Gods that is explicity about Gods in America

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009


a kitten posted:

Was the bit where Wednesday pokes fun at Shadow's name in the book? I don't remember but i love it.

There is something in the book (much farther past House on the Rock) where Wednesday asks him why he goes by that name instead of the name he was born with, but nothing that really came across as mockery.

Aardark
Aug 5, 2004



biracial bear for uncut posted:

Of course Shadow is black. Never mind the characters that say something about it throughout the book, his name is literally Shadow.
Is it a common name for black folks?

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

daisy fresh and arrow straight


True story, my bf's last name is Moon. Most names sound pretty stupid and fake in front of it. I have a fairly unusual first name, and if I was to take his surname I'd sound like either a porn star, a superhero, or a psychic. The relationship is probably doomed.

precision
May 7, 2006

Double great.


Moon is a common Irish last name, it's derived from "Muadhen" (pronounced kinda like "Moo-en")

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009


Aardark posted:

Is it a common name for black folks?

No, but expecting a character in a book that is all about names and symbolism to be white when they are named Shadow is idiotic.

DentD
Aug 13, 2015

I can predict the future! And you're going to be OKAY.


So, it's been awhile since I last gave the book a re-read. I don't remember: did Wednesday know from the get go that Shadow was his kid?

I almost screamed when I heard the line, "I offer you the worm from my beak, and you look at me like I hosed your mom?"

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009


DentD posted:

So, it's been awhile since I last gave the book a re-read. I don't remember: did Wednesday know from the get go that Shadow was his kid?

I almost screamed when I heard the line, "I offer you the worm from my beak, and you look at me like I hosed your mom?"

Yes. Wednesday & Loki are also responsible for what happened to Laura. Wednesday straight up tells Shadow that the whole Vigil thing wouldn't have worked if Shadow hadn't been his son.

The only reason Wednesday/Loki's plot failed was that Shadow throws a wrench in the battle that was supposed to revive them.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

daisy fresh and arrow straight


DentD posted:

So, it's been awhile since I last gave the book a re-read. I don't remember: did Wednesday know from the get go that Shadow was his kid?

I almost screamed when I heard the line, "I offer you the worm from my beak, and you look at me like I hosed your mom?"

Yeah, for sure, that's why he sought him out, sent Low-key to watch over him, etc. Shadow doesn't know til the end though.

Also the whole bit where he was acting like a doddering old man at the airport "my son usually takes care of these things", "I'm going to his christening", etc, is definitely foreshadowing.

I'm loving Ian McShane in this even more than I thought I would, and that's saying something.

Crow Jane fucked around with this message at May 2, 2017 around 14:51

Grouchy Fish
Aug 24, 2006


Counterpoint: as kid I always assumed Shadowfax from LOTR was black even though he was explicitly described as white.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

daisy fresh and arrow straight


Also completely anecdotal, but I used to work with a black girl named Ivory

Aardark
Aug 5, 2004



biracial bear for uncut posted:

No, but expecting a character in a book that is all about names and symbolism to be white when they are named Shadow is idiotic.
Is it idiotic? Might one not expect a book that is all about names and symbolism to be a bit deeper than shadow = black dude?

showbiz_liz
Jun 2, 2008


JustinMorgan posted:

I have to say I'm disappointed they're only going to be taking this season up to House on the Rock. That's barely 150 pages into the book, any ideas what they're using as filler? Doesn't Media not even show up until after that point?

They've said they're going to significantly expand the amount of screentime all the gods get and show much more of what they're all doing, rather than just spending 50 loving pages hanging out with Shadow in a small town eating pasties, and thank god, because I spent half of the book pissed off that there was an epic war between the gods happening that we barely got to see.

showbiz_liz fucked around with this message at May 2, 2017 around 15:11

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009


Aardark posted:

Is it idiotic? Might one not expect a book that is all about names and symbolism to be a bit deeper than shadow = black dude?

Not when said character is repeatedly asked about their racial heritage that is definitely not white.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Grimey Drawer

Imagine my surprise when I found out Black Bart was actually a white Bart

DentD
Aug 13, 2015

I can predict the future! And you're going to be OKAY.


showbiz_liz posted:

They've said they're going to significantly expand the amount of screentime all the gods get and show much more of what they're all doing, rather than just spending 50 loving pages hanging out with Shadow in a small town eating pasties, and thank god, because I spent half of the book pissed off that there was an epic war between the gods happening that we barely got to see.

I really liked reading about Shadow hanging in small town and observing small town poo poo. Lakeside might have been my favorite section of the book. I enjoyed the book overall as a sort of fictional Midwestern travelogue...with epic god poo poo in the background of Shadow's hosed up life until the final act.

DentD
Aug 13, 2015

I can predict the future! And you're going to be OKAY.


Oh and on Shadow's name. I knew he was black when reading the book but I assumed his name was less a reference to his ethnicity and more a reference to his tendency to shadow people, act dumb and quiet. I think he even says as much about his name.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009


showbiz_liz posted:

They've said they're going to significantly expand the amount of screentime all the gods get and show much more of what they're all doing, rather than just spending 50 loving pages hanging out with Shadow in a small town eating pasties, and thank god, because I spent half of the book pissed off that there was an epic war between the gods happening that we barely got to see.

Well, to be fair, the Lakeside side-story was incredibly hosed up and had a decent payoff at the end of the book.

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Grimey Drawer

Goddamn Particle posted:

It looks like Bilquis and her victim got updated in a similar but more subtle way than Technical Boy. In the book she's a sex worker, he's a john and he's kind of an rear end in a top hat, not a middle-aged divorcee getting back into the dating scene. The idea of a predatory woman going on Tinder and targeting a poor lonely dude who just wants to be loved is reminiscent of the things Red Pill types believe in. And most stories about gods have some element of "the belief shapes the god" so even though her origin is a millenia-old half-demon, she could have been changed somewhat by it.

Btw it feels like "ancient gods down on their luck and barely scraping by" was an idea Gaiman had in Sandman and decided to explore more fully with a whole book. In Sandman, Ishtar was a fertility goddess who turned into a pole dancer due to her lack of worshippers. I think Kevin Smith might've ripped that one off for Dogma as well.

precision
May 7, 2006

Double great.


DentD posted:

I almost screamed when I heard the line, "I offer you the worm from my beak, and you look at me like I hosed your mom?"

Son of a bitch I didn't even make that connection (too busy laughing)

Fritzler
Sep 5, 2007

"No" means "No"

biracial bear for uncut posted:

Well, to be fair, the Lakeside side-story was incredibly hosed up and had a decent payoff at the end of the book.
Yeah, I think of that reveal as one of the best things in the book actually.

Also Shadow is so obviously not-white, but I can kind of understand someone thinking he is white since he's supposed to be a Norse god (Baldr).

Eat This Glob
Jan 14, 2008

hurry up with my damn croissants


Lipstick Apathy

As I mentioned in the other thread, I had a non-book reading friend of mine texting me during the premier. One line that jumped out to him was "I offer you the warmth of my beacon (how he heard it), and you look at me like I hosed your mom" when Wednesday offered Shadow the remainder of the drink. He took it as Ian McShane delivering a great Swearengen-like line. Those sneaky fuckers...Laid it all out in the first scene where Shadow meets his dad. I'm glad I was able to bite my tongue in my reply.

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Relentlessboredomm
Oct 15, 2006

It's Sic Semper Tyrannis. You said, "Ever faithful terrible lizard."


showbiz_liz posted:

They've said they're going to significantly expand the amount of screentime all the gods get and show much more of what they're all doing, rather than just spending 50 loving pages hanging out with Shadow in a small town eating pasties, and thank god, because I spent half of the book pissed off that there was an epic war between the gods happening that we barely got to see.


This is good because their casting for the gods has been incredible and I'd love to spend more time with Cloris Leachman, Peter Stormare, Gillian Anderson, Kristin Chenowith, and Crispin Glover


Steve Yun posted:

Btw it feels like "ancient gods down on their luck and barely scraping by" was an idea Gaiman had in Sandman and decided to explore more fully with a whole book. In Sandman, Ishtar was a fertility goddess who turned into a pole dancer due to her lack of worshippers. I think Kevin Smith might've ripped that one off for Dogma as well.

It's a loving great premise, so kudos to them both.

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