Sunday, May 5, 2013

Neil Gaiman walks into a bar and meets HBO, everyone cheers.

When some people think of the coolest person that is possible, they may imagine a leather jacket wearing, scruffy headed, writer of novels and comics, who treats reading like a lovely drug, is bringing a rock star to bed nightly, travels the world writing and reading in a never ending bender, and has been involved with everything from one of the first graphic novels to be critically acclaimed by the New York Times to writing a episode of Dr. Who, and having miniseries, movies, and plays created out of their work.

That person exists, Neil Gaiman is that person, and one of that person's novels will now be a Television Series.

HBO and Playtone will be presenting to the world the novel American Gods (Nebula award winner) which is the story of a man who is an Ex-con, and much more, named only Shadow, the old gods (comprised of a con man calling himself Mr. Wednesday, A charming old man who is a spider god, an Irfit driving a cab, and Anubis running a funeral parlor in Illinois) with the new gods (Comprised of The Technical boy, Media, and the many Men In Black.)

HBO has been honing the act of remaining true to the source material while adapting books to screen with shows like "True Blood" (Southern Vampire Mysteries), "Game Of Thrones", "Boardwalk Empire" and "Band of Brothers."

Playtone, as a production company, has been giving out some amazing looking media for years. Worried that the grittyness of American Gods won't be evident? Playtone made "Band Of Brothers" and "The Pacific", two series that have showed some pulse pounding violence. Picture a fight between gods new and old being produced by a company that made those spellbinding and realistic battles from World War II.

Worried about the fantasy aspect of gods, monsters, and the rest not being done well? This is the same company that made fantastic visual events like "Cloud Atlas", "Where The Wild Things Are" and "Electric City." We will be seeing some subtle and fantastic effects for this series, everything from a Slavic monster living in an apartment talking of deals and hammers, to a lover being devoured by a lover, to the true aspect of what a god may look like away from the mortal world on their own terms.

Neil Gaiman is on board with this development of his book as a TV series, and has said that the first season will be dealing with the first few chapters of the book. If anyone is wondering how one novel can keep a TV show going for more than a season or two, you just need to read American Gods to understand how dense the book is.

How American Gods is in some respects a road movie. How it is almost perfectly formed for an episodic delivery. Also, there is the spin off book focusing on the children of Aunt Nancy (Anansi Boys), a novella set after American Gods "Monarch of the Glen," and a sequel of American Gods being planned by Gaiman himself, that would focus on what happens to America after the events of American Gods.

The new god of cool has an avatar and that is Neil Gaiman. We can accept that pretty readily, and after American Gods premieres on HBO, we can add one more notch to his lengthy belt tallying reasons why this scruffy headed, leather jacket wearing, writing man continues to have believers and followers that make him mighty.

Side Note: He doesn't just write, because sometimes he gets bored and just wants to do all the things.

One day Neil Gaiman and some friends decided to make a band called 8in8. Then, because they could, they gave themselves a time limit. They would write the lyrics, perform the songs, and studio produce them in eight days. The album is pretty damn good, the songs are well made, and the videos are fun to watch. It helps that the friends of Neil Gaiman in this endeavor were Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls), Damian Kulash (OK Go), and Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five, Ben Folds). their website to buy their songs, read the whole story, or see what else they are up to. Visit their website to buy their songs, read the whole story, or see what else they are up to.

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