After reading Erik Evensen’s Beast of Wolfe’s Bay, I was hooked. I really liked his take on the Beowulf myth, and I liked his art. So when Chuck gave me a copy of Gods of Asgard, knowing that I’m a fan of both the Marvel Universe take on Asgard as well as mythology in general, I was very happy to take a look. I am thrilled to say, this book – a 2007 Xeric Award Winner – ROCKS.
Gods of Asgard is a great starting point for anyone who’s interested – or wants, say, to get their kids interested – in the Norse myths. There are 20 of the most popular/interesting stories here, including my personal favorites:The Lay of Thrym, where Thor dresses up as a bride to get Mjolnir back from the Jotuns (frost giants), and Loki’s Insult, where Loki, insulted at not being invited to a feast – shows up and proceeds to tell all of the Aesir what he thinks of them, and airs some very dirty laundry in the process.
The relationships are clearly drawn here – did you know that Loki was Odin’s blood brother, and not his son or Thor’s brother? Or that Thor was a redhead, who rode in a cart pulled by goats? Yup. There are no Avengers here, folks, but it’s all good. This is the real thing, and the tales are enthralling and sometimes, hilarious. There’s a page dedicated to the major gods of Asgard, to fill you in on the who’s who, and even the lesser gods get their own introductions in the first Creation story. The stories are clearly narrated in language that everyone can get on board with – I wasn’t kidding when I said to encourage kids (middle school and up) to read this book, why should the Greek gods get all the notoriety?
I love the art – also Evensen’s work. It’s clean, unfussy, and straightforward, rendered in black and white which really lends emphasis to the stories. It’s never stark or bleak; rather, Evensen manages to make black and white facial expressions come to life, really popping against the white space of the page.
Overall, I love this book. Again, Evensen, takes Norse myth, as he did with Beast of Wolfe’s Bay, and makes it accessible to everyone. Sit this next to the Percy Jacksons and your Bulfinch’s Mythologies on your family’s bookshelf – the Norse gods’ time has come!
Gods of Asgard is available now through a multitude of channels and formats. Check out Erik Evensen’s website to find out more, and follow him on social media. In the meantime, check out some of the art from Loki’s Insult, from Gods of Asgard.
GODS OF ASGARD
Writer: Erik Evensen
Artist: Erik Evensen
Publisher: Jetpack Press
Price: $13.49 (on Amazon, other prices may vary)
Pub Date: Feb. 2012
Pages: 168 pages, black & white