Slamming Canon & American Gods


Jon Evans slams on American Gods – and it smarts. I suppose a lot of readers are seduced more by the prestige of having read something canonized rather than its story. As a librarian I have seen this trend sort of diminish – in books; no one in Bradford County gives a lick about the Great Gatsby – good for them, it is boring. But as comics are legitimized, academics tag this stuff with a canon (Spiegelman, Moore, Eisner, ad infinitum) – much of which I don’t really care for. There is an existing manga canon among thirteen-year-olds I can’t really put my finger on. Hmm. 

Neil Gaiman sort of exists in this post-modernist canon, definitely in comics. I thought American Gods was great, but I couldn’t get through the first chapter of Neverwhere, and I sort of realized during Anansi Boys that I love the idea of his writing more than the writing itself. I loved The Graveyard Book, and I thought The Dream Hunters was just breathtaking. But he’s not flawless. Neil occupies this space of imagination I don’t think others do, though, and his storytelling can be magical.


One response »

  1. What an interesting statement to make: To love the idea of his writing more than his writing itself.

    I’ve thought a lot about WATCHMEN and how that books speaks to me in many parts and leaves me flat in others. Dare I say such a thing?

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