L-R: Frey, Valkyrie, Idunn, Bragi, Tyr, Mimir, Hel, Hod, Balder, Skadi, Thor, Odin, Loki, Freyja
About the Book
Gods of Asgard is a full-length graphic novel interpretation of the Norse (Scandinavian) myths, drawing on several English translations of the original source material: the Prose and Poetic Edda, Heimskringla, Gesta Denorum, and more. It was a lifelong dream of artist/author Erik Evensen, who realized that although Norse mythology figures prominently in comics, a true, straightforward adaptation has never been published in the United States. Gods of Asgard is unrelated to the trilogy of young adult novels of the same name by Rick Riordan, and predates that series by eight years.
Gods of Asgard is a 160-page, black-and-white, perfect bound graphic novel. It is published by a collaboration between Jetpack Press and Evensen Creative (formerly Studio E3), and in Scandinavia by Saga Publishers International.
It was originally published with the help of a grant from the Xeric Foundation, an organization that gave financial assistance to comic book self-publishers on the basis of originality, literary and artistic merit, and commitment to the medium. Gods of Asgard received the maximum Xeric award for spring 2007.
Since its release in 2007, Gods of Asgard has been featured prominently in The Washington Post, on the Norse Mythology Blog, the Ashville Viking Festival, and at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, Discovery Times Square, and the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. It has been adopted as a textbook at several colleges and universities. It is available for purchase through Amazon and several other retailers.
A note from the author about Gods of Asgard and Ásatrú:
Gods of Asgard has been embraced by the Ásatrú community, but I would like to mention that I am not a practitioner of Ásatrú. I do sincerely appreciate the positive feedback I have received from this community, because it means my work resonates positively with those who connect the most deeply with the content.
When adapting Gods of Asgard, I made creative choices that I felt served the story and the comics medium, rather than any personal religious practice or philosophy. Because of this, it may not reflect the full beliefs of the Ásatrú community or its individual members.
Gods of Asgard in Academia:
Gods of Asgard is an adaptation—it is not a traditional textbook, nor is it a totally academic account of the Norse myths. However, its historical and cultural research has earned it a place in the silo of educational comics. It has been embraced and referenced by academics in history, literature, and comics studies:
Lillian Céspedes González, “From Los Vikingos to Northlanders: Changing Representations of the Old Norse in Sequential Art,” MA thesis in Historical Studies, University of Winchester (UK) Department of History, 2013.
Hafner, Tina. “Peter Madsen's Valhalla: Studien zur Rezeption altwestnordischer Mythen im modernen Comic (German Edition)” Graduate thesis, University of Vienna, 2008. [read]
History 218 Scandinavia to 1800,
Gustavus Adolphus College,
St. Peter, MN. Dr. Glenn Kranking, instructor
ENG 200: Texting the World, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. Dr. Tim Burbery, instructor.
ENG 401: Advanced Studies in Medieval Literature, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA. Dr. Dabney Bankert, instructor.
REL 200F, TP: Norse Religion, Carthage College,
Kenosha, WI. Dr. Karl E. H. Siegfried, instructor.
Vilas Middle School, Alstead, NH. Greg Amend, instructor.
Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels, Monnin, Katie. Maupin House Publishing, 2011. [order]
Nick Kremer, “This is not your Forefather's Thor: Using Comics to Make Mythology Meaningful,” SANE Journal vol.1, no. 1, 2010. [read]
Erik Evensen: author/illustrator
“Erik Evensen... proves that the Internet
isn’t totally full of bad people.”
—Men In Gorilla Suits
In addition to Gods of Asgard, Erik is the author/illustrator of the critically-acclaimed The Beast of Wolfe's Bay, a modernized take on Beowulf that pits a small group of nerds against a clan of Sasquatch. He has illustrated several stories for IDW's Ghostbusters and Back to the Future series. Erik is a professor of design at the University of Wisconsin–Stout, where he teaches designers, animators, and comic artists how to draw. He is married to conductor, composer, and game designer Erika Svanoe.
Erik's personal website: www.erik-evensen.com
Follow Erik on twitter: @eevensen
Follow Erik on Tumblr: erikevensen.tumblr.com
Erik's page on ComicbookDB: link