Gaiman, April 2013
|Born||Neil Richard Gaiman|
10 November 1960
Portchester, Hampshire, England
|Occupation||Author, comic book creator, screenwriter, voice actor|
|Genre||Fantasy, horror, science fiction, dark fantasy, comedy|
|Notable works||The Sandman , Neverwhere , American Gods , Stardust , Coraline , The Graveyard Book , Good Omens , The Ocean at the End of the Lane|
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman // ; born Neil Richard Gaiman, 10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. His works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust , American Gods , Coraline , and The Graveyard Book . He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.(
A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" normally refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. It is distinguished from the term "comic book", which is generally used for comics periodicals.
The Sandman is a comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics. Its artists include Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, and Michael Zulli, with lettering by Todd Klein and covers by Dave McKean. Beginning with issue No. 47, it was placed under the Vertigo imprint. It tells the story of Dream of the Endless, who rules over the world of dreams. The original series ran for 75 issues from January 1989 to March 1996.
Stardust is a fantasy novel by British writer Neil Gaiman, usually published with illustrations by Charles Vess. Stardust has a different tone and style from most of Gaiman's prose fiction, being consciously written in the tradition of pre-Tolkien English fantasy, following in the footsteps of authors such as Lord Dunsany and Hope Mirrlees. It is concerned with the adventures of a young man from the village of Wall, which borders the magical land of Faerie.
Gaiman's family is of Polish Jewish and other Eastern European Jewish origins;his great-grandfather emigrated from Antwerp, Belgium, to the UK before 1914 and his grandfather eventually settled in the south of England in the Hampshire city of Portsmouth and established a chain of grocery stores. His father, David Bernard Gaiman, worked in the same chain of stores; his mother, Sheila Gaiman (née Goldman), was a pharmacist. He has two younger sisters, Claire and Lizzy.
Antwerp is a city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with 1,200,000 the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels.
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester. Its two largest cities, Southampton and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities; the rest of the county is governed by Hampshire County Council.
Portsmouth is a port city in Hampshire, England, with a total population of 205,400 residents. The city of Portsmouth is nicknamed Pompey and is mainly built on Portsea Island, a flat, low-lying island measuring 24 square kilometres in area, just off the south-east coast of Hampshire. Uniquely, Portsmouth is the only island city in the United Kingdom, and is the only city whose population density exceeds that of London.
After living for a period in the nearby town of Portchester, Hampshire, where Neil was born in 1960, the Gaimans moved in 1965 to the West Sussex town of East Grinstead, where his parents studied Dianetics at the Scientology centre in the town; one of Gaiman's sisters works for the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles. His other sister, Lizzy Calcioli, has said, "Most of our social activities were involved with Scientology or our Jewish family. It would get very confusing when people would ask my religion as a kid. I'd say, 'I'm a Jewish Scientologist.'" Gaiman says that he is not a Scientologist, and that like Judaism, Scientology is his family's religion. About his personal views, Gaiman has stated, "I think we can say that God exists in the DC Universe. I would not stand up and beat the drum for the existence of God in this universe. I don't know, I think there's probably a 50/50 chance. It doesn't really matter to me."
Portchester is a locality and suburb 6 km (4 mi) northwest of Portsmouth, England. It is part of the borough of Fareham in Hampshire. Once a small village, Portchester is now a busy part of the expanding conurbation between Portsmouth and Southampton on the A27 main thoroughfare. Its population according to the 2011 Census was 17,789 residents.
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering East Sussex to the east, Hampshire to the west and Surrey to the north, and to the south the English Channel.
East Grinstead is a town and civil parish in the northeastern corner of Mid Sussex district of West Sussex in England near the East Sussex, Surrey, and Kent borders. It lies 27 miles (43 km) south of London, 21 miles (34 km) north northeast of Brighton, and 38 miles (61 km) east northeast of the county town of Chichester. The civil parish covers an area of 2,443.45 hectares and had a population of 23,942 persons in the 2001 census. The population of the town at the 2011 Census was 26,383.
Gaiman was able to read at the age of four. He said, "I was a reader. I loved reading. Reading things gave me pleasure. I was very good at most subjects in school, not because I had any particular aptitude in them, but because normally on the first day of school they'd hand out schoolbooks, and I'd read them—which would mean that I'd know what was coming up, because I'd read it."When he was about ten years old, he read his way through the works of Dennis Wheatley, where especially The Ka of Gifford Hillary and The Haunting of Toby Jugg made an impact on him. One work that made a particular impression on him was J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings from his school library, although it only had the first two volumes of the novel. He consistently took them out and read them. He would later win the school English prize and the school reading prize, enabling him to finally acquire the third volume.
Dennis Yeats Wheatley was an English writer whose prolific output of thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world's best-selling authors from the 1930s through the 1960s. His Gregory Sallust series was one of the main inspirations for Ian Fleming's James Bond stories.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic, who is best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed into a much larger work. Written in stages between 1937 and 1949, The Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling novels ever written, with over 150 million copies sold.
For his seventh birthday, Gaiman received C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series. He later recalled that "I admired his use of parenthetical statements to the reader, where he would just talk to you ... I'd think, 'Oh, my gosh, that is so cool! I want to do that! When I become an author, I want to be able to do things in parentheses.' I liked the power of putting things in brackets."Narnia also introduced him to literary awards, specifically the 1956 Carnegie Medal won by the concluding volume. When Gaiman won the 2010 Medal himself, the press reported him recalling, "it had to be the most important literary award there ever was" and observing, "if you can make yourself aged seven happy, you're really doing well – it's like writing a letter to yourself aged seven."
Clive Staples Lewis was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.
The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels by C. S. Lewis. It is considered a classic of children's literature and is the author's best-known work, having sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages. Written by Lewis, illustrated by Pauline Baynes, and originally published in London between 1950 and 1956, The Chronicles of Narnia has been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, the stage, and film.
The Carnegie Medal is a British literary award that annually recognises one outstanding new English-language book for children or young adults. It is conferred upon the author by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). CILIP calls it "the UK's oldest and most prestigious book award for children's writing" and claims that authors call it "the one they want to win".
Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was another childhood favourite, and "a favourite forever. Alice was default reading to the point where I knew it by heart."He also enjoyed Batman comics as a child.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of world-famous children's fiction, notably Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He was noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy. The poems Jabberwocky and The Hunting of the Snark are classified in the genre of literary nonsense. He was also a mathematician, photographer, and Anglican deacon.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a young girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. Its narrative course, structure, characters, and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.
Batman is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Originally named the "Bat-Man," the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World's Greatest Detective.
Gaiman was educated at several Church of England schools, including Fonthill School in East Grinstead,Ardingly College (1970–74), and Whitgift School in Croydon (1974–77). His father's position as a public relations official of the Church of Scientology was the cause of the seven-year-old Gaiman being blocked from entering a boys' school, forcing him to remain at the school that he had previously been attending. He lived in East Grinstead for many years, from 1965 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1987. He met his first wife, Mary McGrath, while she was studying Scientology and living in a house in East Grinstead that was owned by his father. The couple were married in 1985 after having their first child, Michael.
As a child and a teenager, Gaiman read the works of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Mary Shelley, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Steve Ditko,Will Eisner, Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, Lord Dunsany and G. K. Chesterton. When he was 19–20 years old, he contacted his favourite science fiction writer, R. A. Lafferty, whom he discovered when he was nine, and asked for advice on becoming an author along with a Lafferty pastiche he had written. The writer sent Gaiman an encouraging and informative letter back, along with literary advice.
Gaiman has said Roger Zelazny was the author who influenced him the most,with this influence particularly seen in Gaiman's literary style and the topics he writes about. Other authors Gaiman says "furnished the inside of my mind and set me to writing" include Moorcock, Ellison, Samuel R. Delany, Angela Carter, Lafferty and Le Guin. Neil Gaiman has also taken inspiration from the folk tales tradition, citing Otta F Swire's book on the legends of the Isle of Skye as his inspiration for The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains.
In the early 1980s, Gaiman pursued journalism, conducting interviews and writing book reviews, as a means to learn about the world and to make connections that he hoped would later assist him in getting published.He wrote and reviewed extensively for the British Fantasy Society. His first professional short story publication was "Featherquest", a fantasy story, in Imagine Magazine in May 1984.
When waiting for a train at London's Victoria Station in 1984, Gaiman noticed a copy of Swamp Thing written by Alan Moore, and carefully read it. Moore's fresh and vigorous approach to comics had such an impact on Gaiman that he would later write "that was the final straw, what was left of my resistance crumbled. I proceeded to make regular and frequent visits to London's Forbidden Planet shop to buy comics".
In 1984, he wrote his first book, a biography of the band Duran Duran, as well as Ghastly Beyond Belief, a book of quotations, with Kim Newman.Even though Gaiman thought he had done a terrible job, the book's first edition sold out very quickly. When he went to relinquish his rights to the book, he discovered the publisher had gone bankrupt. After this, he was offered a job by Penthouse . He refused the offer.
He also wrote interviews and articles for many British magazines, including Knave. During this he sometimes wrote under pseudonyms, including Gerry Musgrave, Richard Grey, and "a couple of house names".Gaiman has said he ended his journalism career in 1987 because British newspapers regularly publish untruths as fact. In the late 1980s, he wrote Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion in what he calls a "classic English humour" style. Following this he wrote the opening of what would become his collaboration with fellow English author Terry Pratchett on the comic novel Good Omens , about the impending apocalypse.
After forming a friendship with comic-book writer Alan Moore,Gaiman started writing comic-books, picking up Miracleman after Moore finished his run on the series. Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham collaborated on several issues of the series before its publisher, Eclipse Comics, collapsed, leaving the series unfinished. His first published comic strips were four short Future Shocks for 2000 AD in 1986–87. He wrote three graphic novels with his favourite collaborator and long-time friend Dave McKean: Violent Cases , Signal to Noise , and The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch . Impressed with his work, DC Comics hired him in February 1987, and he wrote the limited series Black Orchid . Karen Berger, who later became head of DC Comics's Vertigo, read Black Orchid and offered Gaiman a job: to re-write an old character, The Sandman, but to put his own spin on him.
The Sandman tells the tale of the ageless, anthropomorphic personification of Dream that is known by many names, including Morpheus. The series began in January 1989 and concluded in March 1996.In the eighth issue of The Sandman, Gaiman and artist Mike Dringenberg introduced Death, the older sister of Dream, who would become as popular as the series' title character. The limited series Death: The High Cost of Living launched DC's Vertigo line in 1993. The 75 issues of the regular series, along with an illustrated prose text and a special containing seven short stories, have been collected into 12 volumes that remain in print, 14 if the Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life spin-offs are included. Artists include Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel and Michael Zulli, lettering by Todd Klein, colours by Daniel Vozzo, and covers by Dave McKean. The series became one of DC's top selling titles, eclipsing even Batman and Superman. Comics historian Les Daniels called Gaiman's work "astonishing" and noted that The Sandman was "a mixture of fantasy, horror, and ironic humor such as comic books had never seen before". DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz observed that "The Sandman became the first extraordinary success as a series of graphic novel collections, reaching out and converting new readers to the medium, particularly young women on college campuses, and making Gaiman himself into an iconic cultural figure."
Gaiman and Jamie Delano were to become co-writers of the Swamp Thing series following Rick Veitch. An editorial decision by DC to censor Veitch's final storyline caused both Gaiman and Delano to withdraw from the title.
Gaiman produced two stories for DC's Secret Origins series in 1989. A Poison Ivytale drawn by Mark Buckingham and a Riddler story illustrated by Bernie Mireault and Matt Wagner. A story which Gaiman originally wrote for Action Comics Weekly in 1989 was shelved due to editorial concerns but it was finally published in 2000 as Green Lantern/Superman: Legend of the Green Flame .
In 1990, Gaiman wrote The Books of Magic , a four-part mini-series that provided a tour of the mythological and magical parts of the DC Universe through a frame story about an English teenager who discovers that he is destined to be the world's greatest wizard.The miniseries was popular, and sired an ongoing series written by John Ney Rieber.
Gaiman's adaptation of Sweeney Todd , illustrated by Michael Zulli for Stephen R. Bissette's publication Taboo , was stopped when the anthology itself was discontinued.
In the mid-1990s, he also created a number of new characters and a setting that was to be featured in a title published by Tekno Comix. The concepts were then altered and split between three titles set in the same continuity: Lady Justice , Mr. Hero the Newmatic Man , and Teknophage ,and tie-ins. Although Gaiman's name appeared prominently as creator of the characters, he was not involved in writing any of the above-mentioned books.
Gaiman wrote a semi-autobiographical story about a boy's fascination with Michael Moorcock's anti-hero Elric of Melniboné for Ed Kramer's anthology Tales of the White Wolf. In 1996, Gaiman and Ed Kramer co-edited The Sandman: Book of Dreams . Nominated for the British Fantasy Award, the original fiction anthology featured stories and contributions by Tori Amos, Clive Barker, Gene Wolfe, Tad Williams, and others.
Asked why he likes comics more than other forms of storytelling, Gaiman said: "One of the joys of comics has always been the knowledge that it was, in many ways, untouched ground. It was virgin territory. When I was working on Sandman, I felt a lot of the time that I was actually picking up a machete and heading out into the jungle. I got to write in places and do things that nobody had ever done before. When I'm writing novels I'm painfully aware that I'm working in a medium that people have been writing absolutely jaw-droppingly brilliant things for, you know, three-four thousand years now. You know, you can go back. We have things like The Golden Ass . And you go, well, I don't know that I'm as good as that and that's two and a half thousand years old. But with comics I felt like – I can do stuff nobody has ever done. I can do stuff nobody has ever thought of. And I could and it was enormously fun."
Gaiman wrote two series for Marvel Comics. Marvel 1602 was an eight-issue limited series published from November 2003 to June 2004 with art by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove.The Eternals was a seven-issue limited series drawn by John Romita Jr. which was published from August 2006 to March 2007.
In 2009, Gaiman wrote a two-part Batman story for DC Comics to follow Batman R.I.P. titled "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?"a play-off of the classic Superman story "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" by Alan Moore. He contributed a twelve-part Metamorpho serial drawn by Mike Allred for Wednesday Comics , a weekly newspaper-style series. Gaiman and Paul Cornell co-wrote Action Comics #894 (Dec. 2010) which featured an appearance by Death. In October 2013, DC Comics released The Sandman: Overture with art by J. H. Williams III. Gaiman's Angela character was introduced into the Marvel Universe in the last issue of the Age of Ultron miniseries in 2013.
Gaiman is overseeing The Sandman Universe , a line of comic books published by Vertigo. The four new ongoing series —House of Whispers, Lucifer , The Books of Magic , and The Dreaming are written by new creative teams. The line launched on 8 August 2018.
In a collaboration with author Terry Pratchett, best known for his series of Discworld novels, Gaiman's first novel Good Omens was published in 1990. In 2011 Pratchett said that while the entire novel was a collaborative effort and most of the ideas could be credited to both of them, Pratchett did a larger portion of writing and editing if for no other reason than Gaiman's scheduled involvement with Sandman.
The 1996 novelisation of Gaiman's teleplay for the BBC mini-series Neverwhere was his first solo novel. The novel was released in tandem with the television series though it presents some notable differences from the television series. Gaiman has since revised the novel twice, the first time for an American audience unfamiliar with the London Underground, the second time because he felt unsatisfied with the original.[ citation needed ]
In 1999, first printings of his fantasy novel Stardust were released. The novel has been released both as a standard novel and in an illustrated text edition.[ citation needed ] This novel was highly influenced by Victorian fairytales and culture.[ citation needed ]
American Gods became one of Gaiman's best-selling and multi-award-winning novels upon its release in 2001. [ citation needed ]A special 10th Anniversary edition was released, with the "author's preferred text" 12,000 words longer than the original mass-market editions.
Gaiman has not written a direct sequel to American Gods but he has revisited the characters. A glimpse at Shadow's travels in Europe is found in a short story which finds him in Scotland, applying the same concepts developed in American Gods to the story of Beowulf . The 2005 novel Anansi Boys deals with Anansi ('Mr. Nancy'), tracing the relationship of his two sons, one semi-divine and the other an unassuming Englishman, as they explore their common heritage. It debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list.
In late 2008, Gaiman released a new children's book, The Graveyard Book . It follows the adventures of a boy named Bod after his family is murdered and he is left to be brought up by a graveyard. It is heavily influenced by Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book . As of late January 2009 [update] , it had been on The New York Times Bestseller children's list for fifteen weeks.
In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.The novel follows an unnamed man who returns to his hometown for a funeral and remembers events that began forty years earlier. Themes include the search for self-identity and the "disconnect between childhood and adulthood".
In September 2016, Neil Gaiman announced that he had been working for some years on retellings of Norse mythology.Norse Mythology was released in February 2017.
Gaiman wrote the 1996 BBC dark fantasy television series Neverwhere . He cowrote the screenplay for the movie MirrorMask with his old friend Dave McKean for McKean to direct. In addition, he wrote the localised English language script to the anime movie Princess Mononoke , based on a translation of the Japanese script.
He cowrote the script for Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf with Roger Avary, a collaboration that has proved productive for both writers.Gaiman has expressed interest in collaborating on a film adaptation of the Epic of Gilgamesh.
He was the only person other than J. Michael Straczynski to write a Babylon 5 script in the last three seasons, contributing the season five episode "Day of the Dead".
Gaiman has also written at least three drafts of a screenplay adaptation of Nicholson Baker's novel The Fermata for director Robert Zemeckis,although the project was stalled while Zemeckis made The Polar Express and the Gaiman-Roger Avary written Beowulf film.
Neil Gaiman was featured in the History Channel documentary Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked .[ citation needed ]
Several of Gaiman's original works have been optioned or greenlighted for film adaptation, most notably Stardust , which premiered in August 2007 and stars Charlie Cox, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Claire Danes, directed by Matthew Vaughn. A stop-motion version of Coraline was released on 6 February 2009, with Henry Selick directing and Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher in the leading voice-actor roles.
In 2007, Gaiman it was announced that after ten years in development, the feature film of Death: The High Cost of Living would finally begin production with a screenplay by Gaiman that he would direct for Warner Independent. Don Murphy and Susan Montford are the producers, and Guillermo del Toro is the film's executive producer.By 2010 it had been reported that it was no longer in production.
Seeing Ear Theatre performed two of Gaiman's audio theatre plays, "Snow, Glass, Apples", Gaiman's retelling of Snow White and "Murder Mysteries", a story of heaven before the Fall in which the first crime is committed. Both audio plays were published in the collection Smoke and Mirrors in 1998.
Gaiman's 2009 Newbery Medal winning book The Graveyard Book will be made into a movie, with Ron Howard as the director.
Gaiman wrote an episode of the long-running BBC science fiction series Doctor Who , broadcast in 2011 during Matt Smith's second series as the Doctor.Shooting began in August 2010 for this episode, the original title of which was "The House of Nothing" but which was eventually transmitted as "The Doctor's Wife". The episode won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form). Gaiman made his return to Doctor Who with an episode titled "Nightmare in Silver", broadcast on 11 May 2013.
In 2011, it was announced that Gaiman would be writing the script to a new film version of Journey to the West .
Gaiman appeared as himself on The Simpsons episode "The Book Job", which broadcast on 20 November 2011.
In 2015, Starz greenlighted a series adaptation of Gaiman's novel American Gods . Bryan Fuller and Michael Green write and showrun the series.
A six-part radio play of Neverwhere was broadcast in March 2013, adapted by Dirk Maggs for BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra. Featured stars include James McAvoy as Richard, Natalie Dormer, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Lee, Bernard Cribbens and Johnny Vegas.
In September 2014, Gaiman and Terry Pratchett joined forces with BBC Radio 4 to make the first ever dramatisation of their co-penned novel Good Omens, which was broadcast in December in five half-hour episodes and culminated in an hour-long final apocalyptic showdown.
Gaiman frequently performs public readings from his stories and poetry, and has toured with his wife, musician Amanda Palmer. In some of these performances he has also sung songs, in "a novelist's version of singing",despite having "no kind of singing voice".
In 2015, Gaiman delivered a 100-minute lecture for the Long Now Foundation entitled How Stories Last about the nature of storytelling and how stories persist in human culture.In April 2018 Gaiman made a guest appearance on the television show The Big Bang Theory , and his tweet about the show's fictional comic book store becomes the central theme of the episode "The Comet Polarization".
In February 2001, when Gaiman had completed writing American Gods , his publishers set up a promotional website featuring a weblog in which Gaiman described the day-to-day process of revising, publishing, and promoting the novel. After the novel was published, the website evolved into a more general Official Neil Gaiman Website.
Gaiman generally posts to the blog describing the day-to-day process of being Neil Gaiman and writing, revising, publishing, or promoting whatever the current project is. He also posts reader emails and answers questions, which gives him unusually direct and immediate interaction with fans. One of his answers on why he writes the blog is "because writing is, like death, a lonely business."
The original American Gods blog was extracted for publication in the NESFA Press collection of Gaiman miscellany, Adventures in the Dream Trade.
To celebrate the seventh anniversary of the blog, the novel American Gods was provided free of charge online for a month.
Gaiman is an active user of the social networking site Twitter with over 2.7 million followers as of June 2018 [update] , using the username @neilhimself. In 2013, Gaiman was named by IGN as one of "The Best Tweeters in Comics", describing his posts as "sublime." Gaiman also runs a Tumblr account on which he primarily answers fan questions.
|2010||Arthur||Himself (Voice)||"Falafelosophy/The Great Lint Rush"|
|2011||The Simpsons||Himself (Voice)||"The Book Job"|
|2013||Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie||Albert the Manservant (Voice)|
|2015||The Making of a Superhero Musical||Melvin Morel|
|2016||Neil Gaiman Dream Dangerously||Himself|
|2017||The Simpsons||Snowball (Voice)||"Treehouse of Horror XXVIII"|
|2018||The Big Bang Theory||Himself||"The Comet Polarization"|
|2018||Lucifer||God||"Once Upon a Time"|
Gaiman lives near Menomonie, Wisconsin, United States and has lived there since 1992. Gaiman moved there to be close to the family of his then-wife, Mary McGrath, with whom he has three children: Michael, Holly, and Madeleine. As of 2013 [update] , Gaiman also resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2014, he took up a five-year appointment as professor in the arts at Bard College, in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.Gaiman is the cousin of Professor and Holocaust survivor, Helen Fagin.
Gaiman is married to songwriter and performer Amanda Palmer, with whom he has an open marriage.The couple publicly announced that they were dating in June 2009, and announced their engagement on Twitter on 1 January 2010. On 16 November 2010, Amanda Palmer hosted a non-legally binding flash mob wedding for Gaiman's birthday in New Orleans. They were legally married on 2 January 2011. The wedding took place in the parlour of writers Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. On marrying Palmer, he took her middle name, MacKinnon, as one of his names. On 18 March 2015, they announced through their Facebook and Twitter accounts that Palmer was pregnant with their first child. Their son Anthony was born 16 September 2015.
In 2016, Gaiman, as well as Cate Blanchett, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Peter Capaldi, Douglas Booth, Jesse Eisenberg, Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Kit Harington, and Stanley Tucci, appear in the video "What They Took With Them", from the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR, to help raise awareness of the issue of global refugees.
Gaiman is a supporter and board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
One of Gaiman's most commented-upon friendships is with the musician Tori Amos, a Sandman fan who became friends with Gaiman after making a reference to "Neil and the Dream King" on her 1991 demo tape. He included her in turn as a character (a talking tree) in his novel Stardust.Amos also mentions Gaiman in her songs, "Tear in Your Hand" ("If you need me, me and Neil'll be hangin' out with the dream king. Neil says hi by the way"), "Space Dog" ("Where's Neil when you need him?"), "Horses" ("But will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?"), "Carbon" ("Get me Neil on the line, no I can't hold. Have him read, 'Snow, Glass, Apples' where nothing is what it seems"), "Sweet Dreams" ("You're forgetting to fly, darling, when you sleep"), and "Not Dying Today" ("Neil is thrilled he can claim he's mammalian, 'but the bad news,' he said, 'girl you're a dandelion'"). He also wrote stories for the tour book of Boys for Pele and Scarlet's Walk , a letter for the tour book of American Doll Posse , and the stories behind each girl in her album Strange Little Girls . Amos penned the introduction for his novel Death: the High Cost of Living, and posed for the cover. She also wrote a song called "Sister Named Desire" based on his Sandman character, which was included on his anthology, Where's Neil When You Need Him?.
Gaiman is godfather to Tori Amos's daughter Tash,and wrote a poem called "Blueberry Girl" for Tori and Tash. The poem has been turned into a book by the illustrator Charles Vess. Gaiman read the poem aloud to an audience at the Sundance Kabuki Theater in San Francisco on 5 October 2008 during his book reading tour for The Graveyard Book. It was published in March 2009 with the title Blueberry Girl .
In 1993, Gaiman was contracted by Todd McFarlane to write a single issue of Spawn , a popular title at the newly created Image Comics company. McFarlane was promoting his new title by having guest authors Gaiman, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, and Dave Sim each write a single issue.
In issue No. 9 of the series, Gaiman introduced the characters Angela, Cogliostro, and Medieval Spawn. Prior to this issue, Spawn was an assassin who worked for the government and came back as a reluctant agent of Hell but had no direction. In Angela, a cruel and malicious angel, Gaiman introduced a character who threatened Spawn's existence, as well as providing a moral opposite. Cogliostro was introduced as a mentor character for exposition and instruction, providing guidance. Medieval Spawn introduced a history and precedent that not all Spawns were self-serving or evil, giving additional character development to Malebolgia, the demon that creates Hellspawn.
As intended,all three characters were used repeatedly throughout the next decade by Todd McFarlane within the wider Spawn universe. In papers filed by Gaiman in early 2002, however, he claimed that the characters were jointly owned by their scripter (himself) and artist (McFarlane), not merely by McFarlane in his role as the creator of the series. Disagreement over who owned the rights to a character was the primary motivation for McFarlane and other artists to form Image Comics (although that argument related more towards disagreements between writers and artists as character creators). As McFarlane used the characters without Gaiman's permission or royalty payments, Gaiman believed his copyrighted work was being infringed upon, which violated their original, oral, agreement. McFarlane initially agreed that Gaiman had not signed away any rights to the characters, and negotiated with Gaiman to effectively 'swap' McFarlane's interest in the character Marvelman (McFarlane believes he purchased interest in the character when Eclipse Comics was liquidated; Gaiman is interested in being able to continue his aborted run of that title) but later claimed that Gaiman's work had been work-for-hire and that McFarlane owned all of Gaiman's creations entirely. The presiding judge, however, ruled against their agreement being work for hire, based in large part on the legal requirement that "copyright assignments must be in writing."
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court ruling in February 2004granting joint ownership of the characters to Gaiman and McFarlane. On the specific issue of Cogliostro, presiding Judge John C. Shabaz proclaimed, "The expressive work that is the comic-book character Count Nicholas Cogliostro was the joint work of Gaiman and McFarlane—their contributions strike us as quite equal—and both are entitled to ownership of the copyright". Similar analysis led to similar results for the other two characters, Angela and Medieval Spawn.
This legal battle was brought by Gaiman and the specifically formed Marvels and Miracles, LLC, which Gaiman created to help sort out the legal rights surrounding Marvelman. Gaiman wrote Marvel 1602 in 2003 to help fund this project.All of Marvel Comics' profits for the original issues of the series went to Marvels and Miracles. In 2009, Marvel Comics purchased Marvelman.
Gaiman returned to court over three more Spawn characters, Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany, that are claimed to be "derivative of the three he co-created with McFarlane."The judge ruled that Gaiman was right in his claims and gave McFarlane until the start of September 2010 to settle matters.
Gaiman's work is known for a high degree of allusiveness.Meredith Collins, for instance, has commented upon the degree to which his novel Stardust depends on allusions to Victorian fairy tales and culture. Particularly in The Sandman, literary figures and characters appear often; the character of Fiddler's Green is modelled visually on G. K. Chesterton, both William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer appear as characters, as do several characters from within A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest . The comic also draws from numerous mythologies and historical periods.
Analyzing Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, bibliographer and librarian Richard Bleiler detects patterns of and allusions to the Gothic novel, from Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House . He concludes that Gaiman is "utilizing works, characters, themes, and settings that generations of scholars have identified and classified as Gothic, ... [yet] subverts them and develops the novel by focusing on the positive aspects of maturation, concentrating on the values of learning, friendship, and sacrifice."Regarding another work's assumed connection and allusions to this form, Gaiman himself quipped: "I've never been able to figure out whether Sandman is a gothic."
Clay Smith has argued that this sort of allusiveness serves to situate Gaiman as a strong authorial presence in his own works, often to the exclusion of his collaborators. [ dead link ]However, Smith's viewpoint is in the minority: to many, if there is a problem with Gaiman scholarship and intertextuality it is that "... his literary merit and vast popularity have propelled him into the nascent comics canon so quickly that there is not yet a basis of critical scholarship about his work."
David Rudd takes a more generous view in his study of the novel Coraline , where he argues that the work plays and riffs productively on Sigmund Freud's notion of the Uncanny, or the Unheimlich .
Though Gaiman's work is frequently seen as exemplifying the monomyth structure laid out in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces ,Gaiman says that he started reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces but refused to finish it: "I think I got about half way through The Hero with a Thousand Faces and found myself thinking if this is true – I don't want to know. I really would rather not know this stuff. I'd rather do it because it's true and because I accidentally wind up creating something that falls into this pattern than be told what the pattern is."
Preludes & Nocturnes is the first trade paperback collection of the comic book series The Sandman, published by the DC Comics imprint Vertigo. It collects issues #1–8. It is written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III, colored by Robbie Busch and lettered by Todd Klein.
Dream Country is the third trade paperback collection of the comic book series The Sandman, published by DC Comics. It collects issues #17–20. It is written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Colleen Doran and Malcolm Jones III, coloured by Robbie Busch and Steve Oliff, and lettered by Todd Klein.
Death is a fictional character from the DC comic book series, The Sandman (1989–1996). The character first appeared in The Sandman vol. 2, #8, and was created by Neil Gaiman and Mike Dringenberg.
Dream is a fictional character who first appeared in the first issue of The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics. One of the seven Endless, inconceivably powerful beings older and greater than gods, Dream is both lord and personification of all dreams and stories, all that is not in reality. He has taken many names, including Morpheus and Oneiros, and his appearance can change depending on the person who is seeing him. Dream was named the sixth-greatest comic book character by Empire Magazine. He was also named fifteenth in IGN's 100 Top Comic Book Heroes list.
Bryan Talbot is a British comics artist and writer, best known as the creator of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its sequel Heart of Empire, as well as the Grandville series of books. He collaborated with his wife, Mary M. Talbot to produce Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, which won the 2012 Costa biography award.
Death: The High Cost of Living is a comic, written by Neil Gaiman with art by Chris Bachalo and Mark Buckingham. It is a spin-off from Gaiman's best-selling Vertigo Comics series The Sandman, featuring the Sandman (Dream)'s elder sister, Death of the Endless. Its premise is that Death takes human form once a century, to remain grounded and in touch with humanity, an idea touched upon in several other media, for example in the 1934 film Death Takes a Holiday and in the Terry Pratchett novel Reaper Man.
David McKean is an English illustrator, photographer, comic book artist, graphic designer, filmmaker and musician. His work incorporates drawing, painting, photography, collage, found objects, digital art and sculpture. McKean's projects include illustrating books by amongst others Neil Gaiman, Heston Blumenthal, Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, and directing three feature films.
Colleen Doran is an American writer-artist and cartoonist. She illustrated hundreds of comics, graphic novels, books and magazines, including the autobiographical graphic novel of Marvel Comics editor and writer Stan Lee entitled Amazing Fantastic Incredible Stan Lee, which became a New York Times bestseller. She adapted and did the art for the short story "Troll Bridge" by Neil Gaiman, which also became a "New York Times" bestseller. Her books have received Eisner, Harvey, and International Horror Guild Awards.
The Sandman: The Dream Hunters is a novella by English author Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano, and published by DC Comics under its Vertigo imprint. The story is tangential to The Sandman comic book series, and can be read without prior knowledge of the main sequence. It won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative. The story deals with a love affair between a Buddhist monk and a fox spirit or kitsune.
Michael Dalton Allred is an American comic book artist and writer most famous for his independent comics creation, Madman. His style is often compared to pop art, as well as commercial and comic art of the 1950s and 1960s.
Philip Craig Russell is an American comics artist, writer, and illustrator. His work has won multiple Harvey and Eisner Awards. Russell was the first mainstream comic book creator to come out as openly gay.
Marc Hempel is an American cartoonist/comics artist best known for his work on The Sandman with Neil Gaiman.
Mike Dringenberg is a German/American comics artist best known for his work on DC Comics/Vertigo's Sandman series with writer Neil Gaiman.
Charles Vess is an American fantasy artist and comics artist who has specialized in the illustration of myths and fairy tales. His influences include British "Golden Age" book illustrator Arthur Rackham, Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha, and comic-strip artist Hal Foster, among others. Vess has won several awards for his illustrations.
Michael Zulli is an American artist known for his work as an animal and wildlife illustrator and as a comic book illustrator.
Steve Leialoha is an American comics artist whose work first came to prominence in the 1970s. He has worked primarily as an inker, though occasionally as a penciller, for several publishers, including Marvel Comics and later DC Comics.
Glyn Dillon is a British costume designer, as well as a comics and film storyboard and concept artist, best known for his work on the Star Wars films The Force Awakens and Rogue One, as well as his 2012 graphic novel The Nao of Brown.
The Sandman Universe is a line of American comic books published by DC Comics under its DC Vertigo imprint. The line celebrates the 30th anniversary of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman (1989—1996) and Vertigo's 25th anniversary. The Sandman Universe features a titular one-shot and four new ongoing series—House of Whispers, Lucifer, The Books of Magic, and The Dreaming. Each comic is overseen by Gaiman but written by new creative teams. The line launched on August 8, 2018.
Black Orchid is an American comic book written by Neil Gaiman with art by Dave McKean. It was published by DC Comics as a three-issue limited series from December 1988 to February 1989, and was later reprinted in trade paperback form. Black Orchid follows two girls, Flora and Suzy, who awaken in a greenhouse. Their journey to find out who they are leads them into contact with DC Universe figures like Batman and Swamp Thing, but also into conflict with criminal mastermind Lex Luthor, who seeks them for his own interests.
My paternal great-grandfather came to the UK before 1914; and he would have come from Antwerp.
David Gaiman quote: "It's not me you should be interviewing. It's my son. Neil Gaiman. He's in the New York Times Bestsellers list. Fantasy. He's flavour of the month, very famous
A headmaster has refused the son of a scientologist entry to a preparatory school until, he says, the cult "clears its name". The boy, Neil Gaiman, aged 7, (...) Mr. David Gaiman, the father, aged 35, former South Coast businessman, has become in recent weeks a prominent spokesman in Britain for scientology, which has its headquarters at East Grinstead.
Neil Gaiman scripted the complex Black Orchid prestige format limited series in December , re-envisioning the character with the help of artist Dave McKean.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
DC's censorship of Veitch's Swamp Thing #88 (1989) had a lasting negative impact on the series...With Veitch's immediate departure, the team that had been groomed to follow Veitch (writers Neil Gaiman and Jamie Delano) also left the title in solidarity with Veitch.
Secret Origins No. 36 Neil Gaiman gave readers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Poison Ivy's mind.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Neil Gaiman...took his creative vision and penchant for times past to Marvel, crafting this eight-issue limited series alongside fan-favorite artist Andy Kubert. Digitally painted by Richard Isanove...this series took an alternative look at what the classic Marvel pantheon would be like if they had existed in the 17th century.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Later this year, writer Neil Gaiman makes his return to Marvel Comics...Perhaps even more intriguing is the announcement that Gaiman plans to introduce Angela to the Marvel U.
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