|Publisher||DC Comics, Vertigo Comics|
|First appearance||The Books of Magic #1 (January 1990)|
|Created by|| Neil Gaiman |
|Alter ego||Timothy Hunter|
|Team affiliations||Justice League Dark|
|Notable aliases||The Merlin, Tamar son of Tamlin, The Opener, Señor Asscoaite|
|Abilities||Powerful sorcerer, HR Extraordinaire|
Timothy Hunter is a fictional character, a comic book sorcerer published by DC Comics. He first appeared in The Books of Magic #1 (January 1990), and was created by Neil Gaiman and John Bolton.
Tim Hunter was created by writer Neil Gaiman when DC Comics asked him to come up with a four issue prestige-format series "about our magic characters".Drawing on a childhood spent working his way through the children's section in his local library and a childhood love of magic and fantasy stories such as T. H. White's The Once and Future King , Gaiman created a character reminiscent of Wart except that instead of being destined to be King, Tim Hunter's destiny was to become the world's greatest magician. Gaiman's story was structured to use different artists for each issue, and it was the artist for the first issue, John Bolton, who designed Tim's appearance, basing him on his own son. When The Books of Magic was initially released over 1990–91, it proved very popular and led Vertigo Comics Executive Editor Karen Berger to make it a regular ongoing series under editor Stuart Moore.
Initially, the editors had a difficult time finding someone to write the series, with Tim Hunter proving a tricky character to get right: although he already appeared in a mini-series, the character's main function had been to bear witness to the past, present and future of magic in the DC universe and so did not offer a writer much detail to work with. Karen Berger eventually settled on writer John Ney Rieber to continue Tim's story,who expanded Tim's character using his own memories of being 14, later saying: "I don't believe that my soul is likely to be shuffled off to Purgatory after I die. What would be the point? I've been fourteen already". Rieber utilized his own teenage confusion and delight in writing Tim, while introducing his first girlfriend Molly as a counterpoint: Molly was the opposite of Tim in nearly every way, someone "who'd already figured out the best thing you could possibly do with your life was live it".
While Rieber's personal connection to Tim gave the character a sense of realism, it also was a source of frustration for the writer; he later said: "I've found it difficult to like Tim now and then. Of course he gets on my nerves. He's a lot like someone I spent years learning not to be".This dislike led to a perceived decline in the quality of the book as Rieber wrote his final batch of issues, with the character of Tim often sidelined in the stories in favor of his girlfriend, Molly. This preference also affected Tim's character in other ways, as Rieber requested that Molly not be used in the book after his departure to allow him to develop his own projects using her — causing the in-story break up of the two young lovers that led to them not seeing each other for many years.
Rieber was replaced on the series by his main artist, Peter Gross, who decided that the character had been dominated by strong female characters and also had shown himself to be resistant to change and evolution, pulling away from other characters and situations that would require him to adapt. He resolved to concentrate on Tim's "boy time"and introducing the concept of the boy magician using his magic subconsciously to protect himself, separating painful emotions off into alternate worlds and alternate Tims: the 25 issue run told the story of Tim regaining all of those disparate pieces of himself, leaving him whole and more rounded for the end of the series.
It had always been the intention to have a clean break in the series after Gross' first 25 issues to allow the character time to grow up, with Gross having some ideas about where he would take the character next.When the time came, however, DC opted to relaunch the series as Hunter: The Age of Magic with writer Dylan Horrocks. Horrocks introduced the series with a five-issue miniseries, The Names of Magic, that ended with the character learning his true heritage and names and enrolling in a school of magic: this allowed Horrocks to show a more mature version of Tim in the ongoing series, set after Tim's graduation from the school, and deal with real-life issues that had not been previously covered in The Books of Magic, like bills and hangovers.
Horrocks was initially attracted to the concept of the original series, seeing a great connection with the character of Tim and the ability to tell fantasy stories using realistic, real-life characters. In particular, he relished the opportunity to write about Tim's love life (eventually reintroducing the character of Molly to the book) and also to approach issues of morality: he used the stories to resolve for Tim the question that was asked about him at the start of Neil Gaiman's miniseries — would he be good or evil. It also took Tim into the opening stages of the magical conflict mentioned in Gaiman's series that he was to play such a pivotal role in.The series was cancelled after 25 issues, and Vertigo decided to relaunch again, this time bringing back a Tim Hunter in Si Spencer's Books of Magick: Life During Wartime .
This series distanced itself from the previous iterations of the character and marketed itself towards a more adult audience, with the variation on the title's spelling intended as a signifier of that distance.Although the story featured Tim Hunter coping with a magical war, it was set on a world populated by alternate versions of Zatanna and John Constantine, though ultimately it implied that the John Constantine and Tim Hunter of that series had originated in the "standard" Vertigo universe.
Following the 2011 companywide DC reboot, Tim Hunter appeared in the non-Vertigo Justice League Dark title. His appearance in the mainstream DCU seems to only take into account the events of the original Books of Magic miniseries.
Since the 1997 publication (and subsequent success) of the first book in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, fans of The Books of Magic have noted some similarities between the two protagonists: both are normal, bespectacled teenage boys who have lost their mothers, and discover that they are destined to become powerful magicians while gaining an owl as a pet. The similarity was noted by a journalist from The Scotsman newspaper, who asked Gaiman if he thought Rowling was aware of his 1990 comic, to which Gaiman replied that he "wasn't the first writer to create a young magician with potential, nor was Rowling the first to send one to school".
A story in the Daily Mirror reported that Gaiman had accused Rowling of plagiarism, and was repeated in the Daily Mail . Gaiman has stressed, "This is not true, I never said this", and when asked, repeats his belief that Rowling had not read The Books of Magic and that the similarities most likely result from both being inspired by similar works, in particular those of T. H. White.Hunter: Age of Magic author Dylan Horrocks has pointed out that neither Hunter nor Potter was truly an original idea, with another boy wizard preceding Hunter in comics, and they should be considered more as part of a genre:
The superficial similarities are striking - but no more so than any number of other stories in the genre. As Gaiman has repeatedly said, he and Rowling were merely drinking from the same well. In fact, there was even a story in 2000AD (called the Journals of Luke Kirby ) which came out a few years before The Books of Magic, which was extremely similar to both the BoM and Harry Potter. This is a genre - and Gaiman and Rowling are both playing with the conventions of the genre, to different ends.
In the last issue of the ongoing (second) The Books of Magic series, writer/artist Peter Gross played on the similarity to Potter, showing Tim's step brother Cyril putting on a glamor stone that made him look like Timothy. Cyril then walked through the wall between platforms 9 and 10 at a train station.
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, nonfiction, audio theatre, and films. His works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, Anansi Boys, 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. It was later adapted into a critically acclaimed stage play at the Royal National Theatre in London, England that The Independent called "...theatre at its best".
The Sandman is a comic book written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics. Its artists include Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Bryan Talbot, and Michael Zulli, with lettering by Todd Klein and covers by Dave McKean. The original series ran for 75 issues from January 1989 to March 1996. Beginning with issue No. 47, it was placed under DC's Vertigo imprint, and following Vertigo's retirement in 2020, reprints have been published under DC's Black Label imprint.
Death of the Endless is a fictional personification of death who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics. She first appeared in The Sandman vol. 2, #8, and was created by Neil Gaiman and Mike Dringenberg.
Vertigo Comics, also known as DC Vertigo or simply Vertigo, was an imprint of American comic book publisher DC Comics started by editor Karen Berger in 1993. Vertigo's purpose was to publish comics with adult content, such as nudity, drug use, profanity, and graphic violence, that did not fit the restrictions of DC's main line, thus allowing more creative freedom. Its titles consisted of company-owned comics set in the DC Universe, such as The Sandman and Hellblazer, and creator-owned works, such as Preacher, Y: The Last Man and Fables. The Vertigo branding was retired in 2020, and most of its library transitioned to DC Black Label.
The Books of Magic is the title of a four-issue English-language comic book mini-series written by Neil Gaiman, published by DC Comics, and later an ongoing series under the imprint Vertigo. Since its original publication, the mini-series has also been published in a single-volume collection under the Vertigo imprint with an introduction by author Roger Zelazny. It tells the story of a young boy who has the potential to become the world's greatest magician.
Titania is a fictional character, a comic book faerie published by DC Comics. She first appeared in The Sandman #19, and was created by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess. She is inspired by and implied to be the same as Titania as the faerie queen in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Doctor Occult is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Doctor Occult is an occult detective and private investigator and user of magic who specializes in cases involving the supernatural. Doctor Occult first appeared in 1935 around the Golden Age of Comic Books. He was published by National Comics Publications and Centaur Publications within anthology titles. He is the earliest recurring, originally featured fictional character created by DC Comics that is still currently used in the DC Universe. He is commonly affiliated with the All-Star Squadron and has appeared occasionally in paranormal-related stories by DC and Vertigo Comics titles. Doctor Occult has appeared in a few official tie-in comic books and has appeared in one DC based video game which is established as within DC's multiverse canon.
Books of Magick: Life During Wartime is a fantasy comic book series published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint in 2004 and 2005 that was discontinued after fifteen issues.
John Bolton is a British comic book artist and illustrator most known for his dense, painted style, which often verges on photorealism. He was one of the first British artists to come to work in the American comics industry, a phenomenon which took root in the late 1980s and has since become standard practice.
Dean Ormston is a British born comic book artist. His most notable work has been for the British comic 2000 AD and for DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.
The Trenchcoat Brigade is a four-issue comic book limited series that was published in 1999 as a part of DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, featuring several mystic DC Universe characters.
"The Children's Crusade" is the over-arching title of a seven-issue comic book crossover and limited series, and specifically the two bookends thereof. It was published in 1993 and 1994 by DC Comics as a part of the Vertigo imprint.
The Dead Boy Detectives are fictional supernatural detective duo who have appeared in comic books published by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. They were created by writer Neil Gaiman and artists Matt Wagner and Malcolm Jones III in The Sandman #25. The characters are the ghosts of two dead children, Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine, who, rather than enter the afterlife, stay on Earth to become detectives investigating crimes involving the supernatural.
This is a list of works by Neil Gaiman.
John Ney Rieber is an American comic book writer.
Molly O'Reilly is a fictional character created for the Vertigo comic-book series The Books of Magic by writer John Ney Rieber and artist Peter Gross. Although she was written out of the main series, she was brought back by popular demand in a limited series called The Books of Faerie: Molly's Story. This series was never produced, and Molly returned as a regular character partway through the short-lived Hunter: The Age of Magic series.
The Books of Faerie was a series of three mini-series spun off from Vertigo Comics' series The Books of Magic written by Bronwyn Carlton and John Ney Rieber. It featured characters used predominantly in the parent series – Titania, Auberon and Molly O'Reilly – to tell stories set in the realm of Faerie prior to the start of The Books of Magic, and later in the present era.
Faerie, The Fair Lands or The Twilight Realm is one of two fictional otherdimensional homelands for the Faerie, as published by DC Comics. The Vertigo Comics realm of Faerie is an amalgam of the mythological realms of Álfheimr, Otherworld, the Fortunate Isles, Tír na nÓg and Avalon. This mix is heavily influenced by Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is home to the faeries and other mythical races, ruled over by the Seelie Court and King Auberon and Queen Titania. Faerie debuted in The Books of Magic #3, and was created by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.
The Sandman Universe is a line of American comic books published by DC Comics under its imprints DC Vertigo and DC Black Label. The line launched to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman (1989–1996) and Vertigo's 25th anniversary. The Sandman Universe began in August 2018, with a titular one-shot, which was followed by four ongoing series—House of Whispers, Lucifer, Books of Magic, and The Dreaming. Each comic is overseen by Gaiman but written by new creative teams.