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Neil Gaiman

Page history last edited by Matt Brown 12 years ago

Born: November 10th, 1960 in Hampshire, England


Neil Richard Gaiman is a writer of comics, short stories, novels, television, and film. Of his many well-regarded, and popular works arguably the most significant is probably the comics series The Sandman. Some of his other significant works are the novels: Stardust, Coraline, and American Gods, as well as film adaptations for his optioned work.




From a young age, Gaiman discovered his love of books. It was during trips to the library (after he succeeded in begging his parents to drop him off there) that his desire to create stories was born. Gaiman credits libraries for making him the writer he would one day become.




Gaiman started his career as a journalist in England but quickly moved on to writing biographies of fellow countrymen Duran Duran and Douglas Adams. Of his early work Gaiman states: “I was very, very good at taking a voice that already existed and parodying it, or pastiching it.” It was the work of Alan Moore that inspired Gaiman to write comics. After starting a friendship/apprenticeship relationship with the older writer, in 1986 Gaiman met a DC editor at a convention and handed her a story based in the world of Moore’s Swamp Thing. This story led to Gaiman getting his first official work with the company that would be his home for over a decade.


After completing several graphic novels for DC, in 1988 Gaiman pitched and was granted his own series based called The Sandman. The character was based on an old Simon and Kirby series in the 1970s. The series, which ran from 1988-1996 ended up being a tremendous success, particularly critically. The series earned dozens of awards as far ranging from The World Fantasy Award for short story fantasy, and the Hugo. The series told the story of Morpheus, the mythical personification of dreams. Gaiman’s literary style helped to re-define comics away from the two-dimensional, super-hero stereotype the medium had been stuck with, and towards something more serious and adult. Since the end of the series each issue has been collected in ten volumes, along with other ancillary works from the same world and characters.


After moving on from The Sandman, Gaiman has worked on a number of other works in various mediums. The most notable of these are: Good Omens (1990), the novel and subsequent screenplay adaptation of Stardust (1998), American Gods (2002), for which he won the 2002 Hugo and Nebula awards, the novel and screenplay for Coraline (2003), and his latest success, the novel The Graveyard Club which one the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 2009 Newberry Award, and the 2010 Carnegie Medal.


Despite his enormous critical and financial success in other mediums, Gaiman has never fully left the comics’ fold. Including his numerous works within The Sandman universe, Gaiman also done work for Marvel Comics. He has written 1602, a re-telling of the Marvel Universe during the 17th Century, and The Eternals.




Neil Gaiman’s work is known for being more literary than most of his peers. His work contains constant allusions to the works of literary canon. Amongst some of his more typical themes are the inclusion of intra-textual games and parallel worlds.


Selected Bibliography 




Duran, Duran: The First Four Years of the Fab Five (1984)

Don't Panic: The Official Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion (1988)

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter (With Terry Pratchet) (1990)

American Gods (2002)

Coraline (2003)

The Graveyard Club (2008)




Future Shocks (1986-1987)

The Sandman (1988-1996)

Midnight Day (1999)

Marvel 1602 (2003)

The Eternals (2007)




Neil Gaiman - Comic Book Database


The Comic Works of Neil Gaiman


Neil Gaiman Visual Biography


MIT Admissions 




Further Reading


Wikipedia -- Neil Gaiman


Neil Gaiman Biography


Wikipedia -- The Sandman (Vertigo)

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