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Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman and his dog, Cabal
Born 10 November 1960 (1960-11-10) (age 49)
Portchester, Hampshire, England
Occupation Novelist, graphic novelist and screenwriter
Nationality British
Period 1980s–present
Genres Fantasy, Horror, Science fiction, Dark fantasy
Notable work(s) The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book
Official website

Neil Richard Gaiman (pronounced /ˈɡeɪmən/;[2] born 10 November 1960[3]) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, audio theatre, and films. His notable works include The Sandman comic book series, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. Gaiman's writing has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker, as well as the 2009 Newbery Medal. The extreme enthusiasm of his fans has led some to call him a "rock star" of the literary world.[4]


Early life

Gaiman's family is of Polish Jewish origins; his great-grandfather emigrated from Antwerp before 1914[5] and his grandfather eventually settled in the Hampshire city of Portsmouth and established a chain of grocery stores.[6] His father, David Bernard Gaiman,[7] worked in the same chain of stores;[6] his mother, Sheila Gaiman (née Goldman), was a pharmacist. He has two younger sisters.[8] After living for a period in the nearby town of Portchester, England, 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 center in the town.[9] They remained closely involved with Judaism; Gaiman's sister later said, "It would get very confusing when people would ask my religion as a kid. I’d say, 'I’m a Jewish Scientologist.'"[9] Gaiman says that he is not now a Scientologist.[9]

Gaiman was educated at several Church of England schools, including Fonthill School (East Grinstead),[10] Ardingly College (1970–74), and Whitgift School (Croydon) (1974–77).[11] 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.[9][12] He lived in East Grinstead for many years, from 1965–1980 and again from 1984–1987.[10] He met his future 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.[9]

Journalism, early writings, and literary influences

As a child and a teenager, Gaiman read the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K. Le Guin, Lord Dunsany and G. K. Chesterton. He later became a fan of science fiction, reading the works of authors as diverse as Samuel R. Delany, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, Harlan Ellison, H. P. Lovecraft, Thorne Smith, and Gene Wolfe.

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.[13] His first professional short story publication was "Featherquest", a fantasy story, in Imagine Magazine in May 1984, when he was 23.[14]

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. He also wrote interviews and articles for many British magazines, including Knave. As he was writing for different magazines, some of them competing, and "wrote too many articles", he sometimes went by a number of pseudonyms: Gerry Musgrave, Richard Grey, "along with a couple of house names".[15] Gaiman ended his journalism career in 1987 because British newspapers can "make up anything they want and publish it as fact." [16][17]

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 on from that he wrote the opening of what would become his collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the comic novel Good Omens, about the impending apocalypse.[18]

Comics and graphic novels

After forming a friendship with fellow Englishman and comic book writer Alan Moore, Gaiman started writing comic books, picking up Marvelman 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 1986-7. He wrote three graphic novels with his favorite collaborator and long-time friend Dave McKean: Violent Cases, Signal to Noise, and The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch. In between, he landed a job with DC Comics, his first work being the limited series Black Orchid.[19]

Gaiman has written numerous comics for several publishers. His award-winning series The Sandman tells the tale of Morpheus, the anthropomorphic personification of Dream. The series began in 1989 and concluded in 1996: 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 spinoff is taken into account).

In 1989, Gaiman published The Books of Magic (collected in 1991), 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.

In the mid-90s, 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.[20] They were later featured in Phage: Shadow Death and Wheel of Worlds. Although Gaiman's name appeared prominently on all titles, he was not involved in writing of any of the above-mentioned books (though he helped plot the zero issue of Wheel of Worlds).

Gaiman wrote a semi-autobiographical story about a boy's fascination with Michael Moorcock's anti-hero Elric 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.”[21]

In 2009, Gaiman wrote a two-part Batman story for DC Comics to follow Batman R.I.P. It is 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.[22][23][24] He will also be contributing a twelve-page Metamorpho story drawn by Mike Allred for Wednesday Comics, a weekly newspaper-style series.


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 recent years Pratchett has 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.[25]

The 1996 novelization 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. 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.

American Gods became one of Gaiman's best-selling and multi-award winning novels upon its release in 2001.[26]

In 2005, his novel Anansi Boys was released worldwide. The book deals with Anansi ('Mr. Nancy'), a supporting character in American Gods. Specifically it traces the relationship of his two sons, one semi-divine and the other an unaware Englishman of American origin, as they explore their common heritage. It debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list.[27]

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, it had been on the New York Times Bestseller children's list for fifteen weeks.[28]

As of 2008, Gaiman has several books planned. After a tour of China, he decided to write a non-fiction book about his travels and the general mythos of China. Following that, will be a new 'adult' novel (his first since 2005's Anansi Boys). After that, another 'all-ages' book (in the same vein as Coraline and The Graveyard Book). Following that, Gaiman says that he will release another non-fiction book called, The Dream Catchers.[29]

Film and screenwriting

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 localized 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.[30] Gaiman has expressed interest in collaborating on a film adaptation of the Epic of Gilgamesh.[31]

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,[32][33] although the project was stalled while Zemeckis made The Polar Express and the Gaiman-Roger Avary written Beowulf film.

Several of Gaiman's original works have been optioned or greenlighted for film adaptation, most notably Stardust, which premiered in August 2007 and stars 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.[34]

In 2007 Gaiman 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.[35][36]

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 Neil Jordan being announced as the director during Gaiman's appearance on The Today Show, 27 January 2009.

Gaiman has confirmed he is writing an episode of the long running science fiction series Doctor Who, for broadcast in 2011 during Matt Smith's second series as the Doctor.[37]


In February 2001, when Gaiman had completed writing American Gods, his publishers set up a promotional web site 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 web site evolved into a more general Official Neil Gaiman Website.[38]

Gaiman generally posts to the blog several times a week, 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."[39]

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 7th anniversary of the blog, the novel American Gods was provided free of charge online for a month.

Personal life

Home and family

He lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States[8][40][41] in an "Addams Family house".[42] He is divorced with three children: Michael, Holly, and Madeleine. Their mother is Mary McGrath.[43]

In June 2009, during the Q&A at an AIDS fundraising event they were doing together, songwriter and performer Amanda Palmer and Gaiman stated that they were dating.[44][45]

On 1 January 2010, Amanda Palmer stated on her Twitter feed that she "might have told [Neil Gaiman] [she]'d marry him but also might have been drunk"[46], leading fans to speculate that the couple were now engaged to be married. On 15 January 2010, both Gaiman and Palmer confirmed their engagement in an announcement made on their respective websites.[47][48]

Friendship with Tori Amos

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, and whom he included as a character (a talking tree) in Stardust.[49] 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"),[50] "Space Dog" ("Where's Neil when you need him?"),[51] "Horses" ("But will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?"),[52] "Carbon" ("Get me Neil on the line, no I can't hold. Have him read, 'Snow, Glass, Apples' where nothing is what it seems"),[53] and "Not Dying Today" ("Neil is thrilled he can claim he's mammalian, 'but the bad news,' he said, 'girl you're a dandelion').[53] 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,[54] and wrote a poem called "Blueberry Girl" for Tori and Tash.[55] The poem has been turned into a book by the illustrator Charles Vess.[56] Gaiman read the poem aloud to an audience in Palo Alto on 5 October 2008 during his book reading tour for The Graveyard Book.[57] It was published in March 2009 with the title, Blueberry Girl.

S. Alexander Reed has written about the intertextual relationships between Gaiman's and Amos's respective work. Reed does close readings of several of Gaiman's allusions to Amos, arguing that the reference to Amos happens as the texts expand and broaden their focus, and that Amos serves to disrupt the linear flow of the narrative. He reads this disruption in terms of psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan's idea of the mirror stage, arguing that the mutual referentiality serves to create an ideal vision of the reader-as-fan that the actual reader encounters and misrecognizes as themselves, thus drawing the reader into the role of the devoted (and paying) fan. The essay also contains a fairly thorough list of known references in both Gaiman's and Amos's work.[58]


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 #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,[59] 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.[60][61] 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).[62] 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.[citation needed] 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[63] (McFarlane believes he purchased interest in the character when Eclipse Comics was liquidated; Gaiman is interested in being able to continue his aborted run on that title) but later claimed that Gaiman's work had been work-for-hire and that McFarlane owned all of Gaiman's creations entirely.[citation needed] 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."[64]

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court ruling in February 2004[65] granting joint ownership of the characters to Gaiman and McFarlane. On the specific issue of Cogliostro, presiding Judge John 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".[66] Similar analysis lead 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 in order to help sort out the legal rights surrounding Marvelman (see the ownership of Marvelman sub-section of the Marvelman article). Gaiman wrote Marvel 1602 in 2003 to help fund this project.[67] All of Marvel Comics' profits for the original issues of the series went to Marvels and Miracles.[67] In 2009, Marvel Comics purchased Marvelman.[68]

Gaiman is a major supporter and board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.[69]


Neil Gaiman at the 2007 Scream Awards

References in popular culture

  • In SimCity 2000, if the player queries a library and click "Ruminate" an article about cities' personalities appears which was written by Gaiman. The article is also available on the official Gaiman website.[92]
  • In the science-fiction television series Babylon 5, one of the races (The Gaim) is named in homage to Gaiman, and they are similar in appearance to the protagonist of Gaiman's graphic novel series "The Sandman".[93]

Literary allusions

Gaiman's work is known for a high degree of allusiveness.[94] Meredith Collins, for instance, has commented upon the degree to which his novel Stardust depends on allusions to Victorian fairy tales and culture.[95] 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. The comic also draws from numerous mythologies and historical periods. Such allusions are not unique to Sandman.

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.[96] 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."[97]

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.[98]

Though Gaiman's work is frequently seen as exemplifying the monomyth structure laid out in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces,[99] 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."[100]


See also


  1. ^ "Gaiman Interrupted: An Interview with Neil Gaiman (Part 2)" conducted by Lawrence Person, Nova Express, Volume 5, Number 4, Fall/Winter 2000, page 5.
  2. ^ Author Name Pronunciation Guide - Neil Gaiman
  3. ^ Comics Buyers Guide #1636 (December 2007), p. 135
  4. ^ Author Neil Gaiman Inspires Starstruck Fans, Columbia Daily Spectator, Oct. 1, 2008
  5. ^ Gaiman, Neil. "journeys end", Neil Gaiman's Journal, 16 January 2009
  6. ^ a b Lancaster, James (2005-10-11). "Everyone has the potential to be great". The Argus (Brighton). pp. 10–11. 
  7. ^ Lancaster, James (2005-10-11). "Everyone has the potential to be great". The Argus (Brighton). pp. 10–11.  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."
  8. ^ a b "A writer's life: Neil Gaiman". The Telegraph. 12 December 2005. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Goodyear, Dana (2010-01-25). "Kid Goth". The New Yorker. 
  10. ^ a b "East Grinstead Hall of Fame — Neil Gaiman", East Grinstead Community Web Site.
  11. ^ "Neil Gaiman". Exclusive Books.
  12. ^ "Head Bars Son Of Cult Man". The Times: p. 2. 1968-08-13. "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." 
  13. ^ Neil Gaiman - About Neil
  14. ^ Neil Gaiman - About Neil
  15. ^ Neil Gaiman - Rumour control
  16. ^ Psychology Today - British Newspapers Make Things Up
  17. ^ Neil Gaiman - Journalism
  18. ^ Science Fiction Weekly Interview
  19. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008). "Black Orchid". in Dougall, Alastair. The Vertigo Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 32–34. ISBN 0-7566-4122-5. OCLC 213309015. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Ogline, Tim E.; "Myth, Magic and the Mind of Neil Gaiman", Wild River Review, 20 November 2007.
  22. ^ CCI: DC One Weekend Later - Gaiman on "Batman", Comic Book Resources, 27 July 2008
  23. ^ SDCC '08 - More on Gaiman-Batman with Dan DiDio, Newsarama, 27 July 2008
  24. ^ DC at Comic-Con ’08 Mike Marts, Newsarama Video, 27 July 2008
  25. ^ "L Space - Words from the Master"
  26. ^ American Gods wins a Hugo!
  27. ^ "Best-Seller Lists: Hardcover Fiction". The New York Times. October 9, 2005. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Beyond Tea", Neil Gaiman's journal, 19 November 2008
  29. ^ "From Las Vegas", Neil Gaiman's journal, 6 November 2008
  30. ^ Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary: Shaping Beowulf's story, video interview with
  31. ^ Tom Ambrose (December 2007). "He Is Legend". Empire. pp. 142. 
  32. ^'s_Film_Work
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Sanchez, Robert (2006-08-02). "Neil Gaiman on Stardust and Death: High Cost of Living!". Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  36. ^ Gaiman, Neil (2007-01-09). "The best film of 2006 was...". Neil Gaiman's Journal. Neil Gaiman. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  37. ^ "EXCLUSIVE Neil Gaiman Confirms Doctor Who Episode". Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  38. ^ Official Neil Gaiman Website
  39. ^ Neil Gaiman's journal, 2/11/2008
  40. ^ McGinty, Stephen (25 February 2006). "Dream weaver". The Scotsman. 
  41. ^ "Neil Gaiman - Biography". Biography. Retrieved 2006-06-21. 
  42. ^ Richards, Linda (August 2001). "Interview - Neil Gaiman". January Magazine.  "I thought," says Gaiman, "you know, if I'm going to leave England and go to America, I want one of those things that only America can provide and one of those things is Addams Family houses."
  43. ^
  44. ^ Yu, Kathryn (2009-06-04). "Two Lovers". Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman Perform Together in NYC (SPIN). Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  45. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1/15/10). "Telling the World: An Official Announcement". Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^ Tori Amos, "Tear in Your Hand," Little Earthquakes
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ a b
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^ Reed, S. Alexander. "Through Every Mirror in the World: Lacan's Mirror Stage as Mutual Reference in the Works of Neil Gaiman and Tori Amos." ImageTexT 4.1. [1]
  59. ^ See Judge Shabaz's ruling for the legal reasoning: "As a co-owner, McFarlane was not violating the Copyright Act by unilaterally publishing the jointly owned work, but, as in any other case of conversion or misappropriation, he would have to account to the other joint owner for the latter's share of the profits."
  60. ^ Listen to the "Oral Argument," List of Documents in case: 03-1331 : Gaiman, Neil v. McFarlane, Todd. Accessed 22 September 2008
  61. ^ See also the official decision by Judge John Shabaz in The United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit Nos. 03-1331, 03-1461. Accessed 22 September 2008
  62. ^ See Khoury, George, Image Comics: The Road To Independence (TwoMorrows Publications, 2007), ISBN 1-893905-71-3
  63. ^ See Judge Shabaz's ruling: "A tentative agreement was reached that... Gaiman would exchange his rights in Medieval Spawn and Cogliostro for McFarlane's rights in another comic book character, Miracleman."
  64. ^ Judge Shabaz, Official ruling, as per "Schiller & Schmidt, Inc. v. Nordisco Corp., 969 F.2d 410, 413 (7th Cir. 1992)"
  65. ^ "Gaiman in Stunning Victory over McFarlane in Spawn Case: Jury Finds for Gaiman on All Counts," by Beau Yarbrough, 3 October 2002. Accessed 22 September 2008
  66. ^ See Judge Shabaz's ruling for similar statements on Angela and Medieval Spawn.
  67. ^ a b "Marvel's "1602" Press Conference," by Jonah Weiland, 27 June 2003. Accessed 22 September 2008
  68. ^ Phegley, Kiel (24 July 2009). "CCI: Marvel Acquires Marvelman". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  69. ^ "Neil Gaiman Talks Sandman, CBLDF on NPR," 19 September 2003. Accessed 22 September 2008
  70. ^ von Busack, Richard (8 March 2006). "Sunnyvale". Metroactive. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  71. ^ Tyler, Joshua (10 January 2006). "Shatner Gets His Own Award". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  72. ^ "Neil Gaiman Receives Defender of Liberty Award". Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. 1997-11-08. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  73. ^ "1991 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  74. ^ "1999 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  75. ^ "Mythypoeic Awards — Winners". Mythopoeic Society. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  76. ^
  77. ^
  78. ^ a b "2002 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  79. ^ Locus Magazine (2002). "Locus Award Winners by Category". Locus Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  80. ^ "Honor roll:Fiction books". Award Annals. 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  81. ^ Locus Magazine (2003). "Locus Award Winners by Category". Locus Magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  82. ^
  83. ^ Quills Foundation (2005). "The Quill Awards: The 2005 Awards". TheQuills.Org. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  84. ^ "2006 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  85. ^ "Hugo words…". Neil Gaiman's homepage. 2006-08-27. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  86. ^ The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award
  87. ^ Gaiman's blog, 26 January 2009
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^ "The Hugo Awards: 2009 Hugo Award Winners". 9/8/09. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  91. ^ "Neil Gaiman gewinnt den Hugo Award" (in German). Der Standard. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  92. ^
  93. ^ "Guide Page: "Interludes and Examinations"". The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5. 2004-07-13. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  94. ^ See particularly Rodney Sharkey, James Fleming, and Zuleyha Cetiner-Oktem's articles in ImageTexT's special issue on Gaiman's work: [2].
  95. ^ Collins, Meredith. "Fairy and Faerie: Uses of the Victorian in Neil Gaiman's and Charles Vess's Stardust." ImageTexT 4.1. [3]
  96. ^ Smith, Clay. "Get Gaiman?: PolyMorpheus Perversity in Works by and about Neil Gaiman." ImageTexT 4.1. [4]
  97. ^ A Special Issue on the Works of Neil Gaiman, Introduction
  98. ^ Rudd, David "An Eye for an 'I': Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and the Question of Identity" Children’s Literature and Education 39(3), 2008, pp. 159-168 [5]
  99. ^ See Stephen Rauch, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and Joseph Campbell: In Search of the Modern Myth, Wildside Press, 2003
  100. ^ The Wild River Review, "Interview with the Dream King"


External links

Preceded by
Grant Morrison
Hellblazer writer
Succeeded by
Jamie Delano


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.

Neil Gaiman (born 10 November 1960) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, and comics.

See also:
The Sandman
The Books of Magic
American Gods
Good Omens
(co-written with Terry Pratchett)
& Stardust (2007 film based upon his novella)



You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.
  • Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.
  • It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
    • The Sandman
  • Life — and I don't suppose I'm the first to make this comparison — is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.
    • Death Talks About Life
  • Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' or 'how very perceptive' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.
  • Whatever happened to me in my life, happened to me as a writer of plays. I'd fall in love, or fall in lust. And at the height of my passion, I would think, "So this is how it feels," and I would tie it up in pretty words. I watched my life as if it were happening to someone else. My son died. And I was hurt, but I watched my hurt, and even relished it, a little, for now I could write a real death, a true loss. My heart was broken by my dark lady, and I wept, in my room, alone; but while I wept, somewhere inside I smiled. For I knew I could take my broken heart and place it on the stage of The Globe, and make the pit cry tears of their own.
    • William Shakespeare, portrayed as looking back over his career as he finishes writing The Tempest as one of two plays commissioned by Morpheus (aka Dream, aka The Sandman). "The Tempest," issue #75 of The Sandman (1996), collected in The Wake.
  • You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.
  • I wanted to put a reference to masturbation in one of the scripts for the Sandman. It was immediately cut by the editor [Karen Berger]. She told me, "There's no masturbation in the DC Universe." To which my reaction was, "Well that explains a lot about the DC Universe."
    • The Sandman Companion (1999)
  • Last year, initially The Scotsman newspaper — being Scottish and J. K. Rowling being Scottish — and because of the English tendency to try and tear down their idols, they kept trying to build stories which said J. K. Rowling ripped off Neil Gaiman. They kept getting in touch with me and I kept declining to play because I thought it was silly. And then The Daily Mirror in England ran an article about that mad woman who was trying to sue J. K. Rowling over having stolen muggles from her. And they finished off with a line saying [something like]: And Neil Gaiman has accused her of stealing.
    Luckily I found this online and I found it the night it came out by pure coincidence and the reporter's e-mail address was at the bottom of the thing so I fired off an e-mail saying: This is not true, I never said this. You are making this up. I got an apologetic e-mail back, but by the time I'd gotten the apologetic e-mail back it was already in The Daily Mail the following morning and it was very obvious that The Daily Mail‘s research [had] consisted of reading The Daily Mirror. And you're going: journalists are so lazy.
  • Writers may be solitary but they also tend to flock together: they like being solitary together. I knew a lot of writers in London and many of them were award-winning writers and many of them were award-winning, respectable writers. And the trouble with being an award-winning, respectable writer is that you probably are not making a living.
    If you write one well-reviewed, well-respected, not bad selling, but not a bestseller list book every three years, which you sell for a whopping 30,000 pounds, that's still going to average out to 10,000 pounds a year and you will make more managing a McDonald's. With overtime you'd probably make more working in a McDonald's. So there were incredibly well-respected, award-winning senior writers who, to make ends meet, were writing film novelizations and TV novelizations under pen names that they were desperately embarrassed about and didn't want anybody to know about.
    • January magazine interview (2002)
  • We are small but we are many, we are many we are small; we were here before you rose, we will be here when you fall.
    • Coraline (2002)
  • Fuck! I won a Hugo!
    • Final line of his acceptance speech on winning a Hugo award for his novel American Gods (September 2002)
  • The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.
  • Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.
  • I'm not sure it's entirely a good thing... I've always loved the gutter.
    • Response to a question about the increasing critical acceptance of fantasy writing, in a Radio interview, Studio 360 show 640, originally broadcast (1 October 2005)
  • American Gods is about 200,000 words long, and I'm sure there are words that are simply in there 'cause I like them. I know I couldn't justify each and every one of them.
    • In response to a question about whether he writes differently for different audiences, in an Inteview at
  • Do not be jealous of your sister.
    Know that diamonds and roses
    are as uncomfortable when they tumble from
    one's lips as toads and frogs:
    colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.
    • 'Instructions', first published in 'A Wolf at the Door'
  • I wish I had an origin story for you. When I was four, I was bitten by a radioactive myth.
    • On how his interest in mythology started, in an interview with Bookslut (October 2006)
  • You can tell when a Hollywood historical film was made by looking at the eye makeup of their leading ladies, and you can tell the date of an old science fiction novel by every word on the page. Nothing dates harder and faster and more strangely than the future.
    • "Of Time, and Gully Foyle", Foreword to a 1999 edition of The Stars My Destination (1956)
  • The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on the page, and suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it's about and why you're doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. Everything is suddenly both obvious and surprising ("but of course that's why he was doing that, and that means that...") and it's magic and wonderful and strange.
    • Neil Gaiman's Journal (15 October 2007)
  • Why do I have this imagination? It's the only one I've got!
    • San Diego Comicon 2007

Signal to Noise (1992)

  • In Hollywood the man who cleans your pool is an actor. The man who sells you your copy of Variety is an actor. I don't think there's a real person left in the place.
  • We live in a world in which the only utopian visions arrive in commercial breaks: magical visions of an impossibly hospitable world, peopled by bright-eyed attractive men, women, children... Where nobody dies... In my worlds people died. And I thought that was honest. I thought I was being honest.
  • The world is always ending, for someone.
  • I don't believe in Apocalypses. I believe in Apocatastases. I think it may be the title for The Film. It's a bitch to pronounce, and no-one knows what it means, but otherwise it's a great title.
  • Apocatastasis. What it means:
    1) Restoration, re-establishment, renovation
    2) Return to a previous condition
    3) (Astronomy) Return to the same apparent position, completion of a period of revolution.
    Think about it.
  • We are always living in the final days. What have you got? A hundred years or much, much less until the end of your world.

Stardust (1999)

These are just two samples, for more from this work see Stardust
  • "The little folk dare anything", said his friend. "And they talk a lot of nonsense. But they talks an awful lot of sense, as well. You listen to 'em at your peril, and you ignore 'em at your peril, too."
  • When I was very young, somebody — maybe it was a squirrel, they talk so much, or a magpie, or maybe a fishie — told me that Pan owned all this forest. Well, not owned owned. Not like he would sell the forest to someone else, or put a wall all around it ... It's not hard to own something. Or everything. You just have to know that it's yours, and then be willing to let it go.

American Gods (2001)

These are just a few samples, for more quotations from this work see American Gods
  • Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.
    • Ch. 3
  • All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.
    • Ch. 6
  • There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
    • "Mr. Wednesday" to Shadow, in Ch. 9

Anansi Boys (2005)

These are just a few samples, for more from this work see Anansi Boys
  • There was reality and there was reality; and some things were more real than others.
    • Ch. 9
  • It was England in the autumn; the sun was, by definition, something that only happened when it wasn't cloudy or raining.
    • Ch. 9
  • "You're no help," he told the lime. This was unfair. It was only a lime; there was nothing special about it at all. It was doing the best it could.
    • Ch. 12
  • ... the beast made the noise of a cat being shampooed, a lonely wail of horror and outrage, of shame and defeat.
    • Ch. 13

Fragile Things (2006)

  • I think... I would rather recollect a life misspent on fragile things than spent avoiding moral debt
  • I had to go to the store, I had decided, to bring back some apples - and I went past the store that sold apples and I kept driving, and driving. I was going south, and west, because if I went north or east I would run out of world too soon.
    • From Bitter Grounds

The Graveyard Book (2008)

  • At the best of times his face was unreadable. Now his face was a book written in a language long forgotten, in an alphabet unimagined. Silas wrapped the shadows around him like a blanket, and stared after the way the boy had gone, and did not move to follow.
    • Ch. 6
  • People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer.
    • Ch. 7
  • Bod walked back into the graveyard and up the hill, until he reached the Frobisher mausoleum. He did not enter it. He climbed up the side of the building, using the thick ivy root as a foothold, and he pulled himself up onto the stone roof, where he sat and thought looking out at the world of moving things beyond the graveyard, and he remembered the way Scarlett had held him and how safe he felt, if only for a moment, and how fine it would be to walk safely in the lands beyond the graveyard, and how good it was to be master of his own small world.
    • Ch. 7
  • Bod said, "I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want," he said, and then he paused, and thought. "I want everything."
    • Ch. 8


  • What most people don't know about love, sex, and relations with other human beings would fill a book. Strangers in Paradise is that book. I have long suspected that what people did in private was much funnier than it ever was erotic. Terry Moore obviously thinks so too. Strangers in Paradise is a delightful new comic, and Terry Moore is a fun writer and a fine cartoonist.
  • Give a man a fish, and he's creating art. But teach him to fish, and soon you'll have a pool full of exploding koi.

Others about Gaiman

Tori Amos

Singer Tori Amos makes regular references to Gaiman in her song lyrics; She was a fan of his, and they became friends, before she herself gained fame and acclaim. He reciprocates by creating characters based on her in his books, crediting her as the source of some of Delirium's lines.
  • If you need me, Neil and me will be hanging out with the Dream King. Neil says 'hi', by the way...
    • "Tear in Your Hand" on Little Earthquakes (1991)
      • In 1994, Gaiman wrote the foreword for a concert program book, which was sold while Amos was on tour. He started the foreword with the sentence, "Hi, by the way."
  • But will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?
    • "Horses"
  • Seems I keep getting this story twisted. So where's Neil when you need him?
    • "Space Dog"
  • Get me Neil on the line. No, I can't hold. Have him read 'Snow, Glass, Apples' where nothing is what it seems.
    • "Carbon"
  • Where are the Velvets?
    • "Hotel" in reference to the life-essence vampires of Neverwhere

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