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Neil Gaiman

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Subject: American Gods, 2000 AD (comics), The Doctor's Wife, Spawn (comics), Speculative fiction/Bestsellers/Archives
Collection: 1960 Births, 20Th-Century British Novelists, 20Th-Century English Novelists, 21St-Century British Novelists, Articles Containing Video Clips, Bard College Faculty, Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award Winners, British Beekeepers, Carnegie Medal in Literature Winners, Clarion Workshop, Cthulhu Mythos Writers, Eisner Award Winners for Best Writer, English Agnostics, English Bloggers, English Children's Writers, English Comics Writers, English Expatriates in the United States, English Fantasy Writers, English Graphic Novelists, English Horror Writers, English Jewish Writers, English Journalists, English Male Journalists, English Novelists, English People of Polish-Jewish Descent, English Science Fiction Writers, English Screenwriters, English Short Story Writers, Harvey Award Winners for Best Writer, Hugo Award Winning Writers, Jewish Agnostics, Living People, Male Short Story Writers, Nebula Award Winners, Newbery Medal Winners, People Educated at Ardingly College, People Educated at Whitgift School, People from Dunn County, Wisconsin, People from Portchester, Postmodern Writers, Quill Award Winners, The Books of Magic, The Sandman
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Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman at the 2007 Scream Awards
Born Neil Richard Gaiman
(1960-11-10) 10 November 1960
Portchester, Hampshire, England
Occupation Novelist, graphic novelist and screenwriter
Nationality British
Period 1980s–present
Genre Fantasy, horror, science fiction, dark fantasy
Notable works The Sandman, Neverwhere, American Gods, Stardust, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
from the BBC programme Saturday Live, 12 October 2013.[1]


Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman[2] (;[3] born Neil Richard Gaiman; 10 November 1960)[4] is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable 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).[5][6] In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.[7]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Journalism, early writings, and literary influences 2.1
    • Comics and graphic novels 2.2
    • Novels 2.3
    • Film and screenwriting 2.4
  • Radio 3
    • Public performances 3.1
    • Blog and Twitter 3.2
  • Personal life 4
    • Home and family 4.1
    • Friendship with Tori Amos 4.2
  • Litigation 5
  • Literary allusions 6
  • Bibliography 7
  • Selected awards and honours 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early life

Gaiman's family is of Polish and other Eastern European-Jewish origins;[8] his great-grandfather emigrated to the UK from Antwerp, Belgium before 1914[9] 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;[10] his mother, Sheila Gaiman (née Goldman), was a pharmacist. He has two younger sisters, Claire and Lizzy.[11] 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.[12] 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."[13]

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."[14] 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.[15] 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 books in the trilogy. He consistently took them out and read them. He would later win the school English prize and the school reading prize, enabling him finally to acquire the third book in the trilogy.[16]

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."[16] 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"[6] 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."[5]

Gaiman attended Ardingly College in Ardingly, West Sussex

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."[16] He also enjoyed Batman comics as a child.[16]

Gaiman was educated at several Church of England schools, including Fonthill School in East Grinstead,[17] Ardingly College (1970–74), and Whitgift School in Croydon (1974–77).[18] 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.[12][19] He lived in East Grinstead for many years, from 1965 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1987.[17] 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.[12]


Journalism, early writings, and literary influences

Gaiman, an Open Rights Group patron, speaks about his concerns for creators' rights.

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, Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, Lord Dunsany and G. K. Chesterton.[16][20] He later became a fan of science fiction after reading work by Alan Moore.[21]

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.[16] He wrote and reviewed extensively for the British Fantasy Society.[22] His first professional short story publication was "Featherquest", a fantasy story, in Imagine Magazine in May 1984.[22]

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".[21]

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.[16] Even though Gaiman thought he did 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.[16][23] After this, he was offered a job by Penthouse. He refused the offer.[16]

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".[24] Gaiman has said he ended his journalism career in 1987 because British newspapers regularly publish untruths as fact.[25][26] 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.[27] 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.[28]

Comics and graphic novels

After forming a friendship with comic-book writer Alan Moore,[21] 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 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,[29] and he wrote the limited series Black Orchid.[30][31] 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.[16]

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.[32] 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.[33] The Death: The High Cost of Living limited series launched DC's Vertigo line in 1993.[34] 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.[16] The series became one of DC's top selling titles, eclipsing even Batman and Superman.[35] 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."[36] 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."[37]

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.[38]

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.[39] 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.[40]

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.[41] 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.

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."[42]

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.[43] The Eternals was a seven-issue limited series drawn by John Romita, Jr. which was published from August 2006 to March 2007.[44][45]

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?"[46] a play-off of the classic Superman story "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" by Alan Moore.[47][48] He contributed a twelve-part Metamorpho serial drawn by Mike Allred for Wednesday Comics, a weekly newspaper-style series.[49] Gaiman and Paul Cornell co-wrote Action Comics #894 (Dec. 2010) which featured an appearance by Death.[50] In 2012, DC announced that Gaiman would write a Sandman prequel series, The Sandman: Overture with art by J. H. Williams III to be released 30 October 2013.[51][52] Gaiman's Angela character was introduced into the Marvel Universe in the last issue of the Age of Ultron miniseries in 2013.[53]


Gaiman in 2009

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.[54]

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.

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.[55] 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.[56]

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.[57]

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.[58] In December 2011, Gaiman announced that in January 2012 he would begin work on what is essentially, American Gods 2.[59]

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 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.[60] Gaiman has expressed interest in collaborating on a film adaptation of the Epic of Gilgamesh.[61]

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,[62][63] 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.

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.[12]

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.[64][65]

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.[66]

Gaiman's 2009 Newbery Medal winning book The Graveyard Book will be made into a movie, with Ron Howard as the director.[67]

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.[68] Shooting began in August 2010 for this episode, the original title of which was "The House of Nothing"[69] but which was eventually transmitted as "The Doctor's Wife".[70] The episode won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form).[71][72] Gaiman made his return to Doctor Who with an episode titled "Nightmare in Silver", broadcast on 11 May 2013.[73][74]

In 2011, it was announced that Gaiman would be writing the script to a new film version of Journey to the West.[75][76]

Gaiman appeared as himself on The Simpsons episode "The Book Job" broadcast on 20 November 2011.[77][78][79]


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.[80]

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 is scheduled to be broadcast in December across a week in five half-hour episodes and culminate in an hour-long final apocalyptic showdown.[28]

Public performances

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",[81] despite having "no kind of singing voice".[82]

Blog and Twitter

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.[83]

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."[84]

The original American Gods blog was extracted for publication in the NESFA Press collection of Gaiman miscellany, Adventures in the Dream Trade.[85]

To celebrate the seventh anniversary of the blog, the novel American Gods was provided free of charge online for a month.[86]

Gaiman is an active user of the social networking site Twitter with over 1.8 million followers as of February 2013, using the username @neilhimself.[87] In 2013, Gaiman was named by IGN as one of "The Best Tweeters in Comics", describing his posts as "sublime."[88] Gaiman also runs a Tumblr account on which he primarily answers fan questions.[89]

Personal life

Home and family

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer (Vienna 2011)

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.[16][90][91][92][93][94] As of 2013, Gaiman also resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[95] In 2014, he took up a five-year appointment as professor in the arts at Bard College, in Red Hook, New York.[96]

Gaiman is married to songwriter and performer Amanda Palmer. The couple publicly announced that they were dating in June 2009,[97][98] announced their engagement on Twitter on 1 January 2010.[99] On 16 November 2010, Amanda Palmer hosted a non-legally binding flash mob wedding for Gaiman's birthday in New Orleans.[100] They were legally married on 2 January 2011.[101] The wedding took place in the parlour of writers Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon.[2][102] On marrying Palmer, he took her middle name, MacKinnon, as one of his names.[2]

Friendship with Tori Amos

One of Gaiman's most commented-upon friendships is with the musician [108] and "Not Dying Today" ("Neil is thrilled he can claim he's mammalian, 'but the bad news,' he said, 'girl you're a dandelion'").[107] 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,[109] and wrote a poem called "Blueberry Girl" for Tori and Tash.[110] The poem has been turned into a book by the illustrator Charles Vess.[111] 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.[112] 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,[113] 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.[114][115] 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).[116] 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[117] (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. 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."[118]

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court ruling in February 2004[119] granting 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".[120] 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.[121] All of Marvel Comics' profits for the original issues of the series went to Marvels and Miracles.[121] In 2009, Marvel Comics purchased Marvelman.[122]

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."[123] The judge ruled that Gaiman was right in his claims and gave McFarlane until the start of September 2010 to settle matters.[124]

Gaiman is a major supporter and board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.[125]

Literary allusions

Gaiman's work is known for a high degree of allusiveness.[126] Meredith Collins, for instance, has commented upon the degree to which his novel Stardust depends on allusions to Victorian fairy tales and culture.[127] 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[128] and The Tempest. The comic also draws from numerous mythologies and historical periods.

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.[129] 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."[130]

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.[131]

Though Gaiman's work is frequently seen as exemplifying the monomyth structure laid out in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces,[132] 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."[133]


Selected awards and honours

See also


  1. ^ "Neil Gaiman". Saturday Live. 12 October 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Born as Neil Richard Gaiman, with "Mackinnon" added on the occasion of his marriage to  
  3. ^ "Author Name Pronunciation Guide – Neil Gaiman". Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays".  
  5. ^ a b c Flood, Alison (24 June 2010). "Neil Gaiman wins Carnegie Medal".  
  6. ^ a b c "Neil Gaiman wins children's book prize". BBC News. 25 June 2010. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Press Association (26 December 2013). "Neil Gaiman novel wins Book of the Year".  
  8. ^ Wagner, Hank;  
  9. ^ Gaiman, Neil (16 January 2009). "Journeys End". Neil Gaiman's Journal. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2009. My paternal great-grandfather came to the UK before 1914; and he would have come from Antwerp. 
  10. ^ Lancaster, James (11 October 2005). "Everyone has the potential to be great".  
  11. ^ Gaiman, Neil (20 December 2008). "Trees". Neil Gaiman's Journal. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c d Goodyear, Dana (25 January 2010). "Kid Goth Neil Gaiman’s fantasies".  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ Abbey, Cherie D. (ed.) (2010). Biography Today General Series. Omnigraphics Inc. p. 66.  
  15. ^ Before there was Ian Fleming, there was Dennis Wheatley
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Abbey p. 68
  17. ^ a b "East Grinstead Hall of Fame - Neil Gaiman". East Grinstead Community Web Site. n.d. Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Neil Gaiman". Exclusive Books. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Head Bars Son of Cult Man". The Times. 13 August 1968. p. 2. 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. 
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  27. ^ Huddleston, Kathie (n.d.). "Neil Gaiman hitchhikes through Douglas Adams' hilarious galaxy".  
  28. ^ a b "Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett join forces with Radio 4 to make first ever dramatisation of Good Omens". BBC. Retrieved 13 November 2014
  29. ^ Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion. DC Comics. pp. 20–22.  
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  31. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle.  
  32. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 238: "In arguably one of the greatest achievements in serialized modern comic books, writer Neil Gaiman crafted the seventy-five-issue ongoing series The Sandman, introducing its readers to a complex world of horror and fantasy."
  33. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 240: "Neil Gaiman, aided by penciller Mike Dringenberg, introduced the character Death to a fascinated readership...Death was an instant hit and arguably became more popular than the Sandman himself."
  34. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 262: "In March 1993, DC Comics debuted a three-issue limited series entitled Death: The High Cost of Living...Written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by future comics superstar Chris Bachalo, The High Cost of Living had one notable trait besides a brilliant story: its cover bore a new logo. With this debut, DC's provocative new mature-reader imprint, Vertigo, was born."
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  39. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 247: "Neil Gaiman chronicled the adventures of magic pupil Timothy Hunter in this miniseries. each issue explored the realms of magic as portrayed by a different painter."
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  41. ^ "Teknophage". 23 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
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  43. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "2000s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History.  
  44. ^ Richards, Dave (9 June 2006). "Eternals"Following in the Footsteps: Romita Talks .  
  45. ^ MacQuarrie, Jim (3 August 2007). "CCI XTRA: Spotlight on Neil Gaiman". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  46. ^ Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 337: "Writer Neil Gaiman and art legend Andy Kubert teamed up to present a touching imaginary tale of a wake for the dead Batman...A love song to the Dark Knight's long went on to win SFX's Best Comic award in 2010."
  47. ^ Tabu, Hannibal (27 July 2008). "Batman"CCI: DC One Weekend Later - Gaiman on . Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. 
  48. ^ Brady, Matt (27 July 2008). "SDCC '08 - More on Gaiman-Batman with Dan DiDio".  
  49. ^ Minnick, Remy (30 January 2009). "Gaiman & Allred on Metamorpho". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2009. 
  50. ^ Johnston, Rich (23 September 2010). #894?"Action Comics"Neil Gaiman Co-Wrote . Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  51. ^ Armitage, Hugh (13 July 2012). - Comic Con 2012"The Sandman"Neil Gaiman returns to .  
  52. ^ Hudson, Laura (25 July 2013). Returns With a Prequel"Sandman"25 Years Later, Neil Gaiman’s .  
  53. ^ Sunu, Steve (March 21, 2013). Angela"Spawn's"Gaiman Returns to Marvel, Brings . Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 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. 
  54. ^ Pratchett, Terry (n.d.). "Words from the Master". Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  55. ^ "American Gods wins a Hugo!". 17 September 2002. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  56. ^ "Best-Seller Lists: Hardcover Fiction".  
  57. ^ Gaiman, Neil (19 November 2008). "Beyone Tea". Neil Gaiman's Journal. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. 
  58. ^ Gaiman, Neil (6 November 2008). "From Las vegas". Neil Gaiman's Journal. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. 
  59. ^ "Neil Gaiman – The Wheeler Centre: Books, Writing, Ideas". The Wheeler Centre. 22 December 2011. Archived from the original on 11 June 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  60. ^ story"Beowulf's"Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary: Shaping .  
  61. ^ Ambrose, Tom (December 2007). "He Is Legend".  
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  63. ^ Burns, Tom (n.d.). "Neil Gaiman Takes Hollywood". Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  64. ^ Sanchez, Robert (2 August 2006). !"Death: High Cost of Living and Stardust"Neil Gaiman on . Archived from the original on 13 August 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2007. 
  65. ^ Gaiman, Neil (9 January 2007). "The best film of 2006 was...". Neil Gaiman's Journal. Retrieved 25 February 2007. 
  66. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1998). Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions.  
  67. ^ Kit, Borys (22 January 2013). "Graveyard Book"Ron Howard in Talks to Direct Disney's .  
  68. ^ Episode"Doctor Who"Exclusive Neil Gaiman Confirms .  
  69. ^ Masters, Tim (24 May 2010). "Doctor Who"Neil Gaiman reveals power of writing . BBC News. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2010. 
  70. ^ "Doctor Who: Title Of the Neil Gaiman Episode Revealed". SFX. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  71. ^ a b Davis, Lauren (7 April 2012). "The 2012 Hugo Nominations have been announced!".  
  72. ^ a b Fox, Rose (2 September 2012). "Hugo Awards Liveblog".  
  73. ^ "Tweet".  
  74. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (9 November 2012). "'Doctor Who' writer Neil Gaiman: 'I want to make the Cybermen scary again'".  
  75. ^ "Neil Gaiman's Journal: A quick in and out". 12 March 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  76. ^ Coonan, Clifford (10 March 2011). "'"Neil Gaiman to script 'Journey. Variety. 
  77. ^ "The Simpsons"Author Neil Gaiman to guest star on . BBC News. 13 January 2011. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  78. ^ Campbell, Josie (19 November 2011). "Neil Gaiman on His Simpsons Appearance, Teen Lit and Trolls". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
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  81. ^ Sisario, Ben (5 June 2012), "Giving Love, Lots of It, To Her Fans",  
  82. ^ Pollack, David (14 August 2012), "Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman, Queen's Hall, Edinburg",  
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  85. ^ "Adventures in the Dream Trade: Table of Contents". NEFSA Press. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
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  87. ^ "Neil Gaiman (neilhimself) on Twitter". Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  88. ^ Yehl, Joshua. "The Best Tweeters in Comics". Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
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  91. ^ "Furor keeps building over author's $45,000 speech fee". The StarTribune. 6 May 2011. 
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  102. ^ Johnston, Rich (3 January 2011). "Neil Gaiman And Amanda Palmer's Wedding in TwitPics". Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
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  105. ^ "Space Dog". Everything Tori. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  106. ^ "Beauty Queen/ Horses". Everything Tori. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  107. ^ a b "Carbon". Everything Tori. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  108. ^ "Sweet Dreams". Everything Tori. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  109. ^ "Neil Gaiman's Journal: listening to unresolving". 30 November 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  110. ^ "Neil Gaiman's Journal: Blueberry Girls". 7 July 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  111. ^ "News from Green Man Press " Blog Archive " Blueberry Wanderings". Green Man Press. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  112. ^ "Neil Gaiman's Journal: Chapter Six in San Francisco yesterday". 6 October 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  113. ^ 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."
  114. ^ Listen to the "Oral Argument," List of Documents in case: 03-1331 : Gaiman, Neil v. McFarlane, Todd. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  115. ^ 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. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  116. ^ See TwoMorrows Publishing, 2007), ISBN 1-893905-71-3
  117. ^ 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."
  118. ^ Judge Shabaz, Official ruling, as per "Schiller & Schmidt, Inc. v. Nordisco Corp., 969 F.2d 410, 413 (7th Cir. 1992)"
  119. ^ Yarbrough, Beau (3 October 2002). "Gaiman in Stunning Victory over McFarlane in Spawn Case: Jury Finds for Gaiman on All Counts".  
  120. ^ See Judge Shabaz's ruling for similar statements on Angela and Medieval Spawn.
  121. ^ a b Weiland, Jonah (27 June 2003). "Marvel's "1602" Press Conference".  
  122. ^ Phegley, Kiel (24 July 2009). "CCI: Marvel Acquires Marvelman".  
  123. ^ Treleven, Ed (25 May 2010). "Gaiman takes on McFarlane in Wis. federal court comic book clash".  
  124. ^ Melrose, Kevin (21 July 2010). "Judge rules Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany are derivative characters". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  125. ^ , CBLDF on NPR"Sandman"Neil Gaiman Talks . 19 September 2003. Archived from the original on 14 August 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2008. 
  126. ^ See particularly Rodney Sharkey, James Fleming, and Zuleyha Cetiner-Oktem's articles in ImageTexT's special issue on Gaiman's work: [1].
  127. ^ Collins, Meredith. "Fairy and Faerie: Uses of the Victorian in Neil Gaiman's and Charles Vess's Stardust." ImageTexT 4.1. [2]
  128. ^ See this detailed analysis: [3].
  129. ^ Smith, Clay. "Get Gaiman?: PolyMorpheus Perversity in Works by and about Neil Gaiman." ImageTexT 4.1. [4]
  130. ^ "A Special Issue on the Works of Neil Gaiman, Introduction". Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  131. ^ 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]
  132. ^ See Stephen Rauch, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and Joseph Campbell: In Search of the Modern Myth, Wildside Press, 2003
  133. ^ Ogline, Tim E. """The Wild River Review, "Interview with the Dream King. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
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  137. ^ a b c d e "2000s Eisner Awards Recipients". San Diego Comicon International. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  138. ^ Gaiman's LDF award
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  145. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 2003 Bram Stoker Awards". 7 June 2003. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  146. ^ Weiland, Jonah. Wins at Angoulême"Sandman: Season of Mists". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2011.  Archive requires scrolldown
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  148. ^ Tyler, Joshua (10 January 2006). "Shatner Gets His Own Award". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 10 September 2009. 
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  152. ^ "The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award". 22 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  153. ^ "Icon Award". San Diego Comic-Con International. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
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  155. ^ "Finally not a bridesmaid actually". Neil Gaiman's Journal. 30 May 2009. 
  156. ^ "British Fantasy Awards 2009: the Shortlist!". 1 August 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  157. ^ "The Hugo Awards: 2009 Hugo Award Winners". 9 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  158. ^ "Neil Gaiman gewinnt den Hugo Award". Der Standard (in German). 14 August 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  159. ^ "Neil Gaiman named Honorary Chair of National Library Week". 12 October 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  160. ^ (Carnegie Winner 2010). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  161. ^ "Releases for 2010 Awards". Press Desk. CILIP. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  162. ^ "About Neil Gaiman". 28 July 2014.
  163. ^ "2010 Locus Awards Winners". 
  164. ^ a b "2011 Locus Awards Winners". 
  165. ^ a b "2011 Shirley Jackson Awards". 
  166. ^ "Announcing the 2011 Nebula Awards Winners".  
  167. ^ "'"Neil Gaiman Headlines 134th Commencement: Award-winning author, graphic novelist tells graduates to 'make good art.  
  168. ^ Press Association (26 December 2013). "Neil Gaiman novel wins Book of the Year".  

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