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Neil Gaiman Biography

November 06, 2015

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Neil Gaiman is nothing if not prolific; he has authored comic books, novels, picture books, screenplays, and short stories. Though some of his work is intended for adults, most of his pieces can be enjoyed by people of all ages. You've probably read something or other by Neil Gaiman at some point, or at least heard his name; now let's get to know the man himself a bit better! 

The author himself!The author himself!Courtesy of backstagerider.com

Early Life

  • Neil Gaiman was born and lived for many years in England, though he now resides in the United States. 
  • As a child and adolescent, Gaiman loved reading. He devoured books of all kinds, and has been influenced by authors like C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien (writer of The Lord of the Rings) and Edgar Allen Poe. 
  • Before Gaiman started writing comics and novels, he was a journalist. His first books were biographies of the band Duran Duran and author Douglas Adams. 

One of Neil Gaiman's favorite books is Alice in Wonderland. One of Neil Gaiman's favorite books is Alice in Wonderland. Courtesy of alice-in-wonderland.net

Comic Books and Graphic Novels

  • After forming a friendship and partnership with comic book writer Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman embarked upon a career that would lead him to become, in some people's eyes, the father of the modern comic book. 
  • Gaiman, working with DC Comics' Vertigo, published the iconic Sandman series from 1989 to 1996. Gaiman wrote the comics and they were illustrated by a number of artists over the years. 
  • Sandman, which was later compiled into graphic novel format, was one of the first comic books to ever be on the New York Times bestseller list 
  • The Sandman series remains influential in the world of graphic novels as well as science fiction and fantasy. 
  • Just a warning: the Sandman series can be pretty intense. It is suggested for mature readers. 

The Sandman: for mature audiences only. The Sandman: for mature audiences only. Courtesy of geeksnack.com

Novels and Picture Books

  • Neil Gaiman has written many pieces of work for adults, but it is perhaps his work for children and teens that stands out most. 
  • Coraline is a particular fan favorite; it is a dark novella, written with children in mind, that details young Coraline's journey through a mysterious bricked up door in her apartment. It's creepy but awesome and has been adapted into a graphic novel, a film, and even a musical! 
  • I know some of you have read The Graveyard Book; Gaiman wrote it specifically for teenagers, and it's the winner of multiple awards, including the British Carnegie Medal as well as the Newbery Medal.  

One of Dave McKean's creepy illustrations from Coraline. One of Dave McKean's creepy illustrations from Coraline. Courtesy of Dave McKean

In a lot of ways, Neil Gaiman has been, throughout his career, one of the most influential science fiction and fantasy writers of the last 30 years. His work is very much worth reading, but you're going to want to keep in mind that a lot of it features a dark side, and might be a bit scary. 

Have Your Say!

Have you ever read one of Neil Gaiman's books? Which one is your favorite? Share with us in the comments below!