Who is Neil Gaiman?
• Neil Richard Gaimanwas born in Portchester,
Hampshire, on November 10th, 1960.
• Gaiman is a Jewish name
• His father, David Bernard Gaiman, was the
head of the UK branch of the Church of
Scientology, although Neil claims not to be a
The portrait of the artist as a young
• Gaiman started reading by the age of four
• The first books to make an impression on him:
C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narniaseries,
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and
Lewis Caroll’sAlice in Wonderland
• Enjoyed Batman comic books.
First experiences as a writer
• Before he had published any fiction, he
- Wrote book reviews.
- Got to meet some connections that would
later assist him in getting published (most
notoriously, Terry Pratchett).
- His first published book is a biography of the
english band Duran Duran.
Introduction to comics/Graphic Novels
• In 1984, Gaiman read a copy of Swamp Thing,
by Alan Moore, and fell in love with Moore’s
approach of a literary narrative style applied
• Wrote three graphic novels with illustrations
made by his friend Dave McKean.
• Hired by DC Comics: wrote the GN Black
Sandman - importance
• Lasted from 1988 to 1996.
• Major breakthrough for Graphic Novels
• Won many prizes, including the World Fantasy
Award for Best Short Fiction for A
Midsummer’s night Dream, a story in which
William Shakespeare stars as one of the main
• Norman Mailer: “a comic strip for
Sandman - story
• The narrative tells stories involving (in some of
them, he doesn’t even appear) Dream (or
Morpheus), an anthropomorfic representation of
dreams. He is one of the seven Endless, beings
above gods, based on many aspects of existence:
Destiny, Death, Delirium, Destruction, Despair
• The series has many different story arcs. We
witness the development of the character’s
personalities as we read the comics.
Sandman - intertextuality
• Gaiman includes many references to other
literary works in The Sandman.
• Shakespeare appears twice over the course of
• Many heroes of DC and Vertigo’s universe
show up, such as Clark Kent, John Constantine
and Doctor Destiny.
• Mythological figures: Odin, Lucifer, Set,…
• Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett),
Neverwhere(novelization of a series written
for the BBC) , Stardust (has a movie
adaptation), American Gods and Anansi Boys
• Children’s books: The Graveyard Book,
Coraline, Odd and the Frost Giants, Wolves in
the wall, etc.
• BBC series Neverwhere.
• Co-wrote Mirrormask.
• Wrote localized script of Miyazaki’s Princess
Mononoke, based on the english translation.
• Co-wrote Beowulf with Roger Avary.
• Wrote a recent Dr. Who episode.
• Working on many of his works that will soon
be made into films (Graveyard Book, Death,…)
• Although his writing (and accent) is distinctively
english, Gaiman has lived in America since 1992.
• When he was young, he used to refer to his
desire to become a comic book writer as “I wish
to write americancomics”.
• He stated that American Gods wouldn’t have
been written if he wasn’t british. Anansi boys
features an english main character that travels to
Florida for his father’s funeral.
• WAGNER, Hank; GOLDEN, Christopher;
BISSETTE, Sthepen R. Prince of Stories: The
Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman. 2008, St.
Martin’s Griffin, New York