Spotlight on: Neil Gaiman

NeilGaiman HeadshotNeil Gaiman, the genius behind the legendary Sandman series, began his career in England as a journalist. His work ranges from comics, to poetry, to song lyrics and has earned him dozens of awards and recognition. Many people even consider him the creator of the modern comic! Unlike many writers, he does not stick to one medium or genre and his work appeals to people of all ages.

We were honored when Neil agreed to answer our interview questions. Keep reading to find out what he had to say AND how to win a signed copy of his new book, The Sandman: Overture!

You’ve worked with the best that the industry has to offer. When you were thinking about OVERTURE did you have J.H. in mind? Going back to the original series, the first ten volumes, did you have different people in mind when you were selecting different artists? The styles are so vastly different. How did your selection process come into play?

NG: With The Sandman: Overture, I knew that it was going to be this big, beautiful space opera. I wanted somebody who could draw galactic scenes, who could draw things that had never been seen before. Somebody who could give me all of the dreams that come together at the end of issue #1 on that triple-page spread. I wanted that. The last time I was at a San Diego Comic-Con, a mysterious figure sidled over to me and said, “You are Neil Gaiman, and I am J.H. Williams III and I do Promethea.” And I said, “Oh my god, I love your work!” Because I loved Promethea, and he said, “I want to work with you. I love your stuff, let’s do something together.” And I thought, absolutely. So because I loved his stuff, and I knew he wanted to do it, he was sitting there somewhere in my head and I think about the point that Karen and I were getting serious, one or other of us suggested J.H. and Karen went off to make the phone call. And I got a call back saying he said yes.

Do you have a preference with writing one over the other—novels versus comic books?

NG: What I really like is the absolute and utter freedom to do whatever the hell I want. My idea of misery and purgatory would be somebody saying, “Now you have to write novels for the rest of your life and you can’t do anything else.” And it would probably be just as miserable if they said, “You have to do comics for the rest of your life and you can’t do anything else.” I love the fact that can I do an episode of Doctor Who, I can do some song lyrics, I can write a short story, I can write a novel, I can write a TV series, I can write a movie. It’s all good.

We love a good book recommendation. What are you reading right now?

NG: Actually having just had a new baby, most of what I’ve been reading for the last two months has been new baby-related books. I’m really looking forward to reading David Mitchell’s new book Slade House, which is sitting waiting for me. I loved Cloud Atlas, I loved The Bone Clocks, and am hugely looking forward to Slade House. That’s the next thing I’m excited about reading. Apart from that, it’s all manuscripts from friends. I’m so behind on manuscripts from friends, they’ll already come out and become bestsellers by the time I get to them. And I’ll ask, “Do you still need that blurb from me?” And they say, “No, no the book’s already out.”

Dashes

Are you a fan of the SANDMAN series? Do you have a favorite? Tweet us @BNcollege or post a comment below!

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