Neil Gaiman (born 10.11.1960)
Neil Gaiman is the English author of graphic novels and science fiction and fantasy short stories. Among his best-known works are, Sandman, Coraline and The Graveyard Book.
Neil Gaiman: Childhood
Neil Gaiman's family originate from Poland and he has a Jewish heritage. When his great-grandfather left Antwerp in 1914, he eventually settled in Portsmouth. His father, David, worked in the chain of grocery stores founded by his forbears and his mother, Sheila was a pharmacist. In 1965, the family moved to East Grinstead in West Sussex.
Gaiman's education took place in a number of schools, including Ardingly College and Whitgift School.
Neil Gaiman: Career
As a child, Neil Gaiman became interested in the work of Edgar Allan Poe, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein. He pursued a career in journalism in the 1980s, in an attempt to gain the contacts that he would later need to get his work published. His first published piece of work came in 1984, when his short story 'Featherquest' appeared in Imagine Magazine.
Gaiman's first book was a biography of the band Duran Duran. This was followed by Ghastly Beyond Belief, a book of quotations compiled with Kim Newman.
In the late 1980s, Neil Gaiman wrote The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion, a commentary to the series written by Douglas Adams. He would then go on to work with Terry Pratchett on the apocalyptic novel Good Omens.
Neil Gaiman then struck up a friendship with the graphic novel author Alan Moore and started writing his own comics, picking up the Marvelman series after Moore stepped down. Gaiman then went on to collaborate with Dave McKean on Violent Cases, Signal to Noise and The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch. He also earned himself a job working for DC Comics, starting with the Black Orchid series.
When American Gods was released, it became one of Neil-Gaiman's best-selling books and won a number of awards.
Neil Gaiman's British Fantasy Award-winning The Sandman: Book of Dreams featured contributions from Clive Barker, Tori Amos and Tad Williams.
The Graveyard Book is a children's book, inspired by Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.
In 2009, Neil Gaiman wrote a two-part Batman story for DC Comics, entitled 'Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?' He also wrote a 12-page Metamorphos story for Wednesday Comics. The illustrations were undertaken by Mike Alldred.
Neil Gaiman co-wrote the script for the 2007 film Beowulf, which featured the voices of Angelina Jolie, Ray Winstone and Anthony Hopkins.
A number of Neil Gaiman's works have been translated into film form. Stardust was released in 2007 and starred Michelle Pfeiffer, Clare Danes and Robert De Niro. In February 2009, a stop-motion version of Coraline was released, featuring the voices of Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher. The style of the film has been compared to the work of Tim Burton.
Neil Gaiman's book, Death: The Cost Of Living has been ear-marked for a film adaptation for around a decade and in 2007 it was announced that Guillermo Del Toro would act as executive producer on the film, with Susan Montford and Don Murphy as producers.
Neil Gaiman: Personal Life
Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman started dating after he created a book as a companion piece to her debut solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer? The book also features photography from Kyle Cassidy, another of Neil Gaiman's friends.
He also has a number of high profile friends, including the songwriter Thea Gilmore, the comedian Lenny Henry and the TV and radio presenter Jonathan Ross.