Who Is Neil Gaiman?

I get that question a lot.

And my inner response is “you haven’t heard of Neil Gaiman? Where have you been for the past year or so?”

But then I realize that his rock-star status, his ubiquity, is almost entirely within a) the internet community, b) the sf-fantasy community, or c) the graphic-novel community, or d) geekdom. These realms intersect with each other but perhaps not with the “real” world all that much.

But if you’re a writer, or a reader, it’s hard to imagine that you haven’t heard of him. He’s won many major literary awards, he does promos for the American Library Association, he does endless readings and book signings. His face is on a lot of posters. He’s a rock star.

He’s also a good writer and has built a huge fanbase through strategic but curiously genuine-seeming use of social software. He has a lovely blog, where he writes about his dogs and his bees and his cats. And, oh, the series of posts he wrote when one of his cats was dying was beautiful. He’s also on Twitter: one of the top celebrity Twitterers. He has children whom he obviously adores. He is engaged to be married to the performance artist Amanda Palmer, and writes beautifully about her here. He seems like a really nice guy.

And in the world of graphic novels, he’s a god. Up there with Alan Moore as one of the most important and influential, with his series The Sandman and related works. He’s also written scripts and screenplays and been involved in many other creative undertakings. He’s a talented guy.

I wish more people I knew had heard of him.

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3 Responses

  1. I love Neil Gaiman. and especially with Coraline having been such a big deal last year, and GraveYard Book on the way, how can anyone not know who he is?

    When I’m making small talk, “what kind of books do you read?” inevitably comes up. if they say they enjoy Gaiman, I know I’m made a new friend!

  2. Yeah! I also love Neil Gaiman and LOVE LOVE LOVE his blog/tweets.

    I bought my boyfriend the sandman series for my boyfriend for his birthday last year (well, the first 4) and now we just keep reading them! they’re so good!

    Also, I am excited for the grave yard book too 🙂

  3. […] to my earlier post about Neil Gaiman, many thanks to Mike Ross from my Creative Non-fiction class who tipped me off to this delightful […]

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