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Neil Gaiman is a bestselling, critically acclaimed British writer who made his way in the comics and graphic novel world, becoming known for the groundbreaking series Sandman, and novels Stardust, American Gods, and Coraline.
See the fact file below for more information on the Neil Gaiman or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Neil Gaiman worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Neil Richard Gaiman was born on November 10, 1960 in Portchester, part of the Hampshire county in southern England, originating from a family of Eastern European Jewish descent.
- His father, David Bernard Gaiman worked at their family chain of stores while his mother, Sheila Gaiman was a pharmacist.
- In 1965, the family moved to East Grinstead, West Sussex where Neil grew up with a profound love for reading, beginning as early as age 4.
- Some of his favorite childhood books include J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Batman, and other comics.
- Gaiman received early education at various church schools including Fonthill School in East Grinstead, Ardingly College, and Whitgift School in Croydon.
- When Gaiman began to outgrow comic books in his teenage years, he realized the lack of comic books for an older, mature audience. He, therefore, decided to fill the gap himself. Although he wanted to write comic books, Gaiman had little idea how to go about it.
- Following his graduation from high school in 1977, Gaiman became a journalist writing articles for a number of renowned publications such as The Sunday Times, The Observer, Knave, and Time Out.
- In March 1985, Gaiman married his first wife, Mary McGrath after the birth of their son Michael in 1983. The couple had two more children Holly and Madeleine.
- In 1984, Gaiman wrote his first book, a biography of the band Duran Duran. He continued writing articles and interviews in magazines under pseudonyms.
- However, in 1987, Gaiman waved goodbye to journalism stating, “British newspapers can make up anything they want and publish it as fact”.
- Gaiman started writing comic books, continuing the series of Miracleman (also known as Marvelman) after its original creator and Gaiman’s friend Alan Moore abandoned it.
- After his impressive work on Miracleman, Gaiman was asked to write the limited series of Black Orchid, offering up the travails of a resurrected superheroine who is a lavender blend of flora and fauna.
- Orchid helped to establish a wave of comic titles that had more somber, mature tones with art gallery aesthetics and preceded the 1989 launch of The Sandman, an iconic series published by the DC imprint Vertigo.
- Sandman focuses on the exploits of the title character known as Morpheus/Dream and his family, the Endless, a group of primordial beings that include siblings Death and Delirium.
- From December 1988 to March 1996, Gaiman produced work on The Sandman which was later collected in 12 volumes.
- The Sandman series, a cornerstone of innovative comic publishing whose issues would also be sold in collected graphic novel form, ran until 1996 and received a slew of Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, three Harvey Awards, and a World Fantasy Award.
- Gaiman would return to the Morpheus universe in 2013 with the publication of Sandman: Overture, with the collected edition of the series winning the 2016 Hugo Award.
- Over the years, his additional comic/graphic novel projects have included The Books of Magic, The Last Temptation, 1602, Eternals, Creatures of the Night and Murder Mysteries, The Books of Magic, Lady Justice, Mr. Hero the Newmatic Man, Teknophage, Tales of the White Wolf, Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader, as well as contributions to Wednesday Comics.
Short Stories and Novels
- In addition to writing comics and other graphic novels, Gaiman has also authored several short stories and novels. Some of his short stories and poetic stories have been compiled into the volumes Angels and Visitations (1993) and Smoke and Mirrors (1998).
- Gaiman’s first novel, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, published in 1990, was written in collaboration with Terry Pratchett. The book was named one of England’s one hundred “best-loved novels” in a poll conducted by the BBC.
- His next novel, Neverwhere, was published in 1996 followed by the Stardust series in 1997-1998.
- In 2001, Gaiman published American Gods, which is considered to be his best work and another bestseller with an intriguing premise, as seen through the lens of protagonist Shadow Moon, old world deities take on the newer gods of the United States.
- American Gods has been presented prestigious awards including Hugo, Nebula, Locus and SFX as well as securing a position at The New York Times bestsellers list.
- The follow-up, 2005’s Anansi Boys, showcases the havoc-inducing tensions between two brothers who are the children of the famed trickster god.
- In 2013, Gaiman released another novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, followed by 2015’s Trigger Warnings: Short Fictions and Disturbances.
- Gaiman has also penned many books for children and young adults, including The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (1997), M Is for Magic (2007), The Graveyard Book (2008), and Instructions (2010).
- His novel, Coraline, was published in 2002 and won a host of accolades, including Hugo, Nebula, and School Library Journal awards.
- Coraline was also turned into a hit animated film, directed by Henry Selick with Dakota Fanning voicing the lead character; the project earned more than $124 million at the global box office, along with a BAFTA award and an Academy Award nomination.
Neil Gaiman Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Neil Gaiman across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Neil Gaiman worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Neil Gaiman who is a bestselling, critically acclaimed British writer who made his way in the comics and graphic novel world, becoming known for the groundbreaking series Sandman, and novels Stardust, American Gods, and Coraline.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Authors Online
- Inspiring Women
- Judge By The Cover
- Fantastic Femmes
- According to Neil
- Be Like Gaiman
- Gaiman’s World
- Coraline’s Colors
- Coraline’s Corners
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Use With Any Curriculum
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