"It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak." -- Neil Gaiman
Neil Richard Gaiman (; born 10 November 1960) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, comic books and graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. Gaiman's writing has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker, as well as the 2009 Newbery Medal and 2010 Carnegie Medal in Literature. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work. The extreme enthusiasm of his fans has led Columbia Daily Spectator to call him a "rock star" of the literary world.
"A nice, easy place for freedom of speech to be eroded is comics, because comics are a natural target whenever an election comes up.""Also, I've already won all the awards.""American Gods is about 200,000 words long, and I'm sure there are words that are simply in there 'cause I like them. I know I couldn't justify each and every one of them.""And there never was an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it.""As far as I'm concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.""Because, if one is writing novels today, concentrating on the beauty of the prose is right up there with concentrating on your semi-colons, for wasted effort.""Great, big, serious novels always get awards. If it's a battle between a great, big, serious novel and a funny novel, the funny novel is doomed.""I don't know if proud is the right word, but I am somebody who does not, on the whole, have the highest regard for my own stuff in that when I look all I get to see are the flaws.""I lost some time once. It's always in the last place you look for it.""I loved writing a book in which, in some ways, it's very, very classical, and in some ways I'm breaking lots of rules about what you can do and what you can't do.""I started writing when I was about 20, 21 maybe.""I think of myself as a very lazy author.""I wanted to write something that would be a comedy in the sense of making people feel happier when they finish it than they did when began it.""I was always so relieved that anyone wants to publish anything I've written.""I was the kind of kid whose parents would drop him off at the local town library on their way to work, and I'd go and work my way through the children's area.""I'll agonize over sentences. Mostly because you're trying to create specific effects with sentences, and because there are a number of different voices in the book.""I'm a fairly undisciplined writer.""I'm one of those writers who tends to be really good at making outlines and sticking to them. I'm very good at doing that, but I don't like it. It sort of takes a lot of the fun out.""In many ways, it was much, much harder to get the first book contract. The hardest thing probably overall has been learning not to trust people, publicists and so forth, implicitly.""Is the chemical aftertaste the reason why people eat hot dogs, or is it some kind of bonus?""It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.""Life - and I don't suppose I'm the first to make this comparison - is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.""Partly because I get such astonishingly nice fans.""Rock and roll stars have it much better than writers when they're on a tour.""So I went out and bought myself a copy of the Writer and Artist Yearbook, bought lots of magazines and got on the phone and talked to editors about ideas for stories. Pretty soon I found myself hired to do interviews and articles and went off and did them.""So the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is out there preserving and fighting for, and sometimes winning and sometimes losing, the fight for First Amendment rights in comics and, more generally, for freedom of speech.""The current total of countries in the world with First Amendments is one. You have guaranteed freedom of speech. Other countries don't have that.""The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before.""There's a glorious sense of freedom in comedy, just allowing myself to tell jokes, allowing myself to interrupt myself and tell old African folk stories that I made up - or didn't - and Jamaican stories.""Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten.""This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof.""We all not only could know everything. We do. We just tell ourselves we don't to make it all bearable.""You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it."
Gaiman's family is of Polish Jewish origins; his great-grandfather emigrated from Antwerp before 1914Gaiman, Neil. "journeys end", Neil Gaiman's Journal, 16 January 2009 and his grandfather eventually settled in the Hampshire city of Portsmouth and established a chain of grocery stores.His father, David Bernard Gaiman, worked in the same chain of stores; his mother, Sheila Gaiman (née Goldman), was a pharmacist. He has two younger sisters, Claire and Lizzy. / Neil Gaiman Journal- december 20 After living for a period in the nearby town of Portchester, Hampshire, where Neil was born in 1960, the Gaimans moved in 1965 to the West Sussex town of East Grinstead where his parents studied Dianetics at the Scientology centre in the town. They remained closely involved with Judaism; Gaiman's sister later said, "It would get very confusing when people would ask my religion as a kid. I’d say, 'I’m a Jewish Scientologist.'" Gaiman says that he is now not a Scientologist.
Gaiman was able to read at the age of four, and began to read everything. He said, "I was a reader. I loved reading. Reading things gave me pleasure. I was very good at most subjects in school, not because I had any particular aptitude in them, but because normally on the first day of school they'd hand out schoolbooks, and I'd read them--which would mean that I'd know what was coming up, because I'd read it." The first book he read was J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings from his school library, but they only had the first two out of the three books in the trilogy. He consistently took them out and read them. He would later win the school English prize and the school reading prize, and he got the third volume and also a collection of English poetry.
For his seventh birthday, Gaiman received C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series. He later recalled that "I admired his use of parenthetical statements to the reader, where he would just talk to you...I'd think, 'Oh, my gosh, that is so cool! I want to do that! When I become an author, I want to be able to do things in parentheses.' I liked the power of putting things in brackets." Another childhood favorite was Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which he called "a favorite forever. Alice was default reading to the point where I knew it by heart." He also enjoyed Batman comics as a child.
Gaiman was educated at several Church of England schools, including Fonthill School (East Grinstead), Ardingly College (1970—74), and Whitgift School (Croydon) (1974—77). His father's position as a public relations official of the Church of Scientology was the cause of the seven-year-old Gaiman being blocked from entering a boys' school, forcing him to remain at the school that he had previously been attending. He lived in East Grinstead for many years, from 1965—1980 and again from 1984—1987. He met his future wife, Mary McGrath, while she was studying Scientology and living in a house in East Grinstead that was owned by his father. The couple were married in 1985 after having their first child, Michael.
Journalism, Early Writings, and Literary Influencesmoreless
As a child and a teenager, Gaiman read the works of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K. Le Guin, Lord Dunsany and G. K. Chesterton. He later became a fan of science fiction, reading the works of authors as diverse as Samuel R. Delany, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, Harlan Ellison, H. P. Lovecraft, Thorne Smith, and Gene Wolfe.
In the early 1980s, Gaiman pursued journalism, conducting interviews and writing book reviews, as a means to learn about the world and to make connections that he hoped would later assist him in getting published. He wrote and reviewed extensively for the British Fantasy Society. Neil Gaiman — About Neil His first professional short story publication was "Featherquest", a fantasy story, in Imagine Magazine in May 1984, when he was 23. Neil Gaiman — About Neil
In 1984, he wrote his first book, a biography of the band Duran Duran, as well as Ghastly Beyond Belief, a book of quotations, with Kim Newman. Even though Gaiman thought he did a terrible job, the books first edition sold out very quickly. When he went to relinquish his rights to the book, he discovered the publisher had gone bankrupt. After this, he was offered a job by Penthouse. On one side, it was steady income to support his wife and two kids. On the other, it was an adult magazine. He refused the offer.
He also wrote interviews and articles for many British magazines, including Knave. As he was writing for different magazines, some of them competing, and "wrote too many articles", he sometimes went by a number of pseudonyms: Gerry Musgrave, Richard Grey, "along with a couple of house names". Gaiman ended his journalism career in 1987 because British newspapers can "make up anything they want and publish it as fact."
In the late 1980s, he wrote The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion in what he calls a "classic English humour" style. Following on from that he wrote the opening of what would become his collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the comic novel Good Omens, about the impending apocalypse.
After forming a friendship with fellow Englishman and comic book writer Alan Moore, Gaiman started writing comic books, picking up Marvelman after Moore finished his run on the series. Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham collaborated on several issues of the series before its publisher, Eclipse Comics, collapsed, leaving the series unfinished. His first published comic strips were four short Future Shocks for 2000 AD in 1986—7. He wrote three graphic novels with his favorite collaborator and long-time friend Dave McKean: Violent Cases, Signal to Noise, and The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch. Impressed with his work, DC Comics hired him, and he wrote the limited series Black Orchid. Karen Berger, head of DC Comics's Vertigo, read Black Orchid and offered Gaiman a job: to re-write an old character, Sandman, but to put his own spin on him.
Gaiman has written numerous comics for several publishers. His award-winning series The Sandman tells the tale of Morpheus, the anthropomorphic personification of Dream. The series began in December 1988 and concluded in March 1996: the 75 issues of the regular series, along with an illustrated prose text and a special containing seven short stories, have been collected into 12 volumes that remain in print (14 if the Death spinoff is taken into account). Artists include Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III, lettering by Todd Klein, colors by Robbie Busch, and covers by Dave McKean.
In 1989, Gaiman published The Books of Magic (collected in 1991), a four-part mini-series that provided a tour of the mythological and magical parts of the DC Universe through a frame story about an English teenager who discovers that he is destined to be the world's greatest wizard. The miniseries was popular, and sired an ongoing series written by John Ney Rieber.
In the mid-90s, he also created a number of new characters and a setting that was to be featured in a title published by Tekno Comix. The concepts were then altered and split between three titles set in the same continuity: Lady Justice, Mr. Hero the Newmatic Man, and Teknophage. They were later featured in Shadow Death and Wheel of Worlds. Although Gaiman's name appeared prominently on all titles, he was not involved in writing of any of the above-mentioned books (though he helped plot the zero issue of Wheel of Worlds).
Gaiman wrote a semi-autobiographical story about a boy's fascination with Michael Moorcock's anti-hero Elric of Melniboné for Ed Kramer's anthology Tales of the White Wolf. In 1996, Gaiman and Ed Kramer co-edited Book of Dreams. Nominated for the British Fantasy Award, the original fiction anthology featured stories and contributions by Tori Amos, Clive Barker, Gene Wolfe, Tad Williams, and others.
Asked why he likes comics more than other forms of storytelling Gaiman said “One of the joys of comics has always been the knowledge that it was, in many ways, untouched ground. It was virgin territory. When I was working on Sandman, I felt a lot of the time that I was actually picking up a machete and heading out into the jungle. I got to write in places and do things that nobody had ever done before. When I’m writing novels I’m painfully aware that I’m working in a medium that people have been writing absolutely jaw-droppingly brilliant things for, you know, three-four thousand years now. You know, you can go back. We have things like The Golden Ass. And you go, well, I don’t know that I’m as good as that and that’s two and a half thousand years old. But with comics I felt like ... I can do stuff nobody has ever done. I can do stuff nobody has ever thought of. And I could and it was enormously fun.”
In 2009, Gaiman wrote a two-part Batman story for DC Comics to follow Batman R.I.P. It is titled "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" a play off of the classic Superman story "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" by Alan Moore. He also contributed a twelve-page Metamorpho story drawn by Mike Allred for Wednesday Comics, a weekly newspaper-style series.
In a collaboration with author Terry Pratchett (best known for his series of Discworld novels), Gaiman's first novel Good Omens was published in 1990. In recent years Pratchett has said that while the entire novel was a collaborative effort and most of the ideas could be credited to both of them, Pratchett did a larger portion of writing and editing if for no other reason than Gaiman's scheduled involvement with Sandman.
The 1996 novelization of Gaiman's teleplay for the BBC mini-series Neverwhere was his first solo novel. The novel was released in tandem with the television series though it presents some notable differences from the television series. In 1999 first printings of his fantasy novel Stardust were released. The novel has been released both as a standard novel and in an illustrated text edition.
American Gods became one of Gaiman's best-selling and multi-award winning novels upon its release in 2001.
In 2005, his novel Anansi Boys was released worldwide. The book deals with Anansi ('Mr. Nancy'), a supporting character in American Gods. Specifically it traces the relationship of his two sons, one semi-divine and the other an unaware Englishman of American origin, as they explore their common heritage. It debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list.
In late 2008, Gaiman released a new children's book, The Graveyard Book. It follows the adventures of a boy named Bod after his family is murdered and he is left to be brought up by a graveyard. It is heavily influenced by Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. As of late January 2009, it had been on the New York Times Bestseller children's list for fifteen weeks.
As of 2008, Gaiman has several books planned. After a tour of China, he decided to write a non-fiction book about his travels and the general mythos of China. Following that, will be a new 'adult' novel (his first since 2005's Anansi Boys). After that, another 'all-ages' book (in the same vein as Coraline and The Graveyard Book). Following that, Gaiman says that he will release another non-fiction book called The Dream Catchers.
Gaiman wrote the 1996 BBC dark fantasy television series Neverwhere. He cowrote the screenplay for the movie MirrorMask with his old friend Dave McKean for McKean to direct. In addition, he wrote the localized English language script to the anime movie Princess Mononoke, based on a translation of the Japanese script.
He cowrote the script for Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf with Roger Avary, a collaboration that has proved productive for both writers. Gaiman has expressed interest in collaborating on a film adaptation of the Epic of Gilgamesh.
He was the only person other than J. Michael Straczynski to write a Babylon 5 script in the last three seasons, contributing the season five episode "Day of the Dead".
Gaiman has also written at least three drafts of a screenplay adaptation of Nicholson Baker's novel The Fermata for director Robert Zemeckis, although the project was stalled while Zemeckis made The Polar Express and the Gaiman-Roger Avary written Beowulf film.
Several of Gaiman's original works have been optioned or greenlighted for film adaptation, most notably Stardust, which premiered in August 2007 and stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Claire Danes, directed by Matthew Vaughn. A stop-motion version of Coraline was released on 6 February 2009, with Henry Selick directing and Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher in the leading voice-actor roles.
In 2007 Gaiman announced that after ten years in development the feature film of The High Cost of Living would finally begin production with a screenplay by Gaiman that he would direct for Warner Independent. Don Murphy and Susan Montford are the producers, and Guillermo del Toro is the film's executive producer.
Seeing Ear Theatre performed two of Gaiman's audio theatre plays, "Snow, Glass, Apples", Gaiman's retelling of Snow White and "Murder Mysteries", a story of heaven before the Fall in which the first crime is committed. Both audio plays were published in the collection Smoke and Mirrors in 1998.
Gaiman's 2009 Newbery Medal winning book The Graveyard Book will be made into a movie, with Neil Jordan being announced as the director during Gaiman's appearance on The Today Show, 27 January 2009.
Gaiman has confirmed he is writing an episode of the long running science fiction series Doctor Who, for broadcast in 2011 during Matt Smith's second series as the Doctor.Shooting will start in August 2010 for this story whose original title was "The House of Nothing".
In February 2001, when Gaiman had completed writing American Gods, his publishers set up a promotional web site featuring a weblog in which Gaiman described the day-to-day process of revising, publishing, and promoting the novel. After the novel was published, the web site evolved into a more general Official Neil Gaiman Website.
Gaiman generally posts to the blog several times a week, describing the day-to-day process of being Neil Gaiman and writing, revising, publishing, or promoting whatever the current project is. He also posts reader emails and answers questions, which gives him unusually direct and immediate interaction with fans. One of his answers on why he writes the blog is "because writing is, like death, a lonely business."
The original American Gods blog was extracted for publication in the NESFA Press collection of Gaiman miscellany, Adventures in the Dream Trade.
To celebrate the 7th anniversary of the blog, the novel American Gods was provided free of charge online for a month.
He lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, in an "Addams Family house". He moved there in 1992, and it is close to McGrath's family. He is divorced with three children: Michael, Holly, and Madeleine. Their mother is Mary McGrath.
In June 2009, during the Q&A at an AIDS fundraising event they were doing together, songwriter and performer Amanda Palmer and Gaiman stated that they were dating.
On 1 January 2010, Amanda Palmer stated on her Twitter feed that she "might have told [Neil Gaiman] [she]'d marry him but also might have been drunk", leading fans to speculate that the couple were now engaged to be married. On 15 January 2010, both Gaiman and Palmer confirmed their engagement in an announcement made on their respective websites.
Friendship with Tori Amos
One of Gaiman's most commented-upon friendships is with the musician Tori Amos, a Sandman fan who became friends with Gaiman after making a reference to "Neil and the Dream King" on her 1991 demo tape, and whom he included as a character (a talking tree) in Stardust. Amos also mentions Gaiman in her songs, "Tear in Your Hand" ("If you need me, me and Neil'll be hangin' out with the dream king. Neil says hi by the way"), "Space Dog" ("Where's Neil when you need him?"), "Horses" ("But will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?"), "Carbon" ("Get me Neil on the line, no I can't hold. Have him read, 'Snow, Glass, Apples' where nothing is what it seems"), "Sweet Dreams" ("You're forgetting to fly, darling, when you sleep"), and "Not Dying Today" ("Neil is thrilled he can claim he's mammalian, 'but the bad news,' he said, 'girl you're a dandelion'). He also wrote stories for the tour book of Boys for Pele and Scarlet's Walk, a letter for the tour book of American Doll Posse, and the stories behind each girl in her album Strange Little Girls. Amos penned the introduction for his novel Death: the High Cost of Living, and posed for the cover. She also wrote a song called "Sister Named Desire" based on his Sandman character, which was included on his anthology, Where's Neil When You Need Him?.
Gaiman is godfather to Tori Amos's daughter Tash, and wrote a poem called "Blueberry Girl" for Tori and Tash. The poem has been turned into a book by the illustrator Charles Vess. Gaiman read the poem aloud to an audience in Palo Alto on 5 October 2008 during his book reading tour for The Graveyard Book. It was published in March 2009 with the title, Blueberry Girl.
S. Alexander Reed has written about the intertextual relationships between Gaiman's and Amos's respective work. Reed does close readings of several of Gaiman's allusions to Amos, arguing that the reference to Amos happens as the texts expand and broaden their focus, and that Amos serves to disrupt the linear flow of the narrative. He reads this disruption in terms of psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan's idea of the mirror stage, arguing that the mutual referentiality serves to create an ideal vision of the reader-as-fan that the actual reader encounters and misrecognizes as themselves, thus drawing the reader into the role of the devoted (and paying) fan. The essay also contains a fairly thorough list of known references in both Gaiman's and Amos's work.
In 1993, Gaiman was contracted by Todd McFarlane to write a single issue of Spawn, a popular title at the newly created Image Comics company. McFarlane was promoting his new title by having guest authors Gaiman, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, and Dave Sim each write a single issue.
In issue #9 of the series, Gaiman introduced the characters Angela, Cogliostro, and Medieval Spawn. Prior to this issue, Spawn was an assassin who worked for the government and came back as a reluctant agent of Hell but had no direction. In Angela, a cruel and malicious angel, Gaiman introduced a character who threatened Spawn's existence, as well as providing a moral opposite. Cogliostro was introduced as a mentor character for exposition and instruction, providing guidance. Medieval Spawn introduced a history and precedent that not all Spawns were self-serving or evil, giving additional character development to Malebolgia, the demon that creates Hellspawn.
As intended, all three characters were used repeatedly throughout the next decade by Todd McFarlane within the wider Spawn universe. In papers filed by Gaiman in early 2002, however, he claimed that the characters were jointly owned by their scripter (himself) and artist (McFarlane), not merely by McFarlane in his role as the creator of the series. Disagreement over who owned the rights to a character was the primary motivation for McFarlane and other artists to form Image Comics (although that argument related more towards disagreements between writers and artists as character creators). As McFarlane used the characters without Gaiman's permission or royalty payments, Gaiman believed his copyrighted work was being infringed upon, which violated their original, oral, agreement. McFarlane initially agreed that Gaiman had not signed away any rights to the characters, and negotiated with Gaiman to effectively 'swap' McFarlane's interest in the character Marvelman (McFarlane believes he purchased interest in the character when Eclipse Comics was liquidated; Gaiman is interested in being able to continue his aborted run on that title) but later claimed that Gaiman's work had been work-for-hire and that McFarlane owned all of Gaiman's creations entirely. The presiding Judge, however, ruled against their agreement being work for hire, based in large part on the legal requirement that "copyright assignments must be in writing."
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court ruling in February 2004 granting joint ownership of the characters to Gaiman and McFarlane. On the specific issue of Cogliostro, presiding Judge John Shabaz proclaimed "The expressive work that is the comic-book character Count Nicholas Cogliostro was the joint work of Gaiman and McFarlane...their contributions strike us as quite equal...and both are entitled to ownership of the copyright". Similar analysis lead to similar results for the other two characters, Angela and Medieval Spawn.
This legal battle was brought by Gaiman and the specifically-formed Marvels and Miracles, LLC, which Gaiman created in order to help sort out the legal rights surrounding Marvelman (see the ownership of Marvelman sub-section of the Marvelman article). Gaiman wrote Marvel 1602 in 2003 to help fund this project. All of Marvel Comics' profits for the original issues of the series went to Marvels and Miracles. In 2009, Marvel Comics purchased Marvelman.
Gaiman returned to court over three more Spawn characters, Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany, that are claimed to be "derivative of the three he co-created with McFarlane.". The original three characters, whose first appearance was never reprinted in Spawn trade paperback collections, are just now appearing printed for the first time. The judge ruled that Gaiman was right in his claims and gave McFarlane until the start of September to settle matters.
Gaiman is a major supporter and board member of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
His film MirrorMask was nominated for the William Shatner Golden Groundhog Award for Best Underground Movie, the other nominated films were Green Street Hooligans, Nine Lives, Up for Grabs and Opie Gets Laid.
Gaiman received a World Fantasy Award for short fiction in 1991 for the Sandman issue, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (see Dream Country).
He has won the Comics Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer for the years 1991—1993, and received nominations from 1997—2000. His work on The Sandman was awarded the Favourite Comic Book Story for 1991 and 1994.
Gaiman was awarded the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Defender of Liberty award in 1997.
Good Omens was nominated for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards in 1991
Stardust was nominated for the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel 1999, and the illustrated version won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature 1999.
In 2000, The Dream Hunters was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Related Book and won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative.
American Gods won the Hugo Award for Best Novel 2002, the Nebula Award for Best Novel 2002, the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel 2002 and the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel 2001. It is among the most-honored works of fiction in recent history.
Coraline won the Hugo Award for Best Novella 2003, the Nebula Award for Best Novella 2003, the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book 2003, and the Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers 2003.
In 2004, his short story A Study in Emerald won another Hugo (in a ceremony the author presided over himself, having volunteered for the job before his story was nominated). Also in 2004, Endless Nights won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative and Season of Mists won the Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize for Scenario.
In 2005, Marvel 1602 won the Quill Book Award for Graphic Novels.
Anansi Boys won him a second Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature in 2006, as well as both the British and Locus Fantasy Awards for Best Novel. The book was also nominated for a Hugo Award, but Gaiman asked for it to be withdrawn from the list of nominations, stating that he wanted to give other writers a chance, and it was really more fantasy than science fiction.
Gaiman has won 19 Eisner Awards for his comics work.
From the comics fans in the rec.arts.comics* newsgroups, Gaiman won the Squiddy Award for Best Writer five years in a row from 1990 to 1994. He was also named Best Writer of the 1990s in the Squiddy Awards for the decade.
In 2007 he was awarded the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award. The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award
In 2007 Gaiman was presented with the Comic-Con Icon award at the Scream Awards.
In January 2009, Gaiman's The Graveyard Book was awarded the Newbery Medal. In May, the audio version won two Audies: Children's 8—12 and Audiobook of the year. In June 2009, it was shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel. It received the Hugo Award for Best Novel on 9 August at the 2009 Worldcon in Montreal where he was also the Professional Guest of Honor. On the 18th of November 2009, The Graveyard Book was awarded the Booktrust Teenage Prize.
In April 2010, Gaiman was selected as the Honorary Chair of National Library Week by the American Library Association.
In June 2010 Gaiman was awarded the Carnegie Medal in Literature for his novel, The Graveyard Book.
His story An Invocation of Incuriosity, published in Songs of the Dying Earth, won the 2010 Locus Award for Best Short Story
In the science-fiction television series Babylon 5, one of the races (The Gaim) is named in homage to Gaiman, and they are similar in appearance to the protagonist of Gaiman's graphic novel series "The Sandman".
Gaiman's work is known for a high degree of allusiveness.See particularly Rodney Sharkey, James Fleming, and Zuleyha Cetiner-Oktem's articles in ImageTexT's special issue on Gaiman's work: . Meredith Collins, for instance, has commented upon the degree to which his novel Stardust depends on allusions to Victorian fairy tales and culture. Particularly in The Sandman, literary figures and characters appear often; the character of Fiddler's Green is modelled visually on G.K. Chesterton, both William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer appear as characters, as do several characters from within A Midsummer Night's Dream. The comic also draws from numerous mythologies and historical periods. Such allusions are not unique to Sandman.
Clay Smith has argued that this sort of allusiveness serves to situate Gaiman as a strong authorial presence in his own works, often to the exclusion of his collaborators. However, Smith's viewpoint is in the minority: to many, if there is a problem with Gaiman scholarship and intertextuality it is that "... his literary merit and vast popularity have propelled him into the nascent comics canon so quickly that there is not yet a basis of critical scholarship about his work."
David Rudd takes a more generous view in his study of the novel Coraline, where he argues that the work plays and riffs productively on Sigmund Freud's notion of the Uncanny, or the Unheimlich.
Though Gaiman's work is frequently seen as exemplifying the monomyth structure laid out in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Gaiman says that he started reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces but refused to finish it: "I think I got about half way through The Hero with a Thousand Faces and found myself thinking if this is true ... I don’t want to know. I really would rather not know this stuff. I’d rather do it because it’s true and because I accidentally wind up creating something that falls into this pattern than be told what the pattern is."