SwanCon 21 Souvenir Book – Neil Gaiman

Being page 6 of the SwanCon 21, Festival of the Imagination souvenir book. Typos and interesting punctuation faithfully replicated.

Neil Gaiman, creator/writer of the monthly cult DC comics horror-weird series, Sandman, is one of the top writers in modern comics. He is also a best-selling novelist and acclaimed short story writer.

Sandman has won Neil the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Writer, Best Continuing Series, Best Graphic Album-Reprint, and Best Graphic Album-New; the Harvey Award for Best Writer and Best Continuing Series. Sandman #19, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story (making it the first comic ever to be awarded a literary award).

Norman Mailer said of Sandman, “Along with all else, Sandman is a comic strip for intellectuals, and I say it’s about time”. Nine Sandman collections have appeared to date. A final collection, The Wake, is in preparation. Warner Brothers have optioned Sandman for a movie, and a first draft script (by Elliot and Rossio, writers of Disney’s Aladdin) has been completed.

Gaiman’s three-part series, Death: The High Cost of Living, was released by DC in February 1993, and was the single best-selling title for ‘mature-readers’ ever. The three parts of the story were collected in late 1993 to widespread acclaim. Warner Brothers are optioning Death: The High Cost of Living as a movie, and have approached Gaiman to write the film. The first part of a new three-part series, Death: The Time of Your Life, was released in April 1996.

Neil wrote Signal to Noise (illustrated by Dave McKean), a graphic novella about a dying film director that was serialised in The Face and reprinted by Gollancz in July 1992. It won the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album, and is currently being adapted by the BBC as a radio play for Radio Three (UK) and as a CD-ROM. Gaiman has also worked with Dave McKean on Violent Cases (1987) and Black Orchid (1988). Violent Cases is a meditation on memory, evil and kids’ birthday parties. It won the Eagle Award for Best Graphic Novel (1988).

Angels and Visitations (DreamHaven), a hardcover small press collection of Gaiman’s short fiction, prose and journalism, was issued in 1993 to celebrate his first ten years as a professional writer. One of the stories from the collection, “Troll Bridge”, and the collection itself, were nominated for World Fantasy Awards in 1994. The book was awarded the 1994 International Horror Critic Guild’s Award as Best Collection. Neil’s stories have appeared in the annual Years’ Best Fantasy and Horror collection for the last four years’ running. Two more stories have been picked up for the 1996 Year’s Best collection.

Recent comics work includes Mr Punch (1994), with artwork by Dave McKean, a strange story of childhood and puppets; and Alice Cooper’s The Last Temptation, Gaiman’s adaptation of the story he created, around which Alice Cooper wrote the album of the same name. He was also co-originator, co-plotter and co-editor of the Utterly Comic Comic Relief Comic, which raised 45,000 pounds for the UK Comic Relief Charity in 1991.

Gaiman was co-author, with Terry Pratchett, of Good Omens: a very funny novel about how the world is going to end and we are all going to die, which spent 17 consecutive weeks on the UK Sunday Times Best-Seller lists in 1990, and has gone on to sell over 250,000 copies in the UK alone. Neil has recently completed a six-part TV series for the BBC, Neverwhere, set in a strange world beneath London. It began filming in February 1996 and will be broadcast in the Autumn of 1996. He has also just finished his first book for children, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish.

Neil’s work in translation has appeared in Italy, Spain, Holland, Norway, Germany, France, Brazil, Sweden, Finland and some other countries he can’t think of off-hand. His journalism has appeared in Time Out, The Sunday Times (London), Punch, The Observer Colour Supplement and diverse other locations. Neil Gaiman is thirty five years old and is currently dividing his time between the US and the UK.

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