7 Thoughts About Neil Gaiman

a birthday card drawn by Dave McKean (my favorite artist), who directed MirrorMask

Neil Gaiman, it’s been said, is the rock star of authors, which is a funny thing to say, given the nature of authors. I think it was Gaiman himself who said when invited to parties, he’s always prefered sitting in a dark corner and watching people. But this is what you get when you live in America with a cool accent and own no clothes that aren’t black.

Here are seven thoughts about Neil Gaiman on his birthday.

1. Once, I was retweeted by Neil Gaiman. He has over 1.7 million Twitter followers. You can imagine what that did to my podcast stats that day.

2. I was fortunate to meet Neil Gaiman once at a Fantasy Matters conference in Minneapolis, where he talked about how utilitarian China made their inventors read science fiction and fantasy because it encouraged inventiveness and creativity. I got a photo with him, and he signed my copy of Murder Mysteries, which remains my favorite Neil Gaimany thing (though I do like the radio play more than the graphic novel).

3. I did get to see him once more at the Discworld convention in 2011. He was a “surprise guest,” though considering they told everyone not to miss the Good Omens panel and that I knew he lived just over in Minneapolis, I could put two and two together. It was during that conference that Neil told this story about his gray fedora:

4. Watching MirrorMask made me want to double major with art so that I could do art graphics for film. I actually went and got all the information from the art department and everything, but they didn’t have a digital part of their studies. It was a lot of pottery and art metals, so I didn’t end up doing it, but it was that beautiful of a movie that it drove me to that action.

5. Reading Good Omens screwed up my brain so badly, I was convinced the apocalypse was coming. Not in a scared sort of way. Just in a common knowledge “Oh yeah, of course the world is going to end soon” sort of way. I think that’s what gave me the dream that triggered me to write my novel Riff.

6. I did an interview with the actor Paterson Joseph, who played the Marquis de Carabas in Neil Gaiman’s TV show Neverwhere. Not only did he say what a joy it was to work with the man, he loved that character. He usually doesn’t have an urge to revisit characters, but he’d love to play the Marquis again.

7. Because he can’t be busy enough, Neil Gaiman is coming out with a childen’s book about a panda and he’s writing a second episode of Doctor Who. And let’s not even start about the Sandman prequel and the Good Omens movie that are underway!

Do you have any stories about interactions with Neil Gaiman or his work? Share yours in comments!

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