Jan. 27, 2009 | 12:48 a.m.
Welcome to Everyday Hero, your roundup of handpicked headliens from across the fanboy universe… "GRAVEYARD" WINS NEWBERY: Congrats are in order for Neil Gaiman, whose latest work has been awarded the Newbery Medal. Here’s the announcement: "The 2009 Newbery Medal winner is ‘The Graveyard Book’ by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens. ‘A child named Nobody, an assassin, a graveyard and the dead are the perfect combination in this deliciously creepy tale, which is sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting and sometimes surprising,’ said Newbery Committee Chair Rose V. […]
Dec. 29, 2008 | 6:29 p.m.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Neil Gaiman, who is one of the signature talents over the past two decades in comic books as well a writer of increasing renown for his novels and work in Hollywood. I posted a three-part Q&A from that interview right here on Hero Complex (it began here, continued here and then finished up here) but I also used the conversation as the foundation for a feature on the 20th anniversary of "The Sandman." That feature ran (finally) this morning on the cover of the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times. It won’t have many surprises for readers who checked out the full Q&A, but here’s an excerpt for everyone else and those Gaiman die-hard fans who just can’t get enough when it comes to this sparkling storyteller. –Geoff Boucher […]
Dec. 03, 2008 | 1:48 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE: This is the third and final part of our interview with Neil Gaiman on the 20th anniversary of "The Sandman." In this installment, the British native talks about the film future of Morpheus, his disappointments with the "Stardust" movie and his anxieties about the upcoming "Coraline" adaptation. (Read Part One and Part Two) GB: This seems to be the golden age of comic-book films and your Hollywood profile has risen with "Beowulf," "Stardust" and the upcoming "Coraline." So what can you tell us about the status of "The Sandman" as a Hollywood project? NG: Back in about 1991 or 1992 I got sent into a meeting with an executive at Warners. He told me, "They’re talking about a ‘Sandman’ movie," and I said. "Please, don’t do it." He said, "What?" I told him I’m still writing this thing, it’s […]
Dec. 02, 2008 | 1:20 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE: The second installment of our three-part interview with Neil Gaiman finds the writer musing on the “British Invasion” in comics, describing his love for “mythology mash-ups” and wondering if maybe he pulled off the impossible with sustained excellence of “The Sandman” (Read Part One and Part Three) GB: How would you describe Morpheus, your flawed Lord of Dreams, to someone who was coming to the tale for the first time? NG: He’s a lot like me, only with an immortal’s superpowers and no sense of humor of any kind. Hmm. So in fact, he isn’t anything like me at all but he does have very messy hair. [Laughs] That was a great point of correspondence between me and the character. He’s much paler than I am too. No, really, with the character, it was an idea of trying to […]
Dec. 01, 2008 | 2:08 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE: The first of a three-part interview with Neil Gaiman on the 20th anniversary of his signature comics work, "The Sandman." The writer says it’s like awakening from a dream. "It is has been wonderful and baffling and inspiring." In late 1988, a strange new comic book written by a British newcomer named Neil Gaiman hit the shelves with a singular style and rhythm. The protagonist of "The Sandman" was no superhero at all; he was the Lord of Dreams, a tall, willowy and haunted figure, both magical and deeply flawed, who for the next 75 months would challenge the ambitions and limitations of a monthly comics series. This is the first of a three-part interview with Gaiman reflecting on that 20th anniversary as well some of his other key works in comics and beyond, among them "American Gods," "Coraline" […]
Oct. 21, 2008 | 10:14 p.m.
What’s more interesting than a self-portrait drawn by an artist whose life reads like a riddle? Here on the right is Steve Ditko’s vision of himself, which was first published in 1966 in "Witzend" issue No. 1. A few years later, Ditko receded from the public eye and, to this day, remains the most elusive personality among the true icons of comics. Want to know more about the life behind this visage? Read the review I wrote in June of a Blake Bell’s new biography of Dirko, the co-creator of "Spider-Man" and "Dr. Strange." Now on with today’s heroic headlines … Comics writer Grant Morrison reflects on his landmark run on "All Star Superman" and tells Zack Smith the story about how a brawny but mellow fan dressed as Superman at the International Comic-Con in San Diego actually inspired the […]
Oct. 05, 2008 | 10:42 p.m.
Neil Gaiman is on a nine-city book tour in support of his new tome, “The Graveyard Book,” and at each stop he is reading from a different chapter. Each reading is being recorded on video and posted at Gaiman’s website so, if you enjoy the lilt of his south England accent, you can have him recite the whole tale for you. On Monday (Oct. 6) he will be in Santa Monica at Lincoln Middle School at 1501 California Ave. at 7 p.m. in an event sponsored by Barnes & Noble. (Call 310-260-9110 for more details.) Gaiman will read the beginning of Chapter 7. For other dates on the tour, check here. Gaiman will not be signing books, but pre-signed copies will be on sale at the event. I’ve seen the “Sandman” and “Stardust” scribe at the microphone before and, as […]
Sept. 15, 2008 | 5:17 p.m.
Here are some images from the Portland, Ore., set of “Coraline,” the much-anticipated animated film version of Neil Gaiman’s brilliant novella (which was also notably adapted as a graphic novel drawn by P. Craig Russell). The photo above shows scenic painter Aaron Jarrett at work on the set of the film now being directed and produced by the ingenious Henry Selick, who along with Tim Burton brought the world the spindly magic of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” These photographs were taken by David Strick, who has one of the greatest gigs ever: He’s the set photographer who gets fantastic access and captures truly singular Tinseltown moments. You can see the building collection of his very special work over at Hollywood Backlot. It’s a pretty astounding and deep archive, and every time I click through I find something new and compelling. […]
Aug. 21, 2008 | 9:56 p.m.
There was an intriguing post last week on Neil Gaiman’s journal that suggests that the usually black-clad teller of tales is by now on a monthlong trek through the hinterlands of China on a story safari: Tonight I’m home, sitting on the sofa with my daughters who are watching the Olympics. This morning I went out and bought lots of lightweight, quick-drying clothes and other useful travel things, with my assistant Lorraine. (At one point during the clothes-buying part of things Lorraine helpfully said, "Boss you’re still wearing their pants. Why don’t you go back into your own?" Which seemed like a sensible idea, so I grabbed my jeans and headed back to the changing room, overhearing the sales lady saying, "Is he a professor?" and Lorraine’s reply of, "He’s a writer. It’s the same thing.") So I now have […]
Aug. 19, 2008 | 6:54 p.m.
I just got a copy of "The Darker Mask" in the mail, and I’m really looking forward to checking it out this week when I hop on a flight to Florida. The book is part of percolating subgenre right now: Comics-inspired tales that tell their stories without pictures. So it’s pure prose, but the spirit is out of the four-color cousins with the word balloons. This is hardly a new idea, of course. "Hellboy: Odd Jobs," an anthology of short stories about Big Red, came out eight years ago, and waaay back in 1990 was "Words Without Pictures" (a hard-to-find book now), which was edited by Steve Niles and had wonderful work in it by Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Jon J. Muth others. Those are just two I can see sitting on my bookshelf from where I’m sitting. Anyway, […]