GRAPHIC Education: Neil Gaiman, American Gods and The Endless
Welcome to the first installment of GRAPHIC Education series – and for those of you looking for some ‘red banded goodness’…calm down, I don’t mean THAT kind of graphic.
What I’m here to do over the course of this series is to take you though many different graphic novels, their characters and the authors behind them. So that even those new to the comic and graphic novel universes will be able to follow a discussion topic or perhaps even be intrigued enough to go read it themselves!
To kick off the inaugural article I’ll be taking a brief look at who Neil Gaiman is, introducing you to The Endless and looking at film and TV contributions.
Bio: Neil Gaiman
- Name: Neil Richard Gaiman
- Date of Birth: 10th November 1960
- Origin: Born of Polish Jewish heritage (his grandfather immigrated to England and settled in New Hampshire)
- Awards and Medals: His books and stories have also been honoured with 4 Hugos, 2 Nebulas, 1 World Fantasy Award, 4 Bram Stoker Awards, 6 Locus Awards, 2 British SF Awards, 1 British Fantasy Award, 3 Geffens, 1 International Horror Guild Award and 2 Mythopoeic Awards.
An author of short fictional novels, comics, graphic novels, audio and even film theatrical productions. His most notable work is the The Sandman graphic novel series.
Neil Gaiman was beloved friends with the great Terry Pratchett and co-wrote Good Omens with the world beloved author. With the death of his good friend – Neil had the following to say:
I woke up and my email was all condolences from friends, and requests for statements from journalists, and I knew it had happened. I’d been warned.
Thirty years and a month ago, a beginning author met a young journalist in a Chinese Restaurant, and the two men became friends, and they wrote a book, and they managed to stay friends despite everything. Last night, the author died.
There was nobody like him. I was fortunate to have written a book with him, when we were younger, which taught me so much.
This was the last thing I wrote about Terry. I knew his death was coming and it made it no easier:
I’ll miss you, Terry. I’m not up to writing anything yet.
Maybe one day.
The Endless are seven siblings that are the central to Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” series. They portray the seven fundamental forces of existence itself.
The first of the Endless, Dream, was created in January of 1989 with the help of Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg.
He would go on to give life to the rest of The Endless siblings over the next year, Death being the next one for us to fall in love with – then Desire, Despair, Destiny, Delirium and finally Destruction followed after that (of which I will be doing personalized bios on over the next few days).
My favourite of The Endless has always been Delirium, (also known as Delight) – I even cosplayed her at an expo last year!
Attempts to create a movie for The Sandman have been going on longer than those of the attempts to get an R-Rated Deadpool – and while we finally got what we wanted, (SQUEAL!) the same cannot be said for this tricky series. There are even those who disagree completely with even making an attempted movie or series due to the complexity of the storyline and characters themselves.
Neil Gaiman’s TV & Film contributions
Amongst the many works Neil has contributed to, the most well known are The Dreamworks animation, Coraline (originally a graphic novel), and the big budget hit, Stardust. Additionally, Neverwhere, was turned into a series by the BBC.
Production for the film adaption of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods has began this month! British actor Ricky Whittle has been cast to play the books much loved protagonist, Shadow Moon, an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
As we get news on the progress, be sure to check back with us for updates!
To end off, I’d like to add that many of the works by this great man have impacted, not only my life, but many others around the world and by not taking the time to go to your nearest bookstore and sinking your teeth into the mind-blowing (albeit at times more mind-bending) literary gold that is anything this man has touched, you are doing yourself a major disservice.
Till next time!
Image Credits: Vertigo