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The Art Of Neil Gaiman Book Review

The Art of Neil Gaiman Book

“The Art of Neil Gaiman” is an entertaining biography.

For those that think “The Art of Neil Gaiman” is about Neil Gaiman’s personal art work, it’s not. While there are some drawings from Mr. Gaiman, this hardcover book is a biography on the prolific comic book writer, screenwriter, and novelist.

After a foreword by writer Audrey Niffenegger and an introduction to Gaiman and his work, author Haley Campbell digs into the life and career over the course of 7 chapters. In chapter 1, we are introduced to stories of Gaiman’s early life, family, interests, journalistic works (where he interviewed everyone from Terry Jones to Clive Barker), his love of comics and punk music, his novel “My Great Aunt Ermintrude,” as well as his short stories, “Duran Duran” bio and other works like “Don’t Panic,” “Ghastly Beyond Belief” and “Good Omens” (co-written with Terry Pratchett).

In chapter 2, Campbell delves into his British comics work such as “2000 AD,” “The Light Brigade” and the haunting “Violent Cases” graphic novel while chapter 3 covers his Vertigo era comics ala “Black Orchid,” “Death,” and perhaps his most famous work, “Sandman.” In chapter 4, the rest of his miscellaneous comic work (“Marvel 1602,” “Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader,” and “Signal to Noise” to name a few) is touched upon.

Chapter 5 covers his major novels (like “Stardust,” “Coraline,” and the recent “The Ocean At The End of the Lane”), several of his short stories and poetry works, his involvement with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, film adaptations of some of his books, and the numerous amount of children’s picture books (like “Chu’s Day”) that he penned.

If you’re wondering about Gaiman’s film, TV, and “Doctor Who” work, chapter 6 has you covered in that department. You also get to learn about his unmade scripts as well as his projects with Amanda Palmer (his wife).

Finally, in chapter 7 you get some random tidbits of info including a snippet about the recent excellent “Neverwhere” radio drama adaptations.

While the above listed material gives you an idea of what to expect in each chapter, that is not ALL that is contained within these pages. Readers can expect to see a vast collection of photographs, quotes from Gaiman and other co-workers/collaborators, pages for various publications, and even some comic art. For the most part, however, the book does tend to play like an in depth bibliography of Gaiman’s work and career.

Now, for those expecting a more traditional biography, you might be disappointed that the book doesn’t offer up more stories about his life and novels (which could almost certainly fill up another book entirely). With all of that said, don’t let that dissuade from picking this up as ‘Art’ is still filled with a ton of material. Whether you’re learning about his obscure “Sweeney Todd” tale or discovering that he wrote a popular “Duran Duran” bio, the book is nothing short of being both revealing and informative.

Overall Thoughts: Whether you’ve devoured everything Neil Gaiman has released or have never read or seen anything he has been involved with, “The Art of Neil Gaiman” is a solid glimpse into the life of the personable writer.

June 22, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , , ,

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