Weaver of dreams on the collaborative process
This article is from 2009.
Neil Gaiman has firsthand experience of the writing game at all levels. First he made his name in underground comics before graduating to the huge success of Sandman, then moving to novels, alongside children’s literature, TV and now film: he co-wrote Robert Zemeckis’ CGI fantasy epic Beowulf while his own Stardust and Coraline have been adapted in recent years. ‘I am astonishingly lucky and if I decided that the next novel was going to be a work of completely realistic fiction I could get it published and people would buy it,’ he notes. ‘Mainly because everything I’ve done has been so different that people genuinely don’t mind that from me.’
And while he finished writing Sandman after 75 issues in 1996, it is the jumping-on point that most fans will always associate with Gaiman, a groundbreaking series that reached beyond the comics world to grab literary awards across the globe. And with recent projects such as 1602, Endless Nights, Eternals and Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader, Gaiman still has a love of the medium. ‘I love collaborating. I would never pick up American Gods and read it for pleasure, I’m always gonna look at it and say “why did I put that comma there?” Whereas I can pick up Sandman and look at the art and take pleasure in it. Like an architect walking round a house they designed, I designed it but I didn’t do all the work.’
19 Aug, 4.30pm, Charlotte Square Gardens, £9 (£7); 20 Aug (with Ian Rankin), 8pm, Charlotte Square Gardens, £9 (£7).