The Artistry of Neil GaimanFinding Light in the Shadows

The Artistry of Neil GaimanFinding Light in the Shadows

Joseph Michael Sommers and Kyle Eveleth

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9781496821645

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


Neil Gaiman (1960-present) currently reigns in the literary world as one of the most critically-decorated and popular authors of the last fifty years. Perhaps best known as the writer of the Harvey, Eisner, and World Fantasy-award winning DC/ Vertigo series, The Sandman, Gaiman quickly became equally-renowned in literary circles for works such as Neverwhere, Coraline, the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, etc. award-winning American Gods, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning The Graveyard Book. For adults, for children, for the comic reader to the viewer of the BBC's Doctor Who, Gaiman's writing has crossed the borders of virtually all media and every language making him a celebrity on a world-wide scale. Despite Gaiman's incredible contributions to multiple national comics traditions (from such works as Miracleman to the aforementioned The Sandman), to the maturation of American comics as a serious storytelling medium, and to changing the rights of creators to retain ownership of their works, his work continues to be underrepresented in sustained fashion in comics studies. As American Gods tops ratings charts for Starz, Anansi Boys can be found in radio play from the BBC, and adaptations of some of his work from Trigger Warning and Fragile Things become standalone comics by renowned artists, it seems timely to bring the bulk of Gaiman's comics into the scholarly discussion. The thirteen essays and two interviews with Gaiman and his frequent collaborator, artist P. Craig Russell, a formal introduction, forward, and afterword examine the work (specifically-comics, graphic novels, picture books, visual adaptations of prose works, etc.) of Gaiman and a multitude of his collaborative illustrators. The essays radiate from an examination of Gaiman's work surrounding proclamations challenging his readers to "make good art'; what makes Gaiman's work unique and worthy of study lies in his eschewing of typical categorizations and typologies, his constant efforts to make good art-whatever form that art may take-howsoever the genres and audiences may slip into one another. What emerges is a complicated picture of a man who always seems fully-assembled virtually from the start of his career, but only came to feel comfortable in his own skin and his own voice far later in his life.

Table of Contents

The Lighter Side of Neil Gaiman

Dreaming the Universe

Kristine Larsen

“No Light, but Rather Darkness Visible”: Illuminating Gaiman’s Murkier Pages

At the Edge of the Barely Perceptible

Christopher D. Kilgore

Inverted Spaces

Züleyha Çetiner-Öktem

Gaiman’s Brumous Boundaries and the Liminal Space

The Shadow or the Self

Lanette Cadle

Damsels in Deep Rest no More

Danielle Russell

Queering Space in Neil Gaiman’s Illustrated Works

Renata Lucena Dalmaso and Thayse Madella

Weaving New Dreams From Old Cloth

Anna Katrina Gutierrez

“The World Always Seems Brighter When You’ve Just Made Something that Wasn’t There Before”: Afterthoughts, Filters, and Interviews


Joe Sutlif Sanders


The Art of Adaptation

Kyle Eveleth and Joseph Michael Somers

End Matter