Today, a great geek, literary and comic book icon celebrates a birthday. There is not much that can be told about Neil Gaiman that you can’t find on his brooding website or his Wikipedia entry. There is a lot to be told within his great body of work however. Gaiman turns 51 years old today, and surely has plenty of years left to amaze us with his writing and artistry.
From his amazing work on the Sandman comics to his collaboration with Terry Pratchett on possibly one of the most entertaining novels of the last 20 years, Good Omens, * to his work with younger subjects such as Coraline and The Graveyard Book. Gaiman has never ceased to inspire and delight readers of all ages and temperaments. His fantasy is ever reaching, ranging from the struggle of the everyday soul caught in a less than ordinary underworld (Neverwhere) to the plights of put-upon gods losing their faithful (American Gods*).
My first interactions with Gaiman’s work came in the form of his comics, but not Sandman as you’d expect. I had picked up The Books of Magic which was a mini series that looked at the magical portions of the DC Universe. A huge DC fan, I really enjoyed seeing a different side of the DC world.
It was that kind of magical and mystical fantasy that drew me into Gaiman’s writing. When he started to release solo novels, I was more than eager to pick them up. He weaves worlds that provide an ample escape from the real world, but by creating other seemingly-real worlds. It’s those other worlds you get lost in, and keep you reading.
So here’s to you Neil, and here’s to the mystical and fantastical worlds you’ve created for us to enjoy — and the ones you haven’t, yet. Please join all of us at GeekDad in wishing Neil Gaiman a very happy 51st birthday, and many more to come!
(You can even wish him a happy birthday directly on Twitter, if you like.)
[Note: A version of this article was published on Gaiman’s birthday each of the past two years.]