Neil Gaiman was born on November 10, 1960 in Portchester,
Hampshire, on the south coast of England. His mother introduced
him to books and stories at an early age and, by
the age of two, he was trying to read books by
himself (although to what success I cannot say.) He started
writing his own little stories and poems at age three
(much like a young Mozart, it seems) and by the time he was
eight, Gaiman was writing original stories
with persistant characters.
Around this time, Gaiman was introduced to American
comic books and, for the next eight years, read them
passionately. When a high school counselor asked
him what he wanted to do when he grew up, Gaiman said
that he wanted to write American
comic books. The counselor was less than
enthusiastic and suggested instead a career in accountancy.
Fortunately for the world, Gaiman declined to
accept that advice. He
started writing professionally by the time
he was twenty. His first attempts at fiction were met with
polite disinterest. To pay the bills, Gaiman
started working as
a free-lance journalist. His most consistant employer was
British men's magazine whose editor had decided that, since his
entire readership was solely concerned with women's breasts, he
had might as well fill the pages in between with whatever
In 1985, Gaiman came across a copy of
Alan Moore's Swamp Thing at a tube stop
which rekindled his interest in comics. That
year, he met Moore and from him learned the mechanics
of scripting a comic book. Soon, Gaiman was
writing his own comics in the U. K., his breakout title
being Violent Cases in 1987.
Karen Berger, DC's liason to the
UK, approached Gaiman about doing
a monthly comic book in late-1987. Gaiman suggested a
number of established DC characters
including the Phantom Stranger (his first choice) and the Demon
(who would later make appearences in the Sandman.) Finally,
fatefully, the two agreed on the Sandman.
The Sandman, which tells the story of
the anthropomorphic personification of dreams and the
trials and troubles he (it?) has, ran monthly from
December 1988 to March 1996. In total, there were
seventy-five issues and one special. During that
time, the series garnered nearly every comic book award
of note, winning the Eisner for "Best Writer" four years running
(1991-1994.) It even won a non-comics award, the
World Fantasy Award for "Best Short Story" in 1991.
Gaiman continues to write, although most of his work
now is away from comic books. Some of his recent books
have been Smoke and Mirrors (a short story collection),
Neverwhere (both the book and the BBC series) and
Stardust (a modern fairy tale in the Lewis Carroll mold.)
In 1999, Gaiman also did the English-language script for
Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke".
In 2001, his book American Gods was published and became a New York Times Bestseller.
Gaiman now lives and works in the US. He is good
friends with Tori Amos. Also I'm told that his
house has two basements. In January 2011, he married Amanda Palmer.