Neil Gaiman making me (gulp) read comics
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
7 March 2017
But Neil Gaiman is more than that
My oldest son, God bless him, remains a fan of comic books to this day, especially those written by Neil Gaiman. Unlike his old man who has never bothered reading one. I was born a curmudgeon.
He makes it a point that he really just appreciates two comic book writers. One favorite is Alan Moore. He eats up Moore’s famed dystopian work, V for Vendetta, and his mediation on aged superheroes, The Watchmen. (Both became mediocre films.) The Watchmen, my son tells me, is ranked on Time’s All-Time 100 Novels.
I continue to read Time Magazine despite it placing a comic on the list. That was tough to stomach.
“The position Neil Gaiman holds is spurring me to seek out his work, despite my initial misgivings.”
His other favorite is Neil Gaiman. He rose to fame by way of a series called The Sandman, which followed the king of dreams, also known as Morpheus. The books consumed my son in his mid-teens the way Harry Potter did my younger children, which is why I never forgot Gaiman’s name.
Neil Gaiman expands beyond comics
These days, I’ve grown to admire Neil Gaiman. He’s morphing into a prolific and award-winning novelist and screenwriter – and is gifted at his craft. He won a Hugo Award for his novel, American Gods. (Soon to become a Starz miniseries under the guidance of Gaiman and Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller.) Gaiman also won a Newberry Medal for his young adult novel, The Graveyard Book. Beyond that, Gaiman is creating a literary brand for himself that rests comfortably between the film stylings of Tim Burton and the fiction of Stephen King.
The history of his work spans fantasy, science fiction, comics, mythology and fiction. Yet each represents heroic quests worthy of Joseph Campbell’s liking.
Artists – great ones at that – operate just like a powerful brand. Leonard Cohen, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep represent brands with the same power that Apple and Amazon do. The genius of each rests within a singular brand position.
The position Neil Gaiman holds is spurring me to seek out his work, despite my initial misgivings. A book on Norse mythology is coming out. I’ll check that out. And, who knows, maybe it’s time I did dig into Sandman. The pull is that strong.
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