Casting announced for the upcoming Audible adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman"

The 75-issue Sandman comic book series was of course Neil Gaiman's first big foray into fame. What began as a story in the DC Comics Universe about Morpheus, the Avatar of Dreams, eventually spawned its own separate interconnected comic book universe, as well as DC's adult imprints like Vertigo (RIP). It's a sprawling story about dreams, passion, and stories that's absolutely worth reading (if you somehow haven't already).

Audible will be releasing an audio drama adaptation of the first 3 graphic novel collections — Preludes & Nocturnes, The Doll's Houseand Dream Country — on July 15. And the casting so far looks pretty phenomenal, including Neil Gaiman himself as the narrator.

Here's the official synopsis from Amazon:

When The Sandman, also known as Lord Morpheus—the immortal king of dreams, stories and the imagination—is pulled from his realm and imprisoned on Earth by a nefarious cult, he languishes for decades before finally escaping. Once free, he must retrieve the three "tools" that will restore his power and help him to rebuild his dominion, which has deteriorated in his absence. As the multi-threaded story unspools, The Sandman descends into Hell to confront Lucifer (Michael Sheen), chases rogue nightmares who have escaped his realm, and crosses paths with an array of characters from DC comic books, ancient myths, and real-world history, including: Inmates of Gotham City's Arkham Asylum, Doctor Destiny, the muse Calliope, the three Fates, William Shakespeare (Arthur Darvill), and many more.

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Cartoonist Kayfabe: Wizard Magazine 16, December 1992

Ed and Jim's investigation into the 1990's comic book speculation boom and bust continues! In this issue:

*The second wave of Image Comics creators is officially upon us with the release of Darker Image issue 1.

*Cartoonist Lea Hernandez drops some knowledge about the trials and tribulations of the comic book business.

*Palmer's Picks: Hepcats, and the first announcement of Peter Laird's monumental Xeric Grant for self publishers.

* Kevin Eastman creates the Words and Pictures museum!

*A Dale Keown interview talking about his soon to be published Image title, Pitt!

* Fan Favorite artist, Kelley Jones speaks to Wizard about his drawing career, from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics to an Alien series published by Dark Horse comics

* Speaking of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Wizard investigates the comic to see how it compares and contrasts with previous iterations of the DC Sandman character, dating back to the 1940s.

* All this and tons more.


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Cartoonist Kayfabe shirts and other merchandise at our new storefront! Read the rest

This new clip from American Gods Season 2 is worrisome

The first season of American Gods was great. Ian McShane! Ricky Whittle! Gillian Anderson! Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy? Perfection.

And then, after the season wrapped up, shit went down. Show runners left. So did Gillian Anderson. Chaos ensued. The production finally managed to get their act together and BOOM, the trailer for Season 2 was released, promising us more dark whimsy than we deserve.

This new scene released by Amazon, however... isn't great. Maybe it's the fact that we're seeing it out of context. It's a wee bit of story in the middle of a much greater epic. But it feels a little bit off: there's no tension here. The level of creepy that Crispin Glover usually delivers isn't there. It's a quick clip, but damn, does it drag. If Amazon and Starz were looking to whip up excitement in the show's fan base, this seems like a really strange clip to release into the wild.

I'm hoping I'm wrong. I hope that, knowing all the behind-the-scenes drama, I'm reading into trouble that isn't there. But man, I'm kinda worried about the quality of Season 2 now. Read the rest

Put your faith in American Gods Season 2

As a rule, I'll watch pretty much anything with Ian McShane in it, from Lovejoy to Deadwood to Game of Thrones. American Gods? It's definitely on the list. I can't wait to see what Season 2 has in store... but I'm worried. With the exit of a number of key players that made the first season of the series as watchable as it was, I don't know what we're going to get this time. That said, having Neil Gaiman go hands on with Season 2 gives me hope.

Will it be more of the same, a new found triumph or a bit of television that will fade from memory as soon as its watched?

We'll have to wait until 2019 to find out. Read the rest

Neil Gaiman agrees to read entire Cheesecake Factory menu, with a catch

Neil Gaiman has just agreed to do a dramatic reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu, which is nearly the size of a Bible. But there's a catch – the Coraline author will only do the reading if $500,000 has been raised for a charity of his choice, which happens to be the United Nations Refugee Agency.

It all started with a tweet from comedian and author Sara Benincasa:

"Dear @neilhimself: for $500K to the charity of your choice would you read the Cheesecake Factory menu in its entirety onstage pls advise."

To which Gaiman replied a few hours later:

I have said Yes. If she makes it happen, for charity, I will do this thing.

According to Los Angeles Times:

Benincasa told Eater that her tweet was inspired in part by watching the television adaptation of one of Gaiman's most famous books.

“Last week I watched an episode of the sublime TV adaptation of ‘American Gods,’ went on a goddamn elegant date to Cheesecake, woke up, drank coffee, and went into some kind of inspiration blackout. When I came to, I discovered I'd asked Neil if he'd read the entire Cheesecake Factory menu onstage in exchange for a $500,000 donation to a charity of his choice.”

Benincasa then set up a fundraising campaign on the charity crowdfunding site Crowdrise

"If we hit $500K, Neil has kindly agreed to do a live reading of the greatest restaurant menu of all time. It's about 8000 pages, last time I checked," Benincasa wrote on the site.

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A new edition of the Information Doesn't Want to Be Free audiobook featuring Neil Gaiman

"Information Doesn't Want to Be Free" is my 2014 nonfiction book about copyright, the internet, and earning a living, and it features two smashing introductions -- one by Neil Gaiman and the other by Amanda Palmer. Read the rest

How to Talk to Girls at Parties – Neil Gaiman at his best

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

by Neiman Gaiman (author), Gabriel Bá (illustrator), and Fábio Moon (illustrator)

Dark Horse Books

2016, 64 pages, 6.9 x 10.5 x 0.4 inches

$12 Buy a copy on Amazon

How to Talk to Girls at Parties is an adaptation of the Neil Gaiman short story of the same name, originally published in his collection Fragile Things. As adaptations go, this one tells the story pretty exactly as it was done by Gaiman. Two teens named Enn and Vic go to a party with the intention of picking up girls. Vic is handsome and confident, while Enn is shy and awkward. Enn doesn’t know how to talk to girls, and this becomes the central problem of the story. His attempts to seem cool and desirable are both humorous and relatable to anybody who has ever tried talking to a potential love interest. As the night moves on, it becomes clear that something is amiss at this party, but exactly what is unknown to Enn, and a little ambiguous to the reader.

I really like this book. At first glance it might seem like an odd choice for a comic – the story doesn’t reach the heights of some of Gaiman’s other work, for example. But it’s short and sweet and so unique. The story is Gaiman at his best in terms of information release and character moments. You’re never completely ahead of the plot and it is so easy to sympathize with Enn’s awkwardness. Read the rest

Hansel and Gretel – a thrilling grim version by Neil Gaiman

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Neil Gaiman’s stirring narrative of Hansel and Gretel combined with artist Lorenzo Mattotti’s oppressively black illustrations give the Brothers Grimm fairytale a nightmarish quality different from what I remember as a kid. Back then the terrifying takeaway was the trusting old woman in the candy-coated gingerbread house who transformed into a mean and hungry cannibal. Don’t get me wrong, the evil old woman is still mighty sinister in Gaiman’s book, but this time the takeaway was the horror of parental abandonment and betrayal. Maybe because I’m now an adult, or maybe because it wasn’t told in such detail when I was a kid (I can’t remember), the events leading up to Hansel and Gretel finding the gingerbread house in this version are quite unsettling. Although it’s a great creepy book for kids, I’d be careful not to read it to younger children who might be sensitive to the darker side of fairy tales. After all, there are no good fairies in this book.

Hansel & Gretel

by Neil Gaiman (author) and Lorenzo Mattotti (illustrator)

Toon Graphics

2014, 56 pages, 7.5 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches

$13 Buy a copy on Amazon Read the rest

Ian McShane to star in TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'

Actor Ian McShane will play the central role of Mr. Wednesday in an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel 'American Gods' for the Starz cable television network. Read the rest

Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warning anthology on sale for $(removed) as a Kindle edition

The Kindle edition of Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances is on sale today for $(removed)

Multiple award winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman returns to dazzle, captivate, haunt, and entertain with this third collection of short fiction following Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things—which includes a never-before published American Gods story, “Black Dog,” written exclusively for this volume.

In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction—stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013—as well “Black Dog,” a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection.

Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion. In Adventure Story—a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane—Gaiman ponders death and the way people take their stories with them when they die. His social media experience A Calendar of Tales are short takes inspired by replies to fan tweets about the months of the year—stories of pirates and the March winds, an igloo made of books, and a Mother’s Day card that portends disturbances in the universe.

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The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains - Neil Gaiman's disquieting story sticks with you long after you've closed the book

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

In 2010, author Neil Gaiman was asked to read a story at the Sydney Opera House. He chose an unpublished story, and invited artist Eddie Campbell to create paintings to be projected during the reading. Now, that story is an incredible hardcover book, with additional paintings and comics done by Campbell. The result, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains: A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of all Kinds lives up to its subtitle, being something in between a prose novel and a graphic novel. Every page features some kind of illustration that adds to the story in a unique way. Dialogue often breaks into more comic-y panels, complete with word balloons. Sometimes whole pages are done in this style, and other times it very coolly fits seamlessly into a more standard page of prose.

Serious Gaiman fans may notice that the “Truth is a Cave” story was recently re-published in the short story collection Trigger Warning, sans illustrations. Reading the complete book is an entirely different experience, as the illustrations add additional atmosphere and emotion to the story, and in some places even help clarify the observations of Gaiman’s unreliable narrator. This story is dark and disquieting; essentially it’s a fable set in Scotland about two men searching for gold, hidden in a mythical cave on the Misty Isle. Gaiman infuses the narrative with a bleak foreboding feeling, and Campbell’s illustrations do a great job of visualizing those feelings. Read the rest

LISTEN: Neil Gaiman writes all the things!

Enjoy the latest podcast from Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt

The Art of Neil Gaiman

You can learn a lot by peering into an artist’s process. In The Art of Neil Gaiman, Gaiman friend and fan Hayley Campbell is given generous access to Gaiman’s notebooks, sketches, archives, and even the details on some of his failed projects. Read the rest

Gaiman's "Ocean at the End of the Lane" wins UK book of the year prize

Congratulations to Neil Gaiman, whose modern fairytale The Ocean at the End of the Lane was named "book of the year" by popular vote in the UK Specsavers National Book Awards. Read the rest

Neil Gaiman's next episode of Doctor Who will bring back a classic foe

We learned a while back that author Neil Gaiman would be returning to Doctor Who to write a follow-up to his Hugo Award-winning episode, "The Doctor's Wife." And now we know a little bit more about what he'll be writing about -- one of the series' most classic villains, the Cybermen, will be brought back by Gaiman for an episode later this season! Something else to keep in mind about the next time we see the Cybermen -- it will be the first time the Doctor's new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, will meet them. (We will finally meet her on Christmas Day, when Doctor Who's Christmas special airs on BBC!)

The episode, which will air some time next spring, will be directed by Stephen Woolfenden and will feature appearances by Warwick Davis (Harry Potter), Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders), and Jason Watkins (Being Human). The trio will be playing, according to BBC, "a band of misfits on a mysterious planet."

I always found the Cybermen to be one of the most creepy, dangerous, and heartbreaking bad guys on Doctor Who, so I would imagine that Neil Gaiman's take on them will make all of us cry for hours if he does his job correctly.

Photo credit: BBC

Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Who Episode Will Feature Return of Cybermen [Spinoff Online] Read the rest

Neil Gaiman is writing a prequel to Sandman next year

Last night at Comic Con, during a DC Comics panel that focused on its Vertigo imprint, it was casually mentioned that Neil Gaiman would debut a prequel to his Sandman series in November 2013. In a prerecorded message, he provided the following quote:

"When I finished writing The Sandman, there was one tale still untold. The story of what had happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in The Sandman #1, and why he was returned from far away, exhausted beyond imagining, and dressed for war."

We thought you might be interested.

Neil Gaiman's writing a prequel to Sandman in 2013 [io9] Read the rest

An interview with Sir Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett's latest book, Snuff: A Novel of Discworld, is out now. Don't miss Cory's review. — Boing Boing

Neil Gaiman: Where did the idea for Snuff originate?

Terry Pratchett: I haven’t a clue, but I think I started out by considering the character of Sir Samuel Vimes, as he now is, and since I find his inner monologue interesting I decided to use the old and well tried plot device of sending a policeman on holiday somewhere he can relax, because we all know the way this one is supposed to go. And then I realised that moving Vimes out of his city element and away from his comfort zone was going to be a sheer treat to write. Read the rest