Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century

Essays on the Novels, Children’s Stories, Online Writings, Comics and Other Works


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About the Book

Neil Gaiman has emerged as one of the most influential literary figures of the 21st century. To borrow a phrase from his viral 2012 University of the Arts commencement speech, Gaiman “makes good art,” from his graphic novels to his social media collaborations, award-winning fantasy fiction and beloved children’s books. This collection of new essays examines a range of Gaiman’s prolific output, with readings of the novels American Gods, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Children’s books The Wolves in the Walls and Blueberry Girl and the online short story collection A Calendar of Tales are discussed. Gaiman’s return to the serial comic book form with Sandman: Overture is covered, and artist JH Williams III contributes an exclusive interview about his collaboration with Gaiman on Overture. Cartoonist Judd Winick offers a personal essay on his connection to Gaiman’s work.

About the Author(s)

Tara Prescott is a lecturer in Writing Programs and Faculty in Residence at the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in Los Angeles.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Tara Prescott

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 8 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9477-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1994-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

American Gods (2001)

The American Odyssey  (Jenn Anya Prosser) 9

The Anxiety of Disappearance  (Michael B. Key) 19

The Wolves in the Walls (2003) and Blueberry Girl (2009)

Towards a Feminist Reading of Gaiman’s Picture Books (Renata Lucena Dalmaso) 29

Anansi Boys (2005)

“The old man was gone”: The Problematic Unity of Tricksters,

Gods and Fathers in Anansi Boys and American Gods (Laura-Marie von Czarnowsky) 39

“You heard her, you ain’t blind”: The “Haunting” Presence of Their Eyes Were Watching God  (Danielle Russell) 52

The Graveyard Book (2008)

The Jungle, the Graveyard and the Feral Child: Imitating and Transforming Kipling Beyond Pastiche  (Jennifer McStotts) 65

Wisdom, Strength and Courtesy: ­Graveyard-Favor Go with Thee (Margaret Seyford Hrezo) 83

“Nightmare in Silver” (2013)

“We’ve upgraded ourselves”: Gaiman’s Resurrection of the Cybermen  (Emily Capettini) 97

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013)

What Neil Gaiman Teaches Us About Survival: Making Good Art and Diving into the Ocean  (Monica Miller) 113

Remembering the Dead: Narratives of Childhood (Rebecca Long) 123

Augustinian Memory and Place  (Andrew Eichel) 137

Not at Home: Examining the Uncanny  (Yaeri Kim) 152

“The essence of grandmotherliness”: Ideal Motherhood and Threatening Female Sexuality  (Courtney M. Landis) 164

A Calendar of Tales (2013)

Remixing Time and Space  (Merideth Garcia) 179

Sandman: Overture (2014)

Aperture for a Storyteller: An Interview with JH Williams III (John Bultena) 195

Warming Up the Strings  (Tara Prescott) 216

Issue #1 Through a New Reader’s Eyes  (Nadia Eshraghi) 232

Listening to the Endless: Music and Musicians in the Extended Sandman Universe  (Tom Zlabinger) 238

Beginnings and ­Endless-ings  (Judd Winick) 252

About the Contributors 255

Index 259

Book Reviews & Awards

  • A Library Journal Starred Review
  • “An intriguing anthology of essays…fascinating…academics and readers who enjoy Gaiman’s books will appreciate the care put into this impressive collection”—Library Journal
  • “This collection brings rich, scholarly analysis to the famously prolific and popular author”—The Guardian
  • “There is much here to appeal to Gaiman aficionados and academics alike”—Times Literary Supplement
  • “Will interest both fans and scholars of Gaiman’s work because of the variety of texts it includes. Perhaps the biggest strength of Prescott’s collection is her emphasis on the wide range of media used by Gaiman in his creative endeavors…the very format of Prescott’s collection creates an image of Neil Gaiman that is likely to endure”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
  • “There is joy in seeing such diverse perspectives excavating Neil Gaiman’s efforts. Not unexpectedly, the years of his work warrant endless analysis, and this volume is a keen example of such. It’s a pleasure to be a part of it.”—JH Williams III, New York Times bestselling comic book artist and writer