In the realms of fiction and fantasy, Neil Gaiman is one of the few individuals that are actually worthy of the term “immortal.” The man is so versatile in his work that it’s practically impossible not to find at least one thing to admire about his gift for writing.
From graphic novels to movie scripts, Neil Gaiman is an absolute genius when it comes to stories, and with his new Neil Gaiman Reader collection recently released, the man still has no shortage of tales to tell. Still, there’s always time to appreciate some of his more popular and readily available works.
As with many on this list, both the book and the movie come highly recommended. Why? Because Neil Gaiman pushes the envelope on just how scary something meant for kids can be. The book has enough chilling imagery to give even adults nightmares, and the movie by Henry Selick definitely deserved more than a PG rating.
Whether it’s the haunted house or the button-eyed Other Family, there are reasons some doors should remain locked.
9 Princess Mononoke (English Dub)
What started out as a geeky urban legend in the anime community was recently was proven true by Gaiman on a Twitter post revealing his greatest secret.
Hayao Miyazaki might have created the world and the story, but Gaiman wrote the English translation for American audiences. Studio Ghibli might be a household name in the states nowadays, but it might not have achieved cult status if it wasn’t for the author’s contribution.
Robert Zemeckis’s motion-capture animation might be an acquired taste for some, but what can thoroughly be enjoyed by all is Neil Gaiman’s script for Beowulf. Unless they are a hardcore English buff or just have a savage interest in Viking sagas, viewers might not even know the great Geat’s name.
Fortunately, Gaiman and his gift for storytelling help give the oldest story in the English language a breath of fresh air and new life for a modern audience.
Whether it’s the book, the TV series, or the BBC radio drama, Gaiman has had his hand in the realm of Neverwhere for a solid while. In this urban fantasy, Gaiman turns the fairytale-adventure genre on its head by having the door to a magical world come directly to the protagonist instead of being accidentally found.
What transpires is a saga through a weird and often dangerous parallel universe hidden beneath the streets of London itself. The author’s preferred text is highly recommended.
Fairytales and Neil Gaiman go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and he truly does his best work when allowed to dive into the fantasy genre. Both the book and the movie have the author’s personal touch throughout, and the love and care that went into them are clearly felt.
From the personification of a falling star to Robert De Niro as a swashbuckling airship captain, Stardust is one of the many on this list that is definitively Gaiman.
Lucifer is currently one of the most popular fantasy TV series of recent years, but many fans often forget that the character of Lucifer Morningstar himself was created by the great and powerful Gaiman. Inspired by the character of the same name from Vertigo/DC comics, Gaiman’s handsome devil is one of the most charming antiheroes in all of comics.
His demeanor, presence, and personality are so infectiously inviting, one might almost forget he’s the personification of Sin incarnate… Almost.
4 The Graveyard Book
A boy lost in an old necropolis and raised by the denizens of the grave, what’s not to like? It might be billed as a children’s book, but don’t let that reputation mislead. The Graveyard Book is one of the most interesting and entertaining Gothic horror stories in the modern era.
Imagine Disney’s Jungle Book but replace all the bears, tigers, and monkeys with ghosts, ghouls, and vampires and it’s pretty much the same story.
3 American Gods
The book is phenomenal, the show (though not exactly identical) is deep and engaging, but the overall story of old gods living amongst their former human worshippers on Earth is absolutely remarkable.
Neil Gaiman’s cast of otherworldly immortals are larger-than-life personas bound to human shells, but fans simply can’t stop reading and watching. While the show is impressive, the book is much more digestible, although it might be a slow burn for those not acquainted with the author.
2 Good Omens
On the other end of the spectrum, Good Omens shows what happens when Neil Gaiman has more control as well as fruitful results of his partnership with Sir Terry Pratchet. It’s no easy task making a buddy comedy about the apocalypse, but Gaiman makes it look like a cakewalk.
Both the book and the TV series are hysterically witty and do the impossible by making the forces of good and evil stand together against a much greater threat. Plus it has David Tennant as a demon, what more does one need?
1 The Sandman Series
A reimagining of a once-forgotten DC comics character, Dream/Morpheus is one magical entity that gives new meaning to the words “man of our dreams.” The Lord of Sleep, along with Death, Delirium, and the rest of the Endless has been bringing stories across time and space through the panels of the author’s 10 volume series.
If there’s one character that gets Neil Gaiman into the storytelling hall of fame, it’s The Sandman.
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