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The Art of Neil Gaiman    by Hayley Campbell order for
Art of Neil Gaiman
by Hayley Campbell
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2014 (2014)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Hayley Campbell's The Art of Neil Gaiman will either resonate with a potential reader when he or she sees the book or it will draw a complete blank. Gaiman is a British writer and artist/cartoonist who has a following of dedicated fans who are totally entranced by his novels, short stories, comic books, and graphic novels.

As a child, Gaiman grew up reading the fantasies, sci-fi, and mythology that would be found in the works of C.S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Roger Lancelyn Green. And when his own creative juices began flowing, this talented, edgy writer/cartoonist found his niche with the The Sandman series and novels like Stardust, American Gods and The Graveyard Book.

Although his name may not be as familiar as those of some other writers, he's won more than his fair share of awards. Besides receiving a Hugo, Nebula and the Bram Stoker Award, Gaiman also has a Newbery Medal in his trophy case, plus many other lesser literary prizes.

If you saw the film Beowulf you might not have realized that Neil Gaiman was one of the co-writers of the script. He's been a long time resident of the United States and currently is a professor at Bard College.

Hayley Campbell offers a rare window into Gaiman's personal archives and presents a sweeping and detailed look at the man's artistic life. Lavishly illustrated with never before seen personal photos, manuscripts, sketches and drawings, letters and notes, and other materials from the author's own library, this book chronicles Gaiman's journey from being a magazine journalist to cult novelist and global cultural phenomenon.

On many projects - from the television and the film industry to creating graphic novels and comic books - Gaiman worked with other talented individuals. These collaborations with visual artists, musicians, and film makers are also noted and woven into the story of this remarkable individual.

This oversized volume is a bit on the pricey side, but once you page through it and see the contents you'll realize it is really quite a bargain. Nowhere else will you find such a complete and captivating portrayal of Neil Gaiman.

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