Appreciation Post: Neil Gaiman

He’s an amazingly inclusive writer, and he writes his characters’ diversity in such a casual way that it doesn’t seem “groundbreaking” or “progressive.” It just is. He’s fantastic at writing male/female friendships in a way that gently acknowledges and then dismisses the underlying romantic expectation. He describes characters of color in a way that validates their racial identities without vilifying or fetishizing them. He refers to the gender of his characters’ same-sex romantic interests without screaming “THEY’RE QUEER,” or even refers to ‘past lovers’ without mentioning a gender at all. I just… I really love Gaiman’s work, and I truly appreciate his acknowledgement of the diversity of the world. That’s all. Thanks.

If you’re going to make good art, it’s likely that you’re going to go to the place where things are dark, and use that to shine light into your life and, if you’re doing it right, into other people’s lives as well.
—  Neil Gaiman (Los Angeles Times interview)

It’s been a long time since I posted this. I keep running into people who tell me it was, for them, a lifechanger or a lifesaver, so I thought I’d put it up again. Everything I know about a life in the arts, in about 20 minutes.


Neil Gaiman goes up to the counter and orders the Salted Caramel Mocha. While waiting for his order, Gaiman begins a conversation with an elderly woman sitting by the window. She weaves for him a long story, filled with old fears and familiar monsters. The protagonist seems more and more familiar as the story progresses. The barista interrupts the story.  “I’ll be right back!” Gaiman exclaims, as he dashes off to get his order. But by the time he returns to the table by the window, the old woman has disappeared, leaving only a faint odor - something between the dark woods of November and the aging pages of a well-worn book.

“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

artwork by Erin Lou