Reading List: The Ten Essential Neil Gaiman Comics
With Neil Gaiman’s American Gods coming to television soon, what better time to explore his work? While his writing career is extensive, including short stories, novels, movies, kids' books, and more, we’re going to focus on his work in the field of comics.
Gaiman is considered to be part of the British Invasion, a group a British writers of American comics who rose to prominence in the late 1980s. They tended to move away from traditional superhero tales or, like Gaiman, repurposed old comic characters to tell new stories. Since then, Gaiman has been sharing his delightfully dreamy but creepy sensibility with comic readers, for which we are very grateful.
Gaiman is best known for The Sandman, which ran for 75 issues from 1989 to 1996. It’s a story about stories, written by a master storyteller. For a list of ten essential Gaiman comics, it would be easy to pull out ten issues of The Sandman and call it a day --- the whole series is essential reading. It was an incredible success, one of the best-selling series of all time, and truly made the most of the medium.
But to limit the list to Sandman would be to sell Gaiman short; there’s so much more of his work that deserves to be read. Despite his work in other mediums, Gaiman maintains a strong connection to comics through continued comics work and his involvement with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
For this list, I’ve included work I consider to be both notable and representative of Gaiman’s storytelling style. These stories are fantastical, humorous, horrifying, and just plain weird, all at the same time. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.