February 13, 2014 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Anime, California, Comic Books, Comic Strips, Movies, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Signing and Appearance Profiles, Television, Top Stories
Often Neil Gaiman’s work gets categorized as Dark Fantasy, because we love dividing and subdividing genres. But Neil’s work strains against such limitations, starting from his first major work in the U.S., The Sandman. He can’t even be limited as a writer, playing in as many different forms as he can – comics, short stories, poetry, novels, and screenplays have all sprung forth from his fertile imagination, yet his earliest writing was as a journalist, profiling the likes of Duran Duran and Douglas Adams. In recent years he has become a producer and a director, all while continually evolving as perhaps his most charming aspect: a true raconteur.
If his own story must have a beginning, it was in Hampshire, U.K., though he currently lives in the U.S. For those early days he describes himself as “…a feral child who was raised in libraries.” Becoming a voracious reader himself, it seems destiny guided him to his role as “Prince of Stories” – the title of a critical retrospective of his work.
Though he seeped into our consciousness with an ad in DC Comics declaiming “I will show you terror in a handful of dust,“ it was wonder, not terror, that dawned, as mythologies old and new were turned on their heads and woven into an original epic that he revisits from time to time. Neil awakened readers to things we must have always known, but somehow we needed him to give us the words.
In collaboration with Terry Pratchett, he offered us Good Omens. He wrote of Fragile Things and American Gods with equal weight; after all, he made us realize they are the same.
And he inspires wonder for all ages. While he has taken adults to he reminds young and old to seek magic in Stardust. For the very young, he taught The Dangerous Alphabet and remembered The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish.
Neil’s work gracefully straddles the media. Neverwhere began as a BBC teleplay before becoming a novel and a graphic novel, and this year has been re-imagined as a radio drama. Coraline has become both a stop-motion animated film and a stage musical, while The Wolves in the Walls expanded into an opera. At the request of the Jim Henson Company, Neil co-created the film Mirrormask, directed by his frequent collaborator, artist Dave McKean. (Their Mr. Punch has not yet left the page, but with Neil, it’s only a matter of time.)
Perhaps fulfilling a dream of that feral child in the library, Neil even wrote an episode of Doctor Who in 2011, “The Doctor’s Wife.” There’s more, of course, including a bestselling novel in 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but Neil is also busy in other media. Having turned producer for the film Stardust, he has also directed two short films himself, one starring his wife, musician Amanda Palmer.
San Jose Repertory Theatre
101 Paseo De San Antonio Walk, San Jose, CA 95113
February 10, 2014 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Anime, Comic Books, Comic Strips, Gaming, Horror, Movies, New Jersey, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Signing and Appearance Profiles, Television, Video Games
Writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman, American Gods, Doctor Who) speaks at Rowan University on Friday March 7th at 7:00 pm! This lecture is open to the public. Please note, there will be no book signings before or after this lecture.
201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028
Neil Gaiman signs at the First Parish Church in Harvard Square on Saturday July 13th at 6:00 pm!
Join Porter Square Books (25 White Street, Cambridge, MA 02140-1413) for a reading and signing with Neil Gaiman, author of the new novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
This event will take place at the First Parish Church in Harvard Square and is a ticketed event.
Tickets are $5 each and will be available in-store only starting on June 18th, the official release date for The Ocean at the End of the Lane, limit of 4 tickets per person.
A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys.
First Parish Church
1446 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Neil Gaiman and Patton Oswalt appear on Tuesday, June 28th at 8pm (Doors at 7:00pm).
New York Times bestselling author, Neil Gaiman, discusses American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition with comedian Patton Oswalt at the historic Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS: $15 without book; $35 with book*
*Note: Mr. Gaiman will only be pre-signing books for ticket buyers who have ordered Admission w/ Book in advance. If you would like a signed copy of American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition from this event, it’s imperative that you order accordingly now as there will not be an opportunity after the event to get additional books signed.
**All tickets and books will be available for pickup at Saban Theatre Will Call night of show. No physical tickets will be mailed for this event.
Bestselling author Neil Gaiman has long been one of the top writers in modern comics, as well as writing books for readers of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.
His New York Times bestselling 2001 novel for adults, American Gods, was awarded the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX, and Locus awards, was nominated for many other awards, including the World Fantasy Award and the Minnesota Book Award, and appeared on many best-of-year lists.
8440 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Throughout the month of January, The ToonSeum is proud to present a series of film screenings celebrating the birthday of one of the world’s most accomplished artists, Hayao Miyazaki. The filmmaker turns 70 years old on January 5th.
Often called the “Walt Disney of Japan,” Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli reinvigorated the Japanese animation industry in the 1980′s and 90′s with a string of genre-defying masterpieces that would become international hits. But it wasn’t until the success of 2001′s Spirited Away that most American audiences began to discover Miyazaki’s work. Largely through the efforts of PIXAR’s John Lasseter (who lists Miyazaki as not only a huge influence but a great friend), many of Miyazaki’s films have enjoyed broad theatrical and DVD releases.
Miyazaki’s films have changed the way the world thinks about animation. Typified by wild flights of fantasy, political and ecological commentary, and meticulous and breathtakingly beautiful hand-drawn and watercolor animation, Miyazaki films often cast a spell over viewers young and old. While combining nuanced story-telling techniques and a vibrant, naturalistic mis en scene, Miyazaki’s animation often subverts the viewer’s expectations, with calm, reflective moments that give way to unpredictable twists and turns. Most notably, Miyazaki’s protagonists are often strong, confident female characters just as his villains are often complicated, sympathetic victims of circumstance.
The following films will be screened with discussion and production notes:
January 13 at 7:00pm – Castle in the Sky (Laputa) (1986). After a daring escape from sky pirates, a young girl teams up with an orphaned miner to uncover the secrets of a magical city floating in the clouds. The second of Miyazaki’s first feature length films, Laputa is full of sweeping action and vibrant characters.
January 22 at 3:00pm – My Neighbor Totoro (1988). Miyazaki’s pastoral masterpiece is a story of two young girls coping with their mother’s illness and resultant move to rural Japan. There they encounter a Totoro, a gentle forest spirit that guides and protects them through the turbulent time. Totoro is the antithesis of American children’s movies: quiet, observant, and humane. Named by the British Film Institute as one of the Greatest Children’s Movies of All Time.
January 27 at 7:00pm – Princess Mononoke (1998) Roger Ebert called it “the Star Wars of animated film,” and he wasn’t exaggerating. The boldest and darkest of Miyazaki’s films, Mononoke is a complex Buddhist parable in which spiritual forces do battle with ragged human imperialists. Lush and provocative, Mononoke marks Miyazaki’s first foray into computer-generated imagery, accentuating several scenes with bizarre movement, though every single cel remained hand-drawn.
In addition to the screenings, the ToonSeum will conduct a poll allowing fans to vote for their favorite Miyazaki films and characters.
Films are all family-friendly, however Princess Mononoke contains adult themes and war-related violence. Admission for the screenings by donation only.