Neil Gaiman says Sandman script is “best in 20 years”

Author Neil Gaiman has said the movie script for the adaptation of his Sandman comics is the best he has read in 20 years. He also said that he is happy with how the television adaptation of American Gods is progressing.

The Bram Stroker Award winner was in Dublin last week accepting an award in UCD. He spoke with caution about a new project he is working on for the BBC. He would only say it is a new 6-hour project.

The BBC is known to be working on a six-part adaptation of his novel, Anansi Boys, but this was announced over a year ago, meaning whatever Gaiman discussed may be something different. Despite the crowd’s oohing, he would say no more about it.

Gaiman also spoke of writing new Sandman comics. Not surprisingly, he says the biggest issue with him is time, meaning a monthly comic is impossible.

The Eternity’s Wheel author gave a brief background of how he got to where he is now. He spoke of a novel, written in his early twenties, whose rejection led to him getting into journalism. However, he thinks he lacked the “killer instinct” to be a journalist.

Speaking about his experiences in journalism, Gaiman recalled being asked to write an article about comic books; having interviewed different artists and writers, he sent it into the newspaper and didn’t hear anything back so he rang their office. The editor said to him that they were unsure about the piece as they thought it lacked balance. Gaiman asked them what they meant and the editor said, “Well, you seem to think comics are a good thing?” The article was never published but he said he got more money for a kill fee than he ever did for a published article off of the paper.

Another phone call from a different newspaper centred on Gaiman writing about Dungeons and Dragons. Gaiman was excited because he knew lots of people who played the role-playing game. He said that he was feeling good about writing it until the person on the phone said that they wanted the article to show how playing Dungeons and Dragons leads people to Satanism. Gaiman said he was silent on the phone for so long that she asked him, “Hello? Are you still there?” And he said, “Yes… I don’t think I work for you anymore.”

Gaiman said that he doesn’t believe in writers’ block and that writers “made up writers block for people to feel sorry for us.” He said that he gets stuck but when you say you’re stuck nobody pities you. But when you say you have writers’ block they say, “Aw, do you want a drink?”

Colm Quinn


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