Neil Gaiman The prolific author on a new Netflix adaptation of his classic comic, the upside of nightmares, and the practical use of fantasy.

.- It's been more than 30 years since you started writing The Sandman. What was it like to revisit?

It felt like we were doing something that was literally impossible. I'd spent 30 years waiting for somebody to make a bad Sandman film. And just hoping that if I was really lucky, maybe it wouldn't be bad.

.- Was there anything that, upon rereading, you were excited to update?

Mostly going through the old comics reminded us the extent to which Sandman had been rather ahead of its time. Back when nobody commented on the fact that it was filled with gay characters, trans characters, and Black characters. We had actually gone and made something that felt pretty much of its time.

.- What does fantasy offer in times like these, full of so many real world crises?

Fantasy sends us back to our lives with a different point of view. Politics makes an awful lot more sense if you read George R.R.Martin's Game of Thrones books. You realize politicians are people, and they're acting on their own motivations.

Sometimes those motivations are beneficial, and often it's going to be your village burned.

On a micro level, I've spent 34 years with people coming up to me and saying, your character Death in Sandman got me through the death of my loved one. The fact that fantasy can help shoulder that burden is huge.

.- The character of Death offers some of the warmest moments in the show. What informed your creation of her?

I loved the idea of a Death that was warm, a Death that you'd like to meet. I thought, that's the Death I'd like.

When it's my turn to go, there's just be somebody lovely there, saying,'' Oh, I'm so sorry, you should have looked both ways before crossing the street.'' That was the Death I wanted.

.- What do you say to people who look at The Sandman and don't see literature?

I like the fact that comics are still a gutter medium, because there's always life in the gutter. It doesn't matter to me if people think Sandman is literature. What I care about is that people read it and it matters to them.

.- Despite the many adaptations of your work, including of fan favorite novels Good Omens and American Gods, you have a reputation for trying to steer Hollywood away from your work. Why?

From the age of 24 to 27, I was a film critic, and I saw a lot of bad films. I couldn't see the point in making bad films. I didn't want to make things that were less than they could have been. Sometimes the chances you take pay off and sometimes they don't.

.- What would you tell your 28-year-old self, who first published the first issues of The Sandman?

Oh, I wouldn't tell him anything. The thing that kept him doing the impossible was a combination of terror and the knowledge that if he didn't do this thing, it wouldn't happen.

If I went back in time and said ,'' Hey, 30 years from now, It'll be in print, and we're going to make the most amazing television series of it,'' he would relax and stop working. In order to get where we are, I need him to be hungry and terrified.

The World Students Society thanks author Cate Matthews.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!