Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Nerd Man of the Month: Neil Gaiman
Okay, ladies, I'm going to come right out and admit that I've only just begun my Neil Gaiman education. So, much as I was with David Tennant's Nerd Man recognition, I'm pretty much a neophyte singing the praises of our authorial honoree this month rather than a seasoned acolyte shouting my encyclopedic fan knowledge from the rooftops. So please bear with me as I shakily tip The Park Bench's nerdy hat in Mr. Gaiman's honor. Please bear in mind, too, that I'll be counting on you to fill in all the things I've missed.
Right now, I'm nose deep in "Fragile Things," a wonderful collection of Gaiman stories that merges Murakami-esque surrealism with a dash of Tim Burton, a wee bit of Stephen King, a smidge of Charles Addams and an ethereal, delicate sensibility purely and totally Gaiman's own. And yes, with each turn of the page, my literary crush is growing. This guy deserves recognition -- well beyond a Park Bench honor -- simply because he's a brilliant writer with a mind that brings wonderfully unimagined worlds to life.
Gaiman's collection of work extends well beyond my toe-in-the-water reference to "Fragile Things." He's probably best known as the author of "The Sandman" comic books, a number of children's books including the recent "The Graveyard Book" and "Coraline" which has been turned into a stop-motion film set to debut in January. He's also set to pen the end of Batman for DC Comics in 2009. But perhaps most impressive of all, his first book was a biography of Duran Duran. The man has documented the life of Simon LeBon! Nice.
Happily, Gaiman's nerdy goodness extends even beyond his way with curious plot lines and disturbing imagery; he's also got a fabulous journal that is instantly addictive from paragraph one. It's a compelling, funny and earnest account of a writer's life, like a less-mannered John Hodgman blog but with bigger words and fewer references to hobos.
Neil Gaiman is the best kind of nerd. He's smart, funny, literate, has a passion for his work and knack for blazing new paths. And he wrote an episode of "Babylon Five." In short, chicks like intelligent men and this guy uses the OED and the magnifying glass that comes with it, so let's all do the math here: Gaiman is the geeky ideal and that's why we're pleased to name him our November Nerd Man of the Month.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do.
ETA: Thank you to Ruth for the suggestion!