After being rejected many times by publishers, Gaiman pursued journalism as a means to learn about the world and make connections that he hoped would later assist him in getting published. During this time he wrote his first book, a now sought-after throwaway biography of the band Duran Duran, and a large number of articles for Knave magazine. In the late 1980s he wrote in what he calls a "classic English humorist" style; in his opinion the book is what led to his collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the comic novel Good Omens, about an impending apocalypse. 
After forming a friendship with famed comic book scribe Alan Moore, Gaiman started writing comics. He wrote two British graphic novels with his favorite collaborator and long time friend Dave McKean: Violent Cases and Signal to Noise. Afterwards, and he landed a job with DC Comics, which resulted in the series Black Orchid.
He has written a multitude of comics for several publishers, but his best-known work is the comics series The Sandman, which chronicles the adventures of Morpheus, the personification of Dream. (See Endless). The series started a small cultural sensation, gathering a devout following and making comic books respectable to many new audiences. The series began in 1988 and ended in 1996 when Gaiman simply announced that the story he began in the first issue had run its natural course. All 75 issues of the regular series have been collected into 10 volumes that are still in print and selling well.
In 1991, Gaiman published The Books of Magic, a four-part mini-series that provided a tour of the mythological and magical parts of the DC Universe through a frame story about an English teenager who discovers that he has a destiny as the world's greatest wizard. The miniseries was popular, and spun off an ongoing series, also called The Books of Magic, written by John Ney Reiber. Many people have noted similarities between series protagonist Tim Hunter and the later and more famous Harry Potter; when referring to this similarity, Gaiman indicates that the young man as sorcerer has precedent in literature.
Gaiman also writes songs, poems and novels, and wrote the BBC dark fantasy television series Neverwhere, which he later adapted into a novel. In addition, he wrote the English language script to the anime movie Princess Mononoke.
Gaiman is a Board Member as well as an active supporter of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and he regularly participates in fundraisers for the group including creating materials such as the original Snow, Glass, Apples (the CBLDF owns the copyright).
Shortly before the publication of American Gods, Gaiman began to write a weblog, which now resides on his official site. Parts of it were extracted for publication in the New England Science Fiction Association Press collection of Gaiman miscellany, Adventures in the Dream Trade.
Gaiman received a World Fantasy Award for short fiction in 1991 for the Sandman issue, A Midsummer Night's Dream (see Dream Country). He received the 2002 Hugo Award for outstanding novel for American Gods, which also won the 2002 Nebula Award. In 2003 Coraline won the best novella award.
Gaiman forged an intense friendship with singer Tori Amos in the early nineties, far before she met stardom. As such he is constantly mentioned (often rather cryptically) in at least one of her songs on each of her albums. He also wrote the forewords to several of her tour programs as well as short stories to accompany her album "Strange Little Girls." (They appeared in the album booklet.) Some of her lyrical mentions: "If you need me, me and Neil'll be hangin' out with the dream king/Neil said hi, by the way" ("Tear In Your Hand," 1992); "Where's Neil when you need him?" ("Space Dog," 1994); "Will you find me if Neil makes me a tree?" ("Horses," 1996)...Gaiman based a character of a talking Tree on Amos; "Where are the Velvets?" ("Hotel," 1998...The Velvets are vampire-like characters from Gaiman's novel "Neverwhere";) "Get me Neil on the line, have him read Snow, Glass, Apples" ("Carbon," 2002).
Gaiman is also a friend of J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the television series Babylon 5. As such there is a species of aliens on that series called the Gaim; their heads closely resemble the mask worn by Gaiman's Sandman character. While perhaps a nice unintentional homage, Straczynski has stated the masks were based more on World War gas masks than the King of Dreams. Still, Gaiman wrote the season 5 episode "Day of the Dead," the only writer other than Straczynski to enter the Babylon 5 universe in its final three seasons..
Comics & Graphic Novels
- Violent Cases (Titan Books, 1987) (with Dave McKean)
- Black Orchid #1-3 (DC Comics, 1988) (with Dave McKean)
- The Sandman #1-75 (DC Comics/Vertigo, 1989-1996) (with various artists)
- Miracleman #17-24 (Eclipse Comics, 1990-1993) (with various artists)
- Books of Magic #1-4 (DC Comics, 1991) (with various artists)
- Signal to Noise (VG Graphics/Dark Horse Comics, 1992) (with Dave McKean)
- #1-3 (Vertigo, 1993) (with Chris Bachalo)
- The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch (Vertigo, 1994) (with Dave McKean)
- The Last Temptation (Marvel Comics, 1994) (with Michael Zulli)
- storyline based on Alice Cooper's album The Last Temptation, co-plotted and written by Mr Gaiman and Alice Cooper
- Angela #1-3 (Image Comics, 1995) (with Todd McFarlane)
- #1-3 ( Vertigo, 1996) (with Chris Bachalo)
- Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days (Vertigo, 1999) (collection of early work with various artists)
- Harlequin Valentine (Dark Horse Books, 2001) (with John Bolton)
- Murder Mysteries (Dark Horse Books, 2002) (adapted by P. Craig Russell)
- 1602 #1-8 (Marvel Comics, 2003) (with Andy Kubert)
- Endless Nights (Vertigo, 2003) (with various artists)
(includes works consisting of illustrated text as opposed to comic-book form)
- (1985) (with Kim Newman, a collection of book/movie quotes)
- (1987) (A guide to Douglas Adams' 'trilogy')
- Good Omens (1990) (with Terry Pratchett)
- Now we are Sick (1991) (co-editor, with Stephen Jones)
- Angels and Visitations (1993) (a collection of short stories)
- Snow, Glass, Apples (1994) (short story illustrated by Charles Vess)
- About Cats and Dogs (1997) (two short stories)
- Neverwhere (1996, 1997 US)
- Smoke And Mirrors (1998) (a collection of short stories)
- The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (1998) (a children's book illustrated by Dave McKean)
- Stardust (1998, 2000) (illustrated by Charles Vess)
- The Sandman: The Dream Hunters (Vertigo, 1999) (with Yoshitaka Amano)
- American Gods (2001)
- Murder Mysteries (Biting Dog Press) (2001) (Limited edition script for the voice play with illustrations by George Walker)
- Adventures in the Dream Trade (2002) (a miscellany)
- Snow, Glass, Apples (Biting Dog Press) (2002) (Limited edition script for the voice play with illustrations by George Walker)
- A Walking Tour of the Shambles (2002) (with Gene Wolfe)
- Coraline (2002) (a children's book, US ed illustrated by Dave McKean)
- The Wolves in the Walls (2003) (illustrated by Dave McKean)
- (2003) (with Gahan Wilson), compilation of stories by various writers and artists, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly
- Warning Contains Language (1995) (stories read by Gaiman, music by McKean)
- Signal to Noise (2000) (audio drama with full cast and music)
- American Gods (2002) (read by George Guidall)
- Coraline (2002) (US ed. read by Gaiman, UK ed. by Dawn French)
- Two Plays for Voices (2002) (Snow, Glass, Apples and Murder Mysteries with full cast & music)
- Telling Tales (2003) (Neil tells us stories: A Writer's Prayer; Harlequin Valentine; Boys and Girls Together; The Wedding Present, and In The End. Percussion by Robin Adnan Anders)
- Mr Gaiman's song-writing and collaboration is also featured on:
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