Neil Richard Gaiman was born on November 10, 1960, in Portchester, England. He originated from a family of Eastern European Jewish descent. His father, David Bernard Gaiman, worked at their family chain of stores, while his mother, Sheila Gaiman, was a pharmacist. In 1965 the family moved to East Grinstead, West Sussex, where Neil grew up with a profound love for reading, beginning as early as age 4.
Some of his favorite childhood books include J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Batman, and other comics. Gaiman received early education at various church schools, including Fonthill School in East Grinstead, Ardingly College, and Whitgift School in Croydon.
When Gaiman began to outgrow comic books in his teenage years, he realized the lack of comic books for an older mature audience. He, therefore, decided to fill the gap himself. Although he wanted to write comic books, Gaiman had little idea how to go about it. Following his graduation from high school in 1977, Gaiman became a journalist writing articles for a number of renowned publications such as the Sunday Times, the Observer, Knave, and Time Out.
In March 1985, Gaiman married McGrath after the birth of their son Michael in 1983. The couple had two more children, Holly and Madeleine. In 1984, Gaiman wrote his first book, a biography of the band Duran Duran. He continued writing articles and interviews in magazines under pseudonyms. However, in 1987, Gaiman waved goodbye to journalism, stating, “British newspapers can make up anything they want and publish it as fact.”
Also, in the late 1980s, Gaiman published Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion. Gaiman started writing comic books, continuing the series of Marvelman after its original creator and Gaiman’s friend Alan Moore abandoned it. After his impressive work on Marvelman, Gaiman was offered to write the limited series of Black Orchard and also to re-write an old character, The Sandman. From December 1988 to March 1966, Gaiman produced work on The Sandman, which was later collected in 12 volumes.
More significant comic works by Neil Gaiman include The Books of Magic (1989), Lady Justice, and Mr. Hero. The Newmatic Man, Teknophage, Tales of the White Wolf, Whatever happened to the Caper Crusader, as well as contributions to Wednesday Comics.