From the July 9th Channel News Asia:

Award-winning writer Neil Gaiman gets warm reception from S’pore fans

Award-winning British writer Neil Gaiman was in Singapore last week.

Best known for his cult series The Sandman, the 44-year-old author is widely acknowledged as one of the top 10 living post-modern writers.

Many came in droves to get a glimpse of the multi-talented writer, whose books have been translated into 19 languages.

Many brought copies of his Sandman series novels to be autographed.

One fan said, “His Sandman series isn’t your usual Superman or Batman. It’s something different, it delves into all sorts of fantasy and mythology.”

Another added, “He gives us an alternative view and takes us further away from reality than we can ever dream to be.”

A third commented, “He just appeals to a general audience, people can practically see themselves in his characters.”

One of the reasons that Mr Gaiman wanted to come to Singapore was that he was curious how a population of four million could produce one of his largest fan bases who were posting on his website.

Mr Gaiman said, “What was fun was running into people who bought that first copy of Sandman 17 years ago, and still have it. As well as people who weren’t born when the first copy of Sandman came out. So it’s been an enormous….it’s been lovely. They are so enthusiastic.”

Fans also brought home made presents and drawings.

And just why is he so popular?

Mr Gaiman said, “I think the reason that I’m so popular over here and the work has been so popular, has to do with the fact that Sandman is a work of cultural fusion.

“I grabbed everything that I could find and everything I loved, from every culture that I could find, from every mythology that I could find and just threw it in as a sort of glorious ragbag and Singapore has this amazing confluence of cultures. It’s probably the most culturally diverse and culturally interesting place that I’ve ever been, and I think Singaporeans respond to that in Sandman.”

The writer also held a screening of his new fantastical children’s movie Mirror Mask and says he hopes to continue pursuing his diverse passions in both film, novels and comics.
–Joanne Leow

Coverage of the Manilla visit appears in the July 8th Business World

Library Journal subscribers can read about BookExpo on their website and in their July 15th issue.