Dear Neil Gaiman,

I have been reading your stories for about nine years now. I started back when I was 16, and my teen librarian handed me Sandman (thank you, Merideth!), back when I felt guilty reading it because I knew my parents wouldn’t approve (but I don’t think they would have stopped me; my dad recommended the first book I read that had swearing and sex in it when I was 12). Back then, I set Sandman aside after A Game of You; I just couldn’t handle the horror aspects and adult themes at the time, but I kept reading your stories.

Neverwhere was read in the Teen SciFi/Fantasy book club I was in (always one of the cool kids, I was), Stardust during my freshman year of college, during a time when my life was in minor upheaval, and I needed a delightful fantasy. American Gods came next, then Anansi Boys and a short story collection (the story about the man who enters hell to be punished at the beginning and ends as the punisher has stayed with me since I read it; beautifully done). Eventually, I picked up Sandman again, like I always knew I would, and it did not disappoint. The conclusion left me mourning, but I knew it was right.

When I read something you have written, I know I will get an incredibly crafted story, and I am happy to spend hard earned money on your books (and movies! I adore Mirrormask and, of course, Coraline) because I know I will receive a quality product. I may not always understand or really appreciate your stories, but they are remarkable.

I recently purchased and read the graphic novelization of The Dream Hunters and Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, and…WOW.

I enjoy all the Sandman stories, and I love myths, legends and fairy tales of all kinds, so I am pretty much your target here for The Dream Hunters. I will admit there were a couple of (very tiny!) phrasings that pulled me out of the story a bit, but undoubtedly, that reflects more on me than it does you. This story is beautiful, the art is absolutely lovely. I am pretty bad at giving reviews that consist of more than ZOMG I LOVED IT, I WANT TO MARRY IT AND HAVE ITS JAPANESE DREAMING BABIES, though that was pretty much my reaction. I found myself lingering over certain parts, rereading and relishing the illustrations. If this book consisted entirely of your description of Fox’s jade dragon, that would be enough for me.

I don’t usually love stories with open-ended endings; I like to have a solid ending, to know where I stand, but this one was done so well, so beautifully, that I am happy to accept ambiguity (but I’m totally going to pretend that they DEFINITELY lived happily ever after). I don’t know how I managed to have never read the illustrated novella; I’ve seen it dozens of times, but never picked it up. I will now.

As for Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader, Neil, I love Batman too. He is and always will be my favorite, and you have written the perfect last Batman story. I was confused at first when I noticed the two Catwomans (Catwomen?), but then she started telling her story, and I GOT IT. It’s beautiful. All the stories of all the Batmans (Batmen?) that were or ever could be were touching, and it was easy to see that this story was written with love. Even as I write this, I am more moved than I probably should be about a comic book superhero. You gave the Batman a send off to be proud of. Thank you.

Love always,

Amy!

Advertisements