When one is offered something as gorgeous as The Art of Neil Gaiman: A Visual Biography, one does not dither long wondering if it will be worth their time or not. Rather, you fire off an affirmative email as quickly as possible and then settle into tapping your toes until the book arrives whereupon you tear open the packaging and flip through the pages and utter a sigh of relief that it is just as lushly designed and full of color and life as you hoped.
Just take a look at some of these spreads:
So what can I say? The Art of Neil Gaiman follows his entire career in a collage-format that includes illustrations and photos and notes on every single page. It is exactly as it is supposed to be, a visual biography of a life. Anyone could have a visual biography created about them but when you have an immensely creative person like Gaiman as your subject and he has kept heaps and heaps of the sort of ephemera from his career around him for ages, well, then you really end up with something special.
There are chapters on everything here: the comic books, the novels, the short stories, the movies, the television specials, the collaborations with Dave McKean and Amanda Palmer and Henry Selick and so many more creative and interesting people that make it seem like his Gaiman's whole life is just one delirious party of making cool stuff that you might want to scream. (I'm sure it's all hard work but it certainly seems like exceedingly fun work.)
The point is that Hayley Campbell, (whose father Eddie Campbell is also a wildly creative person and close friend of Gaiman's), had a very unique opportunity to go through all of Neil Gaiman's professional background and put together this book and she did a fantastic job. If you are a fan, you won't be able to get enough of what The Art of Neil Gaiman has to offer and if you aren't then this title will likely tempt you to start reading his work now. Either way, you'll likely sink into the pages for hours because it is so well done.
Some subjects are simply made for this sort of biographical treatment; nice to see that Gaiman had Hayley Campbell to put this lovely book together for him.