Comments Off on Neil Gaiman – National Book Festival 2008

Young adult novelist Neil Gaiman appears at the National Book Festival. Speaker Biography: For more than 20 years, Neil Gaiman has been a top writer of modern comics and a best-selling novelist. His work has appeared in translation in more than 19 countries, and nearly all of his novels, graphic and otherwise, have been optioned for films. He was the creator-writer of the monthly cult DC Comics series Sandman, which won many awards, including a World Fantasy Award. He is the author of the critically acclaimed “American Gods,” awarded the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX and Locus awards, and his novel “Stardust” was a winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award as one of 2000’s top 10 adult novels for young adults. His children’s books include the international best-selling novel “Coraline” (2002), a winner of the Bram Stoker Award and the Hugo Award. His latest novel for young readers is “The Graveyard Book” (HarperCollins, September 2008). He lives near Minneapolis.

Batman: The Animated Series was a very popular American cartoon produced by Warner Brothers which originally aired from 1992 to 1995. It’s dark atmosphere, adult themes and dramatic voice acting helped make the show groundbreaking; Another very important factor that gave the series it’s edge was the stunning soundtrack composed by Shirley Walker (1945 – 2006). Batman: The Animated Series was unlike anything children had ever been presented. Instead of the cartoony and comedic Batman that had been featured in every Dark Knight television adaptation up to that point (like the famous Adam West and Burt Ward live action TV show, and the Filmation toons), this series took place in a world far more similar to Tim Burton’s re-imagining of the franchise. Not only were some ideas from the Tim Burton films directly taken into the show (like the Penguin’s plan to take over the Batmobile, and the Joker’s origin), the theme music composed by Danny Elfman was also present in the opening animation and heavily influenced the rest of Shirley Walker’s work on the series. The show had a very intense and dark atmosphere, not only because of the art work by producer Bruce Timm, but many of the backgrounds were painted on black paper. This created a film noir like ambient which contrasted heavily with other children animation at the time which were far more colorful and bright. The characters and their endeavors felt real, as they dealt with legitimate and adult issues like paranoia, death of
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