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2014 Top 50 Comic Book Writers #3-1

Here are the last three writers that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,040 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).

NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.

3. Neil Gaiman - 2789 points (53 first place votes)

Neil Gaiman is somewhat unique for this list in that his very high placement on the countdown is almost entirely based on the success of a single series, the brilliant Sandman, about Morpheus, the embodiment of dreams. The framework of the series allowed to give Gaiman the freedom to tell all sorts of different stories and he adapted to this beautifully, giving us an epic tale broken up into smaller stories.

Very early on, Gaiman showed off his impressive way with words in a sequence where Morpheus must battle a demon in a battle of wits to secure one of Morpheus' items of powers that had been lost years earlier...

Wow, right?

Hell was the setting for one of the greatest stories in Sandman's history, Season of Mists, where Lucifer gains his revenge on Morpheus by GIVING him hell...literally. Check out this amazing extended sequence where Lucifer drops the news and then takes Morpheus on a quick tour of hell...

What follows is an entertaining exploration of what the universe would be like without Hell, along with a brilliant piece of mythology work as Gaiman shows all the various other deities (like the Norse Gods and the Egyptian Gods, etc.) showing up to bargain with Dream for the rights to such prime interdimensional real estate.

To show what I mean about how varied the stories Gaiman could tell with Gaiman, he used the temporary absence of hell to tell some stories about the souls who now have nowhere to go, which led to the charming Dead Boy Detectives (two boarding school boys, one a ghost and the other tormented by OTHER ghosts until he, himself, passes) who decide to become ghost detectives.

Speaking of Death, possibly the greatest creation of Gaiman's was Morpheus' sister, Death herself...

In one of the most famous issues, Shakespeare and his actors put on Midsummer's Night Dream for actual faeries...

Gaiman WAS doing other work other than Sandman at the time, though, of course. Right around the time he was doing Sandman, he rebooted Black Orchid, which was Dave McKean's first American comic book work. Gaiman did a memorable origin story for Riddler in a Secret Origins Special. Also right around the time he was doing Sandman, he also took over on Miracleman from Alan Moore. Sadly, the story was cut short. Hopefully Gaiman takes the opportunity to finish it for Marvel. Gaiman wrote an excellent graphic novel with McKean art called The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch. Also, of course, he wrote two excellent mini-series featuring Death and he did some other Vertigo tie-ins (The Children's Crusade, which somehow has not been reprinted. It's Neil freakin' Gaiman, DC!).

Since Sandman ended, Gaiman has mostly worked (very successfully) in prose, but he has done some comic book work, as well, including some projects for Marvel, a Batman two-parter and a recent return to Sandman for the 25th anniversary of Sandman.

Go to the next page for #2-1...

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