Neil Gaiman on the Collectibles He’s Auctioning

“I like the idea of spreading joy,” Neil Gaiman, the author of the Sandman series, said in an interview about why he is selling some of the original comic book art, toys and other collectibles he has amassed.

During the dark days of pandemic lockdowns, buying art provided a particular comfort, he recalled. Works would arrive and he would “just kvell,” he said. He remembered buying a drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet in the snow, by the British artist E.H. Shepard. “If someone comes to the house, I say, ‘Come and look at this,’ if they are the right sort of person,” he said.

He views art ownership as custodial. “It’s your job to keep it safe and hope the house doesn’t burn down while it is in your care,” he said. Then someone else can do the same, he said, and“hope their house doesn’t burn down.”

Gaiman said he was inspired by his friend Geoffrey Notkin, of “Meteorite Men” on the Science Channel, who auctioned part of his collection of meteorites and donated some proceeds to charity.

Gaiman will donate part of the auction proceeds to the Hero Initiative, which is an emergency fund for comics creators, and the Authors League Fund, which benefits writers in financial hardship; he will also give living artists whose work sells part of the proceeds. The items are on display at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, and bidding starts on Friday.

More than 100 pieces are up for sale, and Gaiman pointed to some highlights.

The author Neil Gaiman said he hopes others find joy in the memorabilia he is shedding.Credit…Rozette Rago for The New York Times

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