Anne Thompson of Variety profiles Neil Gaiman and his big year in Hollywood:

He’s been building his following for 20 years. The 20-year-old Goth girls who liked Gaiman’s comics are now 40-year-old moms with discreet Sandman tattoos, says Gaiman.

Even at age 46, the tall, shaggy-haired writer has the wide-eyed sweetness of someone who is happily in touch with his inner muse.

Gaiman was the sort of young Brit who got a full boxed set of C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” for his seventh birthday, and spent the entire day reading them. (He refuses to see the films.) When he was 14, he signed up for the Book of the Month club to get the gigantic Oxford English Dictionary, complete with magnifying glass, so he could look up the arcane words in the William Morris fantasy “The Well at the World’s End.”