Neil Gaiman On the Value of Scary Stories

By Maryann Yin Comment

Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman sat with TOON Books publisher Françoise Mouly and Pulitzer Prize winner Art Spiegelman to discuss his new graphic novel, Hansel and Gretel. The video embedded above features the entire conversation.

Gaiman confesses that the “Hansel and Gretel” fairy tale really frightens him, but he does believe that children must be exposed to dark stories. Gaiman thinks that “if you are protected from dark things then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up. I think it is really important to show dark things to kids—and in the showing, to also show that dark things can be beaten, that you have power.”

The book will be released tomorrow and a film adaptation is in development. In March 2014, Gaiman attended the TED 2014 conference with his wife Amanda Palmer and talked about ghost stories during a late night event. When it comes to writing scary stories, Gaiman feels that “fear is a wonderful thing, in small doses.” In June 2014, Gaiman read his “Hansel and Gretel” story in its entirety in front of an audience at Carnegie Hall.