For fans of the author Neil Gaiman, the idea of needing a beginner’s guide may sound ridiculous: he’s been a cult hero for decades. His novels, short stories, and comic books have won all kinds of awards and prizes. But, in the manner of other genre icons who amassed a specific group of fans prior to mainstream success, his omnipresence might seem sudden to many others.
He has several books coming out over the next few weeks — Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman (which came out earlier this week, on April 23), Make Good Art (May 14), How to Talk to Girls at Parties (May 18) and The Ocean at the End of the Lane (June 18). A BBC radio-play adaptation of his novel Neverwhere premiered in March. And there’s more coming.
So, to clear up any confusion about this prolific author, TIME provided this starter guide for Neil Gaiman.