Geek God

Neil Gaiman has been a nerd icon for 20 years. He's finally, reluctantly, going Hollywood with Stardust

Elliot Franks / Wireimage

Neil Gaiman circa 2002.

Like all good fairy tales, this one starts with Claudia Schiffer. Once upon a time a fireplace fell on Schiffer's foot. She was pregnant at the time. "When a marble fireplace falls on your foot," Neil Gaiman explains, "and you're 7½ months pregnant, you stop going places. You sit around, and you read." Schiffer read Gaiman's novel Stardust and told her husband that it was the best book she'd ever read. Schiffer's husband is the director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake). And thus it was that Gaiman finally made his big Hollywood movie.

It's pretty much time. Gaiman has been an icon...