In celebration of today's the release of gay fave Tori Amos's new studio album, "Abnormally Attracted to Sin," we here at the top secret comic book headquarters at Popnography have decided to investigate the decades long connection between Ms. Amos and comic author Neil Gaiman.
The first Tori-Neil reference is found on her debut solo album, Little Earthquakes released in 1991. In the song "Tear in Your Hand" she sings "If you need me, me and Neil'll be hangin' out with the Dream King, Neil says 'Hi' by the way." The "Neil" she is referring to is comic god Neil Gaiman, who has been one of the biggest names in comics since he wrote "The Sandman" series for Vertigo comics ("The Dream King" from the lyrics is the name of the lead character from "The Sandman" series). Before her album was even released, Neil was given a cassette tape of some of the songs from what would eventually become Little Earthquakes from a fan (and pal of Tori's) at a comic convention, and Neil and Tori soon became fast friends.
From that moment, Tori and Neil have continued to exchange winks with one another in their respective artistic formats. From Tori name dropping Neil and characters from his works in a song from almost every one of her albums through 2002's "Scarlet's Walk" (and he makes another appearance on the new album in a song called "Not Dying Today") and Neil waving back with small inside jokes such as a Tori album advertisement drawn into one of the comic panels, or a character quietly singing a Tori song to himself as he walks down a street. In fact many readers believe that the character Delerium (pictured) from "The Sandman" is based on Tori since the character is an eccentric spirit with flaming red hair, but Neil constantly insists that he is more like Delerium than Tori.
Over the years Neil has written various things for Tori from introductions for her tour programs, to stories for all twelve of the characters from Tori's covers album "Strange Little Girls." He wrote the introduction to last year's massive "Comic Book Tattoo" which was an anthology of comic book stories based on various Tori songs. Being Tori's daughter's godfather, the latest connection between Tori and Neil has been a little more personal. When Tori's daughter, Tash was born eight years ago, he wrote her a poem, entitled "Blueberry Girl," and the poem was finally shared with the public when it was released earlier this year as a children's book illustrated by comic artist legend, Charles Vess. The poem warns Tash of things to be weary of in the future, such as boys and false friends, but what is in store for the future of Tori and Neil, only time, and some cryptic song lyrics, will tell.
-- CHRISTOPHER RUDOLPH
Previously > Read Tori's interview with Out magazine