Born in Columbus, Ohio, Thurber was blinded in one eye in a childhood accident. He attended Ohio State University but left without earning a degree. In 1925 he moved to New York City, where he joined the staff of the New Yorker in 1927 at the urging of his friend E. B. White. For the rest of his lifetime, Thurber contributed to the magazine his highly individual pieces and those strange, wry, and disturbing pen-and-ink drawings of "huge, resigned dogs, the determined and sometimes frightening women, the globular men who try so hard to think so unsuccessfully." The period from 1925, when the New Yorker was founded, until the death of its creator-editor, Harold Ross, in 1951, was described by Thurber in delicious and absorbing detail in The Years with Ross (1959). Of his two great talents, Thurber preferred to think of himself primarily as a writer, illustrating his own books. He published "fables" in the style of Aesop (see Vol. 2) and La Fontaine (see Vol. 2)---usually with a "barbed tip of contemporary significance"---children's books, several plays (two Broadway hits, one successful musical revue), and endless satires and parodies in short stories or full-length works. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," included in My World---and Welcome to It (1942), is probably his best-known story and continues to be frequently anthologized. T. S. Eliot described Thurber's work as "a form of humor which is also a way of saying something serious."
Marc Simont was born in 1915 in Paris. His parents were from the Catalonia region of Spain, and his childhood was spent in France, Spain, and the United States. Encouraged by his father, Joseph Simont, an artist and staff illustrator for the magazine L'Illustration, Simont drew from a young age. He eventually attended art school in Paris, at the Acadmie Julian, Acadmie Ranson, and the Andr Lhote School, and in New York, at the New York National Academy of Design. He also spent three years in the army. When he was nineteen, Simont settled in America permanently, determined to support himself as an artist. His first illustrations for a children's book appeared in 1939. Since then, Simont has illustrated nearly a hundred books. He won a Caldecott Honor in 1950 for illustrating Ruth Krauss's The Happy Day, and in in 1957 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his pictures in A Tree is Nice, by Janice May Udry. Simont's art is in collections as far afield at the Kijo Picture Book Museum in Japan. His most prized acknowledgement is having been chosen as the 1997 Illustrator of the Year in his native Catalonia by the Professional Association of Illustrators. Simont's book, The Stray Dog, won the Caldecott Medal in 2002.
Neil Gaiman, 1960 - Neil Gaiman was born in 1960 in Portchester, England. He worked as a journalist and freelance writer for a time, before deciding to try his hand at comic books. Some of his work has appeared in publications such as "Time Out," "The Sunday Times," "Punch" and "The Observer." Gaiman's first comic endeavor was the graphic novel series "The Sandman." It is what Gaiman is most famous for and the series has won every major industry award, including the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, making it the first comic ever to win a literary award. "The Sandman" series has outsold both "Batman" and "Superman" comics, selling over a million copies a year. The collections have sold over 750,000 copies in both paperback and hardcover and Warner Bothers has optioned the rights to Sandman. Gaiman is the co-originator and co-editor of The Utterly Comic Relief, an organization which raises money to maintain First Amendment Rights for comic book creators. In 1991, the organization raised over 45,000 pounds for the Comic Relief Charity. Gaiman has also co-authored a book with Terry Pratchet called "Good Omens" and wrote "Ghastly Beyond Belief" in 1985 and "Don't Panic" in 1987. He has edited a book of poetry entitled "Now We Are Sick" and his essays have appeared in such publications as "Horror: 100 Best Books and 100 Great Detectives." Gaiman's latest project has been the development of "Neverwhere," originally a television series for the BBC, it has now been expanded into a novel and is being made into a movie created by Jim Henson Productions. He has also delved into children's books, writing "The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish" which was selected by "Newsweek" as one of the Best Children's Book of 1997. His last publications have been "Smoke and Mirrors" in 1998 and "Stardust," an anthology of short stories in, 1999. When not writing, Gaiman is constantly involved in fighting for the rights of literary writers of all kinds so that the First Amendment shall always be allowed for those who choose to write.