I don't know any of them personally, but obviously I know their work. I read Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe way, way back and loved it. I think I picked it up in a second-hand bookshop while I was at College. Troubletown is amazing, and I'm enjoying Meltzer's Justice League of America a lot. But you mentioned Trudeau in there too - he's like a god to me. There never was another strip like Doonesbury, although there are many strips around now that are indebted to it.
Has there always been switching by writers from comics to novels and back that Neil Gaiman and others does - or is that a more recent trend?
I think it's always been there, but only to an extent. The permeability now is massive and universal. Comics publishers are aggressively recruiting writers from the fields of TV, novels, movies - and writers are discovering that once they've reached a certain point their name becomes a sort of brand, which allows them access to other creative spheres. It's a positive thing, I think. The more different kinds of writing you do, the better your instincts become. And you keep yourself fresh by working the changes. If you stay in one niche, the temptation to do the same thing again and again is always going to be there.
Where do you see yourself in five years – still writing both comics and novels or doing all of one or the other?
Still writing both. And doing TV and movie work.
And swimming the English Channel blindfolded. Multi-tasking is my thing.