An album inspired by the work of prolific author Neil Gaiman will be released this summer by Philadelphia-based independent label Dancing Ferret Discs.

An album inspired by the work of prolific author Neil Gaiman will be released this summer by Philadelphia-based independent label Dancing Ferret Discs. The project, tentatively titled "Where's Neil When You Need Him?," is expected to arrive July 18, according to Dancing Ferret principal Patrick Rodgers.

Rodgers, who is came up with the album's concept and is acting as music supervisor, asked artists he knew were fans of the writer to compose material based on their favorite Gaiman character or story. Some fashioned songs after his more popular work, such as the comic book series "The Sandman," while others took their inspiration from such rare pieces as his short story "The Goldfish Pool."

The most high-profile contributor to the compilation is Tori Amos, a longtime friend of Gaiman's who occasionally name-checks the writer in her lyrics. In fact, the album's working title is a line taken from her song "Space Dog." The track "Sister Named Desire," which Amos originally recorded as a B-side for a European release, has been re-recorded for the album. "She was one of the first to come on board," Rodgers says.

Among the 17 expected contributors are goth/metal band Tapping The Vein, medieval rockers Schandmaul, electronic act ThouShaltNot, the Cruxshadows and trip-hip group Lunascape.

According to Rodgers, the project is being assembled with the approval of Gaiman, who is writing the liner notes for the CD, while collaborator Dave McKean is creating its artwork. My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way is writing the introduction.

"Where's Neil When You Need Him?" will be sold at traditional retail outlets as well as comic book stores.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print