Caseen Gaines is an author, director, educator, and popular culture historian.
His work has received praise from media outlets around the world including NPR (“impressively exhaustive . . . enthusiastic and thorough”), The Hollywood Reporter (“revealing”), Esquire (“fascinating”), and Publishers Weekly (“enthusiastically comprehensive”). His “muscular reporting” has been celebrated by several New York Times bestselling authors, including Michael Davis and Brian Jay Jones, who have found his work to be “deeply researched and engagingly written.”
He is the author of We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy (Plume, 2015), which led to his television appearances in North America on Entertainment Tonight and Fox Business’s Kennedy. His most recent book, The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History, was published last year by Insight Editions and received a starred review in Booklist.
His first book, Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse (ECW Press, 2011), was a 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medalist. Its follow up, A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic (ECW Press, 2013), was featured on The TV Guide Network, where Gaines also appears on a perennially televised documentary.
Beyond his books, he has been published at Vanity Fair, io9, and New York Magazine — and has written original features for Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club, and Decider. He has also worked as a consultant and ghostwriter on several narrative nonfiction projects.
He holds a Master’s Degree from Rutgers University in American Studies, where he focused on racial representations in popular culture, and, in addition to writing, is co-Artistic Director of a nonprofit theater company he cofounded in 2005 and a high school English teacher in New Jersey, where he has taught for the past eleven years.