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Friday, November 29, 2002

Hello Neil. Was going to ask what kind of info on flourescent makeup you need... Were you looking for general info, where to get it, how to use it... I've got lots of reference materials that I could send you, I would just need to know WHAT to send :)

Let me know if I can be of help...

arvin clay


Hullo Arvin

well, Pebbles the make up lady and I went into a dark room with a night-vision camera and came to the conclusion that we didn't really want fluorescent make-up after all, although we may be using something pearlescent for one of the final shots. So don't worry, but thanks.

John Bolton delivered his painting, which will be the final image of the film. It's very wonderful.

"That's proper art, John," I told him, when he unveiled it. "You can tell it's proper art, 'cos the breasts follow you around the room."

Peter Cook said roughly the same thing in an old Pete and Dud routine, long long ago, but he said it with bottoms.

The painting's unfinished, intentionally so. John wasn't sure if it was unfinished enough, but it's perfect.

One of my favourite exchanges in the whole world is in the first Muppet Movie:

Gonzo: I'm going to Bombay, India, to become a movie star.
Fozzie: You don't go to Bombay to become a movie star. You go where we're going: Hollywood!
Gonzo: Sure -- if you want to do it the easy way.


Once again, the Great Gonzo has been proved right. With chips.


.......

Using the night camera for the final sequence. Investigating the properties of fluorescent make-up. John Bolton will deliver the final painting in about fifteen minutes.

And the Call Sheet for the first day of shooting (Monday) was on my desk when I came in this morning. I think at this point we can assume that this will actually happen.

...

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

So before I go to bed.... met my film editor and sound man today.

There's a wonderful team of people making this thing, many of whom are working for sandwiches. Well, more or less.

Tomorrow morning it's down to Cinesite to see what the all the different test video camera footage we shot looks like when blown up to 35mm -- I'm most interested in the little DV camera on nightvision setting. (Some of the film is being shot on 16mm, some of it's on video, as is appropriate for a documentary. And the final bit... well, we'll figure that out tomorrow.)

We start shooting on Monday.

(Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans.)

Got the information to write my dedication to The Wolves in the Walls today. ("Hi. Yes, it's me. What's her favourite food? Really? And it has to be bolognese? No meatballs. Got it.... Oh, that's cool. No, it's really cool. Do I have to guess? Er, okay Julia Roberts. Hah. I knew it. Spaghetti Bolognese then. You too.")

British supermarket chain Tesco's officially deny that they are routinely using black widow spiders for pest control purposes. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me.

I recently happened upon the story of H. H. Holmes, one of the U.S.A.'s first serial killers. I apologise, but your name came to mind. Have you heard of him? If so, do you have any thoughts on why his story isn't more well known these days?

Thanks,
Matt


I don't know. They just don't teach Inventive Victorian Serial Killers and their Hotels Of Death in school enough these days. Gene Wolfe and I did our bit for Mr Holmes in "A Walking Tour of the Shambles", although the H. H. Holmes in the Shambles might, of course, have been someone else.

Hello,

I was wandering by an old bookstore with some friends the other day and I could have sworn that I saw you on the cover of a book. It, from the second or so that I saw it in passing, looked like it was about houses and it appeared to be you standing in front of a very Addams family type house (which I believe sounds like your very description of your home.)

Of course, when I had a moment to go back the store, the book was no longer in the window and the owner gave me the 'that's very nice but please step away from the counter you deranged person look' when I asked her about it. What is this book and what is it called?

Also, I know you are a Lou Reed fan and I saw this in the new issue of the rolling stone:

Lou Reed has enlisted David Bowie, Laurie Anderson and Ornette Coleman for 'The Raven', an album that musically interprets the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. Interesting.....

Thanks

Jamey Barlow


The book is called The Faces of Fantasy, by Patti Perret. And the only time I ever had dinner with Lou Reed he recited the first paragraph of "The Telltale Heart", so I'm not at all surprised.

I notice that you have no Coraline tour pictures. I have some to send. My name is Dena. Friend of MYA and button-eyed beings. I was one of the girls at the documentary shoot in NYC. I don't know if you remember me. But I'd like to contribute to your now vacant section of the webpage. Please let me know if you could use these photos and where I should send them.
-thanx
Dena


Hullo Dena, of course I remember you. Say hi to Mya and the button-things for me. You can send photos (and anything else for the site) to our web-master, Julia Bannon, whose e-mail address is at the bottom of practically every page of this website.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Over at http://www.audiobookstoday.com/ there's a very very very very short Peter Straub short story, published for the first time. Along with lots of good information on audiobooks.

Michael Dirda is back reviewing for the Washington Post: all's right with the world. And he's written an essay about Terry Pratchett which will, I trust, make people sit up and think. And buy Night Watch. It's at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20884-2002Nov21.html

Just spent some time in a dark room with a producer and a cameraman, trying out the infra-red filming setting on a camera. And I've just "locked down" the script, scene numbers and all.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Today was rehearsals and costume fittings. Everything went brilliantly. We're now in the final week's count-down.

If this were a movie I'd say to Jess, the AD, "It's all going very well," and she'd look back at me and hesitate and then say "Yes... maybe too well." And then there would be ominous chords. Anyway, we have a final seven days for locations to fall through, cast to fall off bridges, London to be washed away by floods, etc.

...

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGH!!!! Please help- I am desperately trying to find the American Gods Bibliography and I can't! Actually what I really want is to find out if you've updated it as I really want some recommended reading about Coin Tricks... Please help.



Well, for coin tricks you want J. B. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic . http://store.doverpublications.com/0486242587.html for details. The American Gods bibliography is at http://www.neilgaiman.com/books/amgods_bib.asp and is still shamefully un-updated. I will. Honest.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Hello, I was wondering if I could use the title neverwhere for a record label I am starting. I would like to call it neverwhere records. I am a HUGE fan of Neils and Neverwhere is my favorite book, Ive read all of Neil's other works as well :) I just wanted to be sure it was ok before I started to use it :) Thanks.

-Mike


Sure.

Neil, hey.

Just a quick question - and while it isn't about your good self, I can't think of anyone else to ask. I've searched on Amazon and Google, and I've emailed Derren Brown's agent, but I just can't find a listing of his book; I think you called it Absolute Magic. I know he's in the process of writing a book, though I'm uncertain of its title. Were you reading an ARC, or is Absolute Magic out of print?

Thanks again, Neil.

--- Niall


It's a real recent book. (Pure Effect is his first book.) Well, at Derren's website there's a place you can get stuff -- http://www.derrenbrown.co.uk/products/magic_products/index.php. Mostly magic books aren't available through the Amazons of this world -- you need magic bookshops: http://www.magicbookshop.com/ is one I've used in the past.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Was on google looking for info. on Wisakedjak and found this great site: http://www.frowl.org/gods/. It's got a great (cross-referenced) section on all the gods mentioned in AG and some stuff on House on the Rock, too. She's done a huge job, and the last time I was there the hit count was truly pitiful. Could you announce it on the blog or something? I'm sure there are others out there who might need clarification on a certain god, and this helps

Easily done. What an excellent site. I'll put this up in the FAQ section as well....

Wet Saturday in London. Robert Zemeckis called, having read the third draft of The Fermata, with two points, one of which is easy, and one of which utterly changes the end of the film, in a way that's consistent with what went before, but makes the ending darker. It's a fascinating process, working on The Fermata -- I was satisfied with the first draft, which was funny and cool, but it gets deeper and edgier with each draft, so I'm perfectly happy to keep writing it: there's none of that feeling of, in Douglas Adams's words "turning into your own word processor" you can sometimes get in Hollywood, doing draft after draft of something until you're ready to scream. (Although that can often come from the capricious requests of studio executives, and not from the demands of the story. Someone mentioned to me recently a script rewrite where the studio had asked that the lead be made more likeable, and the writer had gone in on page one and added a word to the first description of the lead, so it now read "WE ARE LOOKING AT GEORGE, A LIKEABLE MAN IN HIS 30s" and the studio was happy...)

Finished reading Derren Brown's book Absolute Magic, a marvellous extended essay on performing magic, much of which was applicable to writing as well (or I thought it was). Sample quote, "Anyone who performs should love the art in himself, and be very wary of loving himself in the art."

The missing sock has not yet turned up. I am suspicious. How far can it have gone? It was black, you know. Black socks don't just fade into the background. (Not unless the background's black, and the flat I'm in is very light-brown-wooden-floors-and-white. No black anywhere.) And if socks set off to seek their fortune or something, why don't they do it in pairs? Why alert us to their mysteries like this?

Friday, November 22, 2002

Am now officially boring. Did laundry. Am one sock down.

Let's see... did the tech recces today. All the locations are terrific. Jess, my assistant director, spent much of the day confirming all the unpaid extras for the gallery sequence. ("Look smartish. Do not wear red.")

It was strange being back in the Midlands Hotel at St. Pancras -- we filmed on the roof, the stairs, and the attic there for Neverwhere in 1996. Now we're filming in the sub-basement.

Monday is rehearsals, costume fittings, and some test footage on different kinds of camera. Need to work on the LEGENDS novella this weekend.

On antibiotics for middle-ear infection. It rained today. Tonight I do laundry.

That's about it for excitement today, other than noticing in the mirror that I actually now have a beard. I have a theory that no-one can recognise me with a beard, which, despite no-one ever not recognising me bearded, I persist in believing, because I surprise myself each time I look in the mirror.

Here's a much more exciting than my day sort of e-mail from Scott McCloud.



Hi Neil --

As promised here's a short list of webcomics from recent weeks you
might want to check out.

***

BIG STORIES:

Nowhere Girl - Part Two
Justine Shaw's Nowhere Girl just updated a few days ago with 30 new
pages. This is a great coming-of-age/coming-out story. Shaw's
continually improving as an artist and storyteller and her colors are
delicious.

Same
Difference.

Derek Kirk's "Same Difference" is a 13 part -- and growing -- graphic
novel on the web. While it could work as well in print as online,
watching the story develop online has been a mesmerizing experience
due to Kirk's use of tension and mystery in everyday events. His art
and storytelling are improving steadily with every page.

Dicebox
Jenn Manley Lee is an old friend, so I can't pretend that I'm
objective, but Hell, just look at the thing. Be sure to click
on "pre-ramble" to get the first part.

The E-Sheep Index
Okay, okay, whales and
orgasmatrons,
not your cup of tea, but I'm not giving up yet.
Farley's stories are long, and rarely go where you think they're
going to go at the beginning. The latest ongoing
story
is a great take on the dotcom meltdown -- something Farley
saw first hand, living in the bay area.

WILD EXPERIMENTS:

Brain Slide and Doodleflak.
Daniel Merlin Goodbrey "Brain Slide" came out just a few weeks ago
("Doodleflak" was in April). Both point to some fascinating
possibilities for rethinking comics' spatial underpinnings.

BEST SUBSCRIPTION SITE:

Serializer.
I can't recommend this one strongly enough. Tom Hart has a great eye
for great cartoonists and he got 25 of them onboard for Serializer.
Some are from the alternative/SPX side of the fence like Nick
Bertozzi, Ben Catmull or Tom; some are web-only like Demian 5
(remember When I Am King"?) or
Jason Turner; some are totally out of left field like mini-comics
great Matt Feazell. You can read the new ones for free each day, but
it's really worth subscribing for three bucks a month to get access
to the already big archives.

OOH, PRETTY...

Morning Blue
A silent story by Jason Turner. Short and sweet and really cool. His
"True Loves" at Serializer with co-writer Manien Bothma is a real gem
too.

Tons more on my links page,
obviously, but those are some of the more recent.

Best Wishes,

--Scott

Up late last night, being fed by friends. Up early this morning to do the "technical recce" of the various locations (the whole film's on location). Also to figure out more or less what happens where. (Well, it's in the script, but there's a certain amount of "If we shoot against this wall in the cellar then can we still use those steps up...?" to come.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Got to issue my first piece of directorial advice to an actor today. "You're dead." I said. "Your motivation is to stay in one place and rot." Which he did, just fine.

It was for a photoshoot for reference for a John Bolton painting that should close the film. John now has to paint it, which he should finish about the time I need it. It was incredibly pleasant seeing John again. It's been ages since we worked together, and I'd love to write something for him. Just need more hours in the day. Actually right now I'd settle for more hours in the year.

Over at Locus online they've started the Best of the Year tally. I'm pleased to see Coraline's turning up on a lot of lists. Given its word-count it won't get any Best Novel awards next year, but it's good to see it listed.

Waiting for John Bolton to get to the studio right now, then we have a photo shoot, with two models and a stand-in.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Forgot to say that yesterday I met my editor, Sarah Odedina from Bloomsbury books. She had with her a copy of "THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS" which I'd not seen before on paper (Dave McKean had showed me most of it on the computer screen). It's wonderful -- it sort of starts out ominous and then gets exciting and then goes funny. The people are painted, objects are photographed, and the wolves are wild drawings. I laughed at some of my own jokes.

I think it will come out next August/September. I think it will win Dave a number of design awards.

All the casting's now done, and I spent today going over props with the production designer, meeting the costume designer (and costumes), and going, with producers and Dir of Photography to Cinesite to find out all about digital transfers, effects and so on. I worry that, as blogs go, this one has just become mind-numbingly boring, for which I apologise. I am enjoying myself, though. Promise.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Henry Raddick (the 21st century's Amazon-reviewing answer both to Charles Pooter and Henry Root) e-mailed in to say

You wonder on your blog whether Andrew Lloyd Webber and I are one and the same - I've fessed up to that http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/26027.html

Henry


which was very kind of him -- and The Register site contains screenshots of the "Andrew Lloyd Webber" entries, long since scrubbed from Amazon's database.

.....................................

Last night was a magical evening, marred only by a healthy dose of jet lag on my part: it was an old friend�s birthday, a small gathering of the great and the good and the me, and the evening�s entertainment was provided by the astonishingly talented Derren Brown � mentalist performer (also an excellent caricaturist-portrait painter).

Finished casting all our leads today, and feeling hugely confident on that score. Now we just have one young lady to cast who has to look a certain way, walk and smile, ready for a photo shoot on Wednesday (I think).

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Just when I start getting -- well, not cocky, but at least no longer terrified by the idea of directing, I read something like this Scotsman article and realise just how badly everything can sometimes go wrong.

Saw Roger Avary this morning, and we talked about lenses and focal length. Also about Dali and Beowulf. And Rules of Attraction, which is showing tonight at the London Film Festival.

I wonder if Henry Raddick did the hilariously wicked "Andrew Lloyd Webber" reviews that Amazon removed: the sense of humour seems very similar. Wonderful stuff.Amazon.com: About Henry Raddick: Reviews

Friday, November 15, 2002

Lots of people have written to let me know that according to BBC NEWS | Entertainment the lost episode of Dr Who, SHADA, by Douglas Adams, will finally be made. Although, as this link makes clear, it's a webcast -- an audio recording of the script with limited animations, which isn't quite the same thing as them going in and actually making it, which would have been genuinely exciting. On the other hand, Douglas works better on radio. On the other other hand, I wonder if they saw the original Shada scripts, which I seem to remember were talkier than the shooting script... (Although it's many years since I read the scripts to SHADA. I remember noticing that Douglas had reused a lot of the plot in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.)

...

Casting today for the film. Casting done on camera, which was good, although looking at the tapes of the auditions afterwards there was only one performance which was, on camera, different to what we saw in the room, and one other that had been sort of solid that got sort of bland.

It was truly fascinating, and at the end of the day it was mostly a matter of choosing between excellent people who did it one way and excellent people who did it another, which is so much to be preferred to staring gloomily at SPOTLIGHT and saying to a casting agent "Well, there must be someone else who could play it...?"

In the end the only part I couldn't make up my mind about is that of the actor playing John Bolton himself, so we'll have the two leading candidates come back on Monday to read the part with the actor who will be playing the interviewer, and I'll choose after that.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

I have a desk. And a phone line.

Today I met my production designer and my DP, and got to talk about what I want shot on video and what I want shot on film and why. And I got to meet my casting director and decide who I'm auditioning tomorrow.

The audition process is cheerfully brutal, and I don't know how actors cope. When we did Neverwhere, all those years ago, I wanted to phone each person we didn't wind up casting, and apologise to them. I'm sure it'll feel like that tomorrow as well. At least I didn't feel the urge to apologise to all the people whose photos didn't work for me, so never even got called in ("No, he just looks honest and likeable. The interviewer has to be a bit on the smug side...").

I love being in a country where people bring you cups of tea all the time.

Now need to do a second draft of the script as a director rather than as a writer. And Chris Ewen (Future Bible Heroes) sent me a perfect piece of music to go with the film.


....

Important! Read this!

ITEM! COMICON.COM AUCTION TO BENEFIT CBLDF

Comicon.com founders Rick Veitch and Steve Conley have assembled an
auction of over 36 striking pieces of original art and rare
merchandise from members of the Comicon.com community to benefit the
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The auction will run throughout
November and assists the Fund financially as it petitions the Supreme
Court to hear the case of Texas v. Castillo.

The auction starts today on eBay where Fund supporters can bid on a
great selection of original art, including a Frank Miller page from
The Dark Knight Strikes Again; a fully painted Swamp Thing cover by
Rick Veitch; an original single page Howard Cruse strip; a page from
The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot; a Tug & Buster page by Marc
Hempel; a James Sturm illustration; and an artists proof Doonesbury
print by G.B. Trudeau.

In the weeks to come, a fully-painted V for Vendetta cover by David
Lloyd, an original Zippy strip by Bill Griffith, Powers and Hammer of
the Gods pages by Mike Oeming, and much more will be auctioned to
help the Fund pay off its current legal fees.

Veitch says, "Steve and I built Comicon.com to be the focal point
of the web's comics community. That community depends on the Fund
to come to our aid when a legal crisis strikes. We're doing this
auction as a community to help the Fund do that work right now, as it
appeals the high court for justice in Texas."

In addition to the auction, Comicon.com exhibitor Top Shelf
Productions will be donating 20% of web sales generated between
November 14 and December 10 to the Fund. "The fact that a comic
store clerk is facing criminal charges is an inexcusable miscarriage
of justice," says Top Shelf publisher and Fund Board Member Chris
Staros. "We're happy to contribute to Comicon's efforts
to raise money so the Fund can take this case to the next level."

Every week that the auction runs, Comicon will showcase the items
with banner ads and on the Comicon message boards. "Right now
the Fund is in a crucial period," explains Director Charles
Brownstein. "The battle in Texas is among the most important
cases in our 16 year history. The initiative that Rick and Steve
have taken in putting this auction together will make a significant
difference in properly waging that fight."

Veitch adds, "We hope the community is generous when bidding
during this auction. Many very talented creators have donated some
great art to support the Fund's much needed work. Without the Fund
there to back this field up, dozens of retailers, cartoonists, and
publishers may have lost their livelihood. Now it's our turn to
back up the Fund."

The CBLDF/Comicon auction begins today on eBay.

Check out the auction items at http://www.comicon.com/cbldf
To bid on the available items click here:
http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?
ViewSellersOtherItems&userid=cbldf&
include=0&since=-1&sort=3&rows=25

ITEM! Support the CBLDF at Boston's Great American Comic Book Expo

This weekend the Fund will be in Boston meeting its members and
offering great items that will support the Fund's legal battles.
Stop by and meet CBLDF Director Charles Brownstein to find out about
the Fund's current work and pick up great work signed by Frank
Miller, Jeff Smith, Will Eisner, and more!

While at the show, be sure to meet the show's top guests including
John Cassaday, Paul Jenkins, Adam Kubert, Christopher Golden,
Humberto Ramos, and more!

The convention will be held at:
Bayside Expo and Executive Conference Center
200 Mount Vernon Street
Boston, MA
02125

For more information visit:
http://www.hobbystar.com/boston/index.html

ITEM: CBLDF DEFENDER OF LIBERTY FRANK MILLER ON FRESH AIR

Defender of Liberty and staunch CBLDF supporter Frank Miller will be
appearing on Fresh Air today. Check your local NPR listings or visit
http://freshair.npr.org

Also be sure to bid on a stunning page of original Batman art from
DK2 in the Comicon auction at

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=735939008

____________

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3
non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of First
Amendment rights for members of the comics community. Donations and
inquiries should be directed to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at
P.O. Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061.

For additional information, call 800-99-CBLDF or visit
http://www.cbldf.org

To support the CBLDF, make a donation at:
http://cbldf.safeshopper.com/12/cat12.htm?479

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Am in the UK. Today inspected the art gallery location (wonderful), worked out lots of scheduling, and discovered I knew the answers to a lot of questions. Big relief.

Tomorrow is casting all the major parts, meeting the production designer and the director of photography.

....

hey neil, am. gods paperback is both #1 and #17 on the powells's bestseller list. must be loki tricking . . .
http://www.salon.com/books/bestsellers/
2002/11/13/nov13/index.html


...

How extraordinary.

....

There's a preview for Endless Nights at Mile High Comics. The color cover, and two B&W pages.

http://www.milehighcomics.com/dcpreview/endless/adpage.html

Also for Jill Thompson's At Death's Door

http://www.milehighcomics.com/dcpreview/deathdoor/adpage.html

Kale


Actually, what you've got there seems to be two colour panels (a Manara and a Prado) then black and white copies of the pages those panels come from and a P. Craig Russell Page. How odd.

A couple of questions from people wondering if I'll be doing any signings in the UK this trip. Nope. Busy. Sorry.

Also, to the other people who asked about the "NICHOLAS WAS..." Christmas cards, Dark Horse definitely did them this year, and I know this because they sent me a set of them to look at last month. There's a link here to the forthcoming section of the DreamHaven me site and it's the fourth item down at http://www.milehighcomics.com/nice/0802dkh.html where it lists an October 30th sale date. Don't know if they've shipped yet -- ask your local comic store. (If they say no, ask them if they actually ordered any. A minority of Comics stores will blame publishers for not shipping what they don't sell, when it's actuyally on sale elsewhere.)

Added later: This in from DreamHaven's Lance Smith: Diamond is currently showing the Nicholas Was cards as being available for re-order. We didn't get them this week and they weren't on the Diamond shipping this week list, so they're probably shipping next week. (I won't know for certain until Friday.) Their Diamond item code is AUG020019H.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Running round finding shoes and toothbrush and socks enough to last me all the way through the film. (It's rare for me to make a trip that's more than overnight bags.) Had planned to get haircut at Hair Police, but it'll now be cut in London somewhere (Although I won't walk blithely into the first corner barber's and tell them to do their worst, as the last time I tried that, during Neverwhere filming, they did). Have decided to grow beard for next month as well. And to write the novella about Shadow and the Huldra and the giants from over the sea in the copious spare time I'll get back from not shaving.

It's a strange thing about Coraline that a book that came out four months ago should be selling more strongly than ever. But according to the occasional children's list in the LA Times, we are:CHILDREN'S BESTSELLERS.

I just finished some lyrics for my assistant Lorraine's new band, currently known as Folk Underground, and she says I can post them here if I tell you that they will turn up on their CD, to be called Night of a Million Zillion Ninja. I wrote music for it too, but you have to go and see them to hear it...

.....

There are folk underground
and they don�t do a lot
but they listen to us
in the sun

And the folk underground
think as likely as not
we�ll be joining them all
when we�re done

And they shift in their coffins
And toss in their beds
While the worms lick their shins
and crawl right through their heads
And they never go dancing
they don�t make a sound
so be careful of folk
underground

There are folk underground
They can wait out your life
Which is why they were dug in
so deep

And the folk underground
dream of things they once did
for they�ve flesh and a life
when they sleep


They can wait in the dark
Without sighing or talking
They�ll sing little songs
And they sometimes go walking
They�ll come in the night
And they won�t make a sound
so be careful of folk
underground

There are folk undergound
and I envy their lot
and I hope that they prosper and thrive

For the folk underground
dream such dreams as they rot
That it�s better than being alive

And they kiss without lips
So it�s bone against bone
And it�s hips against hips
And it�s stone against stone
Though their hearts have been eaten
Their ribcages pound
With the life of the folk
underground

They can wait in the dark
Without sighing or talking
They�ll sing little songs
And they sometimes go walking
They�ll come in the night
And they won�t make a sound
so be careful of folk
underground

Monday, November 11, 2002

There's an article at COMICON.com PULSE about upcoming vertigo stuff which includes images from ENDLESS NIGHTS -- a Manara panel and a Prado Panel...

And Coraline has made the School Library Journal's Best Books of 2002 list. (Big smile.)

Several new Coraline reviews just in --- Planetesme.com's Children's Literature for Halloween

http://www.myshelf.com/teen/fiction/02/coraline.htm

http://www.readersread.com/cgi-bin/review.pl?reviewid=90212

....

Okayed a couple of locations in e-mail, and had a long chat with the Costume designer (she was on a mobile in the Isle of Man), talked to John Bolton about the painting he'll be doing.

There's a strangely buoying feeling to the process at this point. One in which the people you work with seem much more pleased than otherwise that you know what you want.

Leave for UK tomorrow. I'll find out when I'm there if I'll get a day or so to fly up to Northern Scotland on a research thing for the new American Gods longish short story (which has a working title of "Shadow's Shadow").

Bob Morales sent me this link -- quite fascinating Newsday.com - The 'SKIPPY' Mystery...

Dear Neil,
I'm very interested in your short film and how you got it financed.

I have been making short films for ten years and find that I spend most of my time chasing the finance side to get stuff completed. I'm lucky if I can get one foilm made evry two/three years, even on 'no to low' budgets.

How did you do it?????

thanks
Bob


I did a swap. I gave the production company the rights to something I'd written that they want to make, in return for them financing this for me.

OK, so I've been checking in on this site for a couple of months now because I happen to love Neil and everything he does. Every once and a while I will see a snippet about a screen play Neil is writing or a story that has been optioned by someone but my mind happens to be a giant sieve when it comes to this kind of info and the search engine isn't giving me quite what I want. I was looking for a list of movies that he is currently working on, have been optioned, or have been left in the gutter on the wayside. I was hoping imdb.com could shed some light but unfortunately they only seem to have information on things that have already happened like Princess Mononoke and the Babylon 5 episode. I'm sure plenty of other people would love to have this information as well if there isn't already a list floating around in the internet ether somewhere.

Thanks,
Denika Robbins


There really is a list now, done by Cindy Lynne Speer, up at http://www.neilgaiman.com/exclusive/essay06.asp. It's in the "exclusive content" area.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

For the birthday wishes, thank you all.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Joe Simon just won a round in his case against Marvel over Captain America -- whether or not it was Work For Hire, and whether he could terminate his copyright agreement with Marvel after 56 years, under the 1976 copyright law.Here's the blog entry at Ampersand's site. The court's conclusion is fascinating (as is the court's avowed fondness for "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling").

I assume (based on no real information whatsoever) that either a host of other such legal cases will soon arise over the likes of Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman or are being or have been negotiated behind the scenes. (None of those characters were actually created as Work For Hire -- Siegel and Shuster had created Superman as a newspaper strip before it was published in Action, Bob Kane was under 18 when he sold Batman, William Moulton Marston's deal might have been work for hire, but since it contains a famous reversion clause, I think one can assume it wasn't).

Not a question, an answer!
I pointed out the Furball blog entry to Chaz Brenchley (fine writer and proud possession of two cats) - he replies:
Of course Furball can climb mirrors, what's all the fuss about? He and his reflection just grab on together, and they act as counterweights for each other, on either side of the plane. Equal and opposite forces: they can't fall. D'you think this is why cats are always so concerned with their image? In case the necessity arises, that they have to lean on 'em?
So now we know!

Jean


And before anyone starts even beginning to mutter that this may not be a proper scientific explanation because it comes from an author of fiction, remember that Poe, in his universally derided prose poem "Eureka" ("''makes no deep impression . . . because we are aware of Poe's lack of qualification in philosophy, theology or natural science" T. S. Eliot) predicted the Big Bang and large chunks of contemporary cosmology. (http://www.totse.com/en/technology/space_astronomy_nasa/bangpoe.html)

...

Trying to wrap up life before going to London to make short film. Spent much of last night looking at pictures of models, trying to pick the ones I want for the final sequence.

...

There's a terrific review of TWO PLAYS FOR VOICES up at The Green Man Review. Go to their what's new page at http://www.greenmanreview.com/whats_new.html to read about that and everything else in books and music they're reviewing...

...

Coraline's on the amazon.com 2002 Editor's Picks list
and on the Barnes and Noble Holiday Gift Guide

...

1602 chapter 3 is misbehaving. Dammit.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Howdy;

As I mentioned to Terry at Worldcon, awhile ago (1995, I think) I
thought briefly about pitching a comic adaptation of Good Omens. I got
as far as getting these two pages done and then Other Things Came Up. I
have just got around to getting them posted on my web site, and thought
you might find them amusing.

Thanks-

Phil Foglio


And you can see what Phil did (beautifully inked by Matt Howarth) at
http://www.studiofoglio.com/fun/fun4goodomens1.html. I think it's lovely, although I'd always imagined Crowley in serpent form in that original scene...

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Correct me if I'm wrong, But aren't non-U.S. Citizens ineligable for the Newbery?

Josh


Let's see... well, a quick google gives us http://www.ala.org/alsc/newbery_terms.html, which is the page of rules, and http://www.ala.org/alsc/nmedal.html, which is the history of the award.

On the rule pages we learn that "The Award is restricted to authors who are citizens or residents of the United States."


(The National Book Award is only for US citizens. And I remember Frank McConnell grumbling magnificently that he would have got Sandman a Pulitzer the year he was a Pulitzer fiction judge, if only I'd had the courtesy to be a US Citizen. I doubt it, but it was a nice thing of him to have said.)

...

And to try to make up for the Dsicwrold typo in the films section, here's an article on Terry Pratchett from today's Guardian.

Anderson's Bookshop are running mock Newbery awards. "The purpose of the program is to expose young people to some of the best literature published within the calendar year, to encourage them to read critically and across genres, and to promote a healthy debate of literary merit. The list is generally appropriate for students ages 12 and up." Something fun for Chicago area schools to do.

Nalo Hopkinson just won the World Fantasy Award for Skin Folk, her collection of short stories. Please blame her for this goodie: 60's goodness (You'll need quicktime.)


Just told Maddy that I have to go away for a few weeks to make the short film. She was pretty sad, and so was I. You'd think that as we grow older, partings would be easier, but they never are.

...

Well, I was a bit surprised, but only a bit, to find that an essay by someone you apparently at least know and which is published on your site manages to substitute "Disk World" for "Discworld", but then, I s'pose gremlins get everywhere. It'd be nice for it to be corrected, though. (It's in the recently-posted essay on your movie-related stuff, in the Good Omens section).

(yes, it's me again. I feel like those people who make an occupation of writing to the Daily Telegraph, sometimes...)


Strangely enough, this website lacks a copy-editing department, and I'm afraid even people I apparently at least know make typos. I make 'em myself, in quantity.

(If any of you wish to volunteer your copy-editing services, then contact Julia Bannon, webmistress.)

Hi Neil...
Not only is Coraline on Publisher's Weekly best of 2002... also found you on Border's Best Kid's Books of 2002... here's the link and their blurb...
the merriest of un-birthdays... erica
http://www.bordersstores.com/features/feature.jsp?file=best2002kids


Thanks -- I'll try and put all end of the year mentions of Coraline up here if people send them in.

...

Meanwhile, here at me.com Cindy Lynne Speer's essay-list on the status of all the me-related films and film projects has just gone up, at http://www.neilgaiman.com/exclusive/essay06.asp. We'll try and keep it more or less current, but will probably wind up updating it semi-annually. Thanks to Cindy for writing it, and to Julia Bannon for making it happen....

Noticed this in the Guardian: Flesh-eating squirrel stalks streets of Knutsford.

And Arts and Letters Daily is back in business again.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Furball is an astonishingly fat cat. She is so fat that many people, on seeing her for the first time, start impromptu comedy routines ("Is that a cat or a pumpkin? That cat's so fat you could use it as a pillow! I'm not saying that cat's fat, but, well, she is pretty fat, actually." etc.) She's a long-haired confection of orange, white and black, and is faintly reminiscent of a calico feline walrus. Her many skills include convincing everyone in the house, and some people who are just passing through, that she hasn't been fed in weeks, and convincing gullible songbirds that a cat that heavy and spherical could never jump high enough to be any kind of danger.

Being incredibly fat means that she often sits up on a chair or a sofa, on her haunches, like a person, which can be slightly off-putting. It also means she can't always clean herself properly. She's developing dreadlocks.

So tonight I gritted my teeth, rolled up my sleeves, and washed her. In the sink.

When she stood bolt upright and started trying to sink her claws into the mirror above the sink to get away, I merely smiled and carried on washing her. I knew that cat-claws, while wonderful things, cannot get traction on the glass of a mirror. And that just-trimmed cat-claws can't allow a cat the size and shape of a small walrus to climb sheer glass.

Nobody had explained these simple things to Furball, though, and she went straight up the side of the mirror.

Sooner or later, I'll figure out how.

If you own a comic store -- or know someone who does -- you'll want to click on this: eBay item 732401516 (Ends Nov-15-02 08:58:48 PST ) - Jim Lee in Store Benefit Signing. It's a brilliant idea, and I'm really proud of Jim for doing it and for coming up with it and for setting such a great example.

It's frustrating that so much fundraising is necessary -- unfortunately, it is. A retailer in Texas, convicted of selling an adult manga comic to an adult cop, was refused leave to appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals last week. We're going to try to take it to the Supreme Court, although there's no guarantee they'll take the case. (The Supreme Court didn't take the Mike Diana case, although it was the first time in history that an American artist had been found guilty of obscenity for his or her own work.) You can read more about it at the cbldf site, here.

(On Monday night I was presented with an amazing early birthday present -- a huge, gorgeous, almost abstract until-you-see-it-from-far-enough-away Sandman quilt, the kind you could spread on a huge bed or hang on a wall, with the suggestion that I might want to donate it to the CBLDF from me and from the artist, Michelle Hyman. Which I shall. Although if the bids aren't high enough, I'll happily bid for it myself. It's lovely.)

The best birthday present of all though was the one I was given at the weekend. And I'll try to remember to tell you all what that was on Sunday, which is my birthday. (I'll be 42, an age which, even without the Douglas Adams connections, sounds astonishingly adult.)

Coraline's on the Publisher's Weekly Best Children's books 2002 list.

Which is cool news, and what with all the madness of World Fantasy Con, and post-World Fantasy, and getting ready to go off to make the short film, there are lots of things I haven't posted or had a chance to post, like the marvellous review of TWO PLAYS FOR VOICES at the Green Man Review site.

On Nov 3rd you wrote - "DreamHaven used to try to get Diamond to sell the double CD "Warning:Contains Language" and Diamond never quite seemed able to make it happen"

I don't think that's quite right, because my local comic shop doesn't get anything from anywhere other than Diamond, and I bought Warning: Contains Language from them ages ago. The thing to keep in mind about Diamond is that their catalogue only appears to be sorted; it's perfectly normal to find a slipcased limited edition or two listed under "apparel";. My trick is to bug the staff at the shop until they search the MS Excel sheet that they actually order from for things I suspect should be listed somewhere. If I didn't get them to do this, I'd miss all sorts of things - I never would have known there was a special "singed" edition of Coraline if I hadn't done this...
Speaking of which, do you know if the (hopefully only delicately crisped) special editions ever got shipped out to the shops?

Evie


Oh Diamond have certainly sporadically sold Warning: Contains Language. Back in 1994ish when it came out, it took them many years to understand that that was the title, though -- they originally listed it as "Untitled Neil Gaiman CD" and added a special warning about all the obscenities. There were certainly difficulties getting them to order it and stock it properly on the 2001 reissue, although they did again in the end.

Diamond don't appear to be stocking "TWO PLAYS FOR VOICES" or the Coraline Audio.

Diamond definitely shipped out the signed and numbered Coralines, yes, as I've personalised and drawn rats in some for people already.

A lady at World Fantasy Con had dozens of the glow-in-the-dark-covered Diamond edition Coralines, which she'd bought by calling Borders after Borders and getting them to go and look in the SF shelves for it. (Lots of comic shops were shorted on their orders, as Diamond sold about a third of the print run to Borders Bookshops, rather bizarrely.)

Hi -- Have you read John Collier? He wrote "His Monkey Wife" and some very funny stories about angels and demons, etc. I remember an anthology of his stuff ("The Best of John Collier") from the mid-1970s, when I was a kid.

He seems like your sort of thing, but I haven't seen a mention in your interviews.


Ah, you should do a search for Collier on the website with the Search tool. You'll find him here. (And in the introduction to SMOKE AND MIRRORS, as well.)

Several questions about the short story "A Study In Emerald", which I read at World Fantasy. It'll appear next year in an anthology called SHADOWS OVER BAKER STREET, edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan, to be published by Del Ray.

Hello!

I am currently taking a theatre history course, and really wanted to write my final paper on Punch and Judy shows, their history, how the characters evolved, etc - but I'm having a lot of trouble finding books. Where did you find the information that you used to write Mr Punch, and could you suggest a few books for me? If not, I'm stuck with stock characters in Commedia Dell'Arte, which isn't all too bad, but has been done to death.

thanks so much!

-jessie





Well, a good starting place is http://www.punchandjudy.com/home.htm. There's a good list of books at http://www.spyrock.com/nadafarm/html/punch-booklist.html. There's even a PDF file of the Cruikshank book there. And this page from the same site, http://www.spyrock.com/nadafarm/html/punchpage.html has links to part of the Henry Mayhew interview with a Punch Man from Mayhew's wonderful "London Labour and the London Poor" (one of my favourite books in the whole world. Like a non-fiction Dickens novel that goes on forever in all direrctions.)


Hi, Neil -

Not a FAQ at all, but rather a thank you for posting Jonathan Carroll's tour schedule on your journal. He is coming to my store November 11th, and I appreciate the extra publicity! Mr. Carroll is a terrific writer and anyone who reads your work is sure to appreciate that. So your readers, where ever they live, should try to go see him!

Thanks again,
Rachel Ray
Events Coordinator, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
161 Lexington Green Circle
Lexington, KY 40503


You're welcome. And I agree.




Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Neil, I was the one who asked the McKean film question (kinda reposted below) and I was wondering if the answer was going to magically reappear on the journal at some point or if I should pester you on a n infrequent basis until you sullenly retype your earlier reply (all the while moaning about how it's lost it's magic now that it's not a spontaneous response).

Here's the original to remind you :

(and thanks)

I just wanted to say I loved the Indian short story he did.

And to ask what he thought of the Dave McKean film that was made last year
that I just saw at the Raindance Film Festival. And if he knows of any way
of getting in touch with Mr McKean to persuade him to produce a video of the
film so that I can go to sleep with it at night (or at least show it to my
friends).


Mea culpa. Dave said that a DVD containing THE WEEK BEFORE, NEON and some of his other short films should come out next year sometime, when he gets just a little spare time to do it in.

do you have any clue as to future publishing plans for Mr. Moore's VOICE OF THE FIRE, as I cannot find a single copy of it, anywhere (not even Powell's)? I would like a copy. Oh. Yes.

It was stealth-published by Gollancz some years ago in the UK. It'l be published next year in the US by TOP SHELF. I've said I'll write the introduction.

Jonathan Carroll is on a signing tour for WHITE APPLES. I just got sent the tour schedule. Go and see him and hear him read and get your books signed and say hello.

Tuesday, November 5, 2002-Portland, OR
Powell's Books
7:30 PM 1005 W. Burnside
Reading/signing Portland, OR 07209

Wednesday, November 6, 2002-San Francisco, CA
Dark Carnival
5:00-7:00 PM 3086 Claremont Ave.
Reading/signing Berkeley, CA 94706

Thursday, November 7, 2002-Los Angeles, CA
Dark Delicacies
1:00 PM 4213 W. Burbank Blvd.
Reading/signing Burbank, CA

Vroman's Bookstore
7:00 PM 695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Reading/signing Pasadena, CA 91101

Friday, November 8, 2002-San Diego, CA
Mysterious Galaxy
7:00 PM 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 302
Reading/signing San Diego, CA 92111

Saturday, November 9, 2002-Austin, TX
Bookpeople
3:00 PM 603 N. Lamar (at 6th st.)
Reading/signing Austin, TX 78703

Sunday, November 10, 2002-Altanta, GA
Chapter 11
2:00 PM Emory Commons
Reading/signing 2091 North Decatur Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30033

Monday, November 11, 2002-Lexington, KY
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
7:00 PM 161 Lexington Green Circle
Reading/signing Lexington, KY 40503

Tuesday, November 12, 2002-Chicago, IL
Barbara's Bookstore
7:30 PM 1100 Lake St.
Reading/signing Oak Park, IL 60301

Wednesday, November 13, 2002-Ann Arbor, MI
Borders
7:00 PM 612 E. Liberty
Reading/signing Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Thursday, November 14, 2002-Raleigh, NC
Quail Ridge Books
7:30 PM 3522 Wade Avenue
Reading/signing Raleigh, NC 27607

Friday, November 15, 2002-Washington, DC
Library Of Congress
"What If" SF and Fantasy Discussion Series
101 Independence Ave., SE
Reading/Q&A Washington, DC 20540

Friday, November 15, 2002-Washington, DC-Baileys
Crossroads, VA
Borders Books & Music
7:30 PM 5871 Crossroads Center Way
Reading/signing Baileys Crossroads, VA 22041

Saturday, November 16, 2002-Wilmington, DE
Between Books
1:00 PM 2703 Philadelphia Pike
Reading/signing Claymont, DE 19703

Monday, November 18, 2002-Boston, MA
The Coop at Harvard Square (B&N/Campus Bookstore)
7:00 PM 1400 Massachusetts Ave.
Reading/signing Cambridge, MA 02138

Tuesday, November 19, 2002-New York, NY
Barnes & Noble
7:30 PM 4 Astor Place
Reading/signing New York, NY 10003

Wednesday, November 20, 2002-New York, NY
KGB Bar
7:00 PM 85 East 4th Street
Reading New York, NY 10003

Remember, remember
The Fifth of November
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

(Anon).

Sunday, November 03, 2002

This morning I got to attend a Punch and Judy show at World Fantasy -- a packed hall, and a terrific show. Afterward, Dave Mckean and I got to sign a copy of Mr Punch for Mr Punch himself. Photos were taken.

World Fantasy Convention 2002 is just wrapping up. The awards ceremony was lovely -- my friends Steve Jones and Jo Fletcher were up against each other and they tied and got an award each, which was a happy and good thing. 20 years ago, at my first convention, Steve and Jo were the con reception desk when I arrived, and have been good friends ever since. Meanwhile, I didn't win another World Fantasy Award for "American Gods" -- the judges gave it to Ursula K LeGuin's "The Other Wind", which is a book I loved (and gave a blurb to, saying how much I loved it) which was a weight off my mind. It's more fun to be a runner-up sometimes: Jonathan Carroll and Charles De Lint and I are now part of a botherhood. Brotherhood, I mean. I didn't have to make up a speech. And then Kelly Link and I decided that our careers are now over - that we are now, collectively, as spat out and wadded up chewing gum crushed beneath the soles of the mighty shoes of , respectively, Ursula K. LeGuin and Nalo Hopkinson. Sometimes it's more fun to lose. Locus Online: News Log, October

...

And I just realised nothing's posted for the last few days, and blogger doesn't seem inclined to accept my password...

I can't imagine this is a frequently ask question, but if everyone thought that then decided not to ask, no question would be frequently ask, right? So, I'm asking. Is there a distribution company/warehouse that can sell your stuff (I'm thinking particularly Two Plays for Voices, but anything and everything would be nice) to my local comic book shop at "retailer (discounted) prices" (i.e. allowing them their mark up when they sell to me) or am I just supposed to buy your stuff from Dreamhaven and other traditional book retailers? I'd love to point my shop to some sources of your non-comic stuff so they can get stuff in and I can support them. Seems if it doesn't show up in Diamond, they don't (can't?) order it.

Thanks, Neil.

JP



Good question. I know that Diamond sells all the Harper Collins books, including Coraline and American Gods into comics shops. I don't know if they sell the audio books -- DreamHaven used to try to get Diamond to sell the double CD "Warning:Contains Language" and Diamond never quite seemed able to make it happen. But I'll post this and hope that someone will enlighten me as to what Diamond sells and the correct codes for your retailer.

Dreamhaven lists a new anthology, Keep Out The Night, which has a story by you, 'Feeders and eaters.' Is it reprinting your story from the Revolver Horror Special, or is this a new text story?

Sort of both. The premise of Keep Out the Night is old, forgotten, but perhaps beloved stories, or rather, ones the author wishes weren't forgotten. I took a comics story I wrote some years ago that I was never quite satisfied with, and wrote it as a collaboration with myself 12 years ago, as prose. I have no idea if it's any good, or anything more than a curiosity. If I like it by the time I do the next short fiction collection, I'll put it in there. Otherwise it will never be seen again...

I was going to write a quick late at night journal entry, about a long day at the World Fantasy Con (3 panels -- Punch and Judy (fun), Role Models in Children's Fiction (interesting) and Gods and Monsters (weird but interesting) and lots of food and friends) but then I got in and turned on the computer and learned that Charles Sheffield's died. We met 18 months ago at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the arts and liked each other much and talked poetry and english history and literature together and haven't seen each other since, and now we won't.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Am at World Fantasy Con in Minneapolis. Would write all sorts of funny and interesting anecdotes about it if I wasn't falling asleep, so will go to bed instead.

Was given an amazing early birthday present....

Friday, November 01, 2002

Umm... What's the difference between CBLDF.org and CBLDF.com? Is one of them a fake?

Nope, they're both real sites -- the .com is the commercial safe shopping area, the .org is the general information place.
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