Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Two Lizzes a Jon and a Sandy.

Hi Neil,

I got myself a new boyfriend almost a year ago. He's a great guy and has introduced me to whole new worlds such as computer games, Japanese animation, bipolar depression and your work. Previously I spent most of my time in art galleries and socialising.

His birthday is coming up and I want to give him something special - Endless Nights & Death: The High Cost of Living. I'm quite proud of myself for finding out about Endless Nights and your website. Frustratingly the release date for Endless Nights has moved back to October (his birthday is in Sept) so he'll have to wait a little for that. My question is, is it possible to order/buy signed copies of either of these from you (or elsewhere)? I'm assuming you have no immediate plans to come to Australia for a bookstore signing.

Any advice greatly appreciated,


Well, firstly, don't worry about ENDLESS NIGHTS coming out in October. There are mighty engines rumbling to make sure that the book is published in time for New York is Book Country. The official publication date is September 17th, I believe. Whether that means bookshops will have their copies that week, or just comic shops, I don't know. But it won't be late. (They started printing them a couple of weeks ago. I think the books are being bound currently.)

As for how to get signed copies of things...

The easiest way is DreamHaven. It's my local bookshop in Minneapolis -- a huge purple building, filled with all manner of books and comics and magazines, with toys and statues and CDs and stuff. It is a dangerous place to go with a full wallet, and a dangerous place to take a friend (I took Michael Chabon there. His eyes lit up when he saw their display case filled with pulps, and he started to buy...). It's where I get my books and comics.

They run the, which was a site-name I owned, and was happy to give them, so I'd have somewhere to point people who asked "Where do I get a copy of..."

(And yes, I've noticed that the .net site is now the commercial site, while the .com is the uncommercial one, but what can you do?)

Anyway, when I do stop in at DreamHaven, an evil grin spreads over the face of Elizabeth-behind-the-cash-register, and I am rapidly ushered into a back room (DreamHaven has more back rooms than any other bookshop I know) and pointed to a table on which there's a pile of books (many of them with post-it notes on saying things like "For Bernard, it's a birthday present"), some pens, and a chair. Then I sign stuff for a while, and eventually escape by climbing a wall disguised as a washerwoman, or by digging a tunnel.

(If people send them a book or two, and ask them to have me sign it, and enclose postage and a self-addressed envelope and such, then they are also happy to add that to the pile of stuff I'm meant to sign.)

(But there's no guarantee when I'll next be there. If I'm out of town, or hiding and writing, it can be months.)

The other alternative is, if you see that I'm doing a signing somewhere, write to them or phone them, and reserve a signed copy. Almost every bookshop that's doing a signing assumes that this will happen, and they make the authors sign books before the signing starts, or after it's done, or both.

(It's a good bet that Borders on Wall Street still has signed copies of WOLVES IN THE WALLS, for example. And if they don't, Books of Wonder does.)

In this case, I'll be doing a signing at New York is Book Country in a month. I'll post the details as soon as I have them -- but I'm pretty sure I'll be doing it with whatever bookseller is sponsoring the festival, rather than at the DC Comics Booth, as DC doesn't sell their books directly. And if you need a signed Endless Nights, you could possibly order it from them.

(DreamHaven's probably a safer bet, as they're less likely to be nervous of posting things to Australia. Another alternative might be for you to e-mail Justin Ackroyd at Slow Glass Books, in Melbourne. Justin closed his doors and moved his bookstore onto the web, at and he and the Dreamhaven people have been known to indulge in peculiar forms of barter; I can say no more about it, but Justin sometimes has signed-by-me-things for sale, while the people at DreamHaven probably have thylacine skulls, opals-as-big-as-your-fist, and the occasional bottle of 1972 Penfolds Grange Hermitage.)


and a couple on previous topics --

Hello Neil,
And even another 1602 message for anyone still needing a copy of #1. There are presently over 100 listings on Ebay for single copies to multiples of 10,25 and 100 copy lots.
There are a lot of copies out there and should not be more then cover price.
It is rather odd that retailers are sold out beyond the demand. Two Comic shops in my area, which has a large comic buying population only ordered 50-70 copies. This is a book I would have ordered 150-200 copies (depending on the store and location. when I was working in a comic shop and doing the ordereing.
Anyone who has ever worked a comic shop should know it is just math. Add the monthly totals sold of an issue of Sandman with the monthly totals sold on say Wolverine Origins which was also by Kubert and Isanove, add a little adversment and a dash of word of mouth and you have a sell through total that meets the demand. Quite simple really.

Jon A.
Sonoma County CA


Regarding the flavor of Blue Moon ice cream -- as a pastry chef who has made dozens and dozens of flavors of ice cream down through the years, I'm pretty sure this flavor is derived from orange, lemon and possibly lime or tangerine zest or oil, probably with a bit of Cointreau thrown in for good measure (often commercial ice cream makers will use Cointreau or triple sec flavors, not the real thing). I'm going to experiment with this myself, but I'm pretty sure it's just a combination of citrus peel flavors, something we in the dessert business refer to as the "Trix" or "Froot Loops" effect. Sandy


Ok, I'm almost positive this isn't in the FAQ somewhere:

What are the chances of The Children's Crusade ever being reprinted and bound in a book form? It's probably a copyright nightmare but, really, it would be worth it. It's very difficult to find all of it. Pretty please?

(Though between that and The Sweet Hereafter, "The Pied Piper" is forever a dark and terrifying story in my mind. Almost wrecked the new Pratchett version for me, though not quite.)


it's not a copyright nightmare -- all the books were DC/Vertigo, and not creator owned -- but I'm not sure that anyone's ever been very keen on making it happen. There was a Spanish or Italian version that collected the "bookends", and I think I've seen a version that collected the bookends and the Books of Magic story, but the crossovers were annuals (which were 48 page stories, if I remember correctly) and there were several of them, and some of them were more successful than others.

It's not impossible that some of the material might be collected, but you're probably better off trying to collect it all, rather than waiting.