Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Your help requested...


this is one that people with blogs and livejournals and fansites, and news-sites and such may want to help get the word out on. Stick it up on message boards. (But only where people who might be interested congregate.)

There's an at-short-notice SANDMAN:ENDLESS NIGHTS signing happening. It'll be on Monday the 22nd of September 2003 -- two weeks from now -- in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the Barnes and Noble 2051 N. Federal Hwy Ft Lauderdale, FL -- -- the link is to the store locator, which doesn't yet show me signing there, as it's been put together, as I said, at pretty short notice. (I have to go to Florida and say hello to a throng -- or whatever the collective noun is -- of Barnes and Noble store managers.) The signing is going to start at 6.00pm.

I know it's not much notice, but I would hate to spend the next couple of years apologising to people in the Florida/Georgia/SouthEast area for not letting them know I was going to be there and signing.

So if anyone can help spread the word, I'd be very grateful. Right now, the Ft lauderdale and the two short New York is Book Country signings are the only Endless Nights signings in the US. I wanted to do a San Francisco or an LA one, but time is pretty tight towards the end of the year, and even though I want to do them, I doubt very much they'll happen at this point.

So it's B&N, Fort Lauderdale, Monday the 22nd of Sept at 6.00pm.


Howdy Neil,

I was going over your How To Become a Writer FAQ entry, and thought I'd check out the link in there. Imagine my surprise when it popped up a "domain for sale" page and more popups than a porn site. (Not that I'd know.)

Just thought you ought to know that that link no longer appears to be functional.

-joe in San Rafael, CA

You know, I knew that Inscriptions had died, but forgot it was linked to in the FAQs. My fault. I'll drop a line to Julia-thewebmistress and ask her to take down the link...

Eh? What about the world longest comic strip? Sounds interesting.

You know as much as I do.

Hello Mr. Gaiman,

There's a question in here, so please bear with my story. Anyway, my name's Jeff and, while buying my books for my first semester at the University of Michigan, I became quite...jealous. Here at UM, there are so many kids that they break up each course (i.e. English 124) into smaller groups, or sections (my section is 003). Anyway, while I was picking up my books, I saw that other English 124 sections were reading WATCHMEN, MAUS and THE ESSENTIAL HULK vol. 1. My section, however, was not, and like I said, I was jealous (although we are still blessed with other wonderful literature).

But, even though a little peeved, I walked to the cash register, and on my way there, I saw that one of the film classes here had all ten volumes of SANDMAN! I was gritting my teeth even more now, just because I've been reading comics since I was in the third grade and it would've been a fanboy's dream to study them in college.

My question is: do you know when colleges and/or any other high schools teach your works, or does the institution just go directly to the publisher for permission (or do they even have to ask at all?)? I was just curious about whether or not you're informed formally of these things or if it's handled by somebody else.

Thank you for your time.


P.S.: I'm eagerly awaiting 1602 #2! Just a couple more days...

Nope -- I only ever find out by accident. Someone once asked here on the blog how many higher education places taught Sandman or other works by me, and I asked for people to let me know, and the replies came in thick and fast. I think we learned about a little over 60, from all over the world.

The only one who ever made a point of telling me, was Professor Frank McConnell, who is still much missed, and who would get me to come down once a year and give a talk to UCSB in Santa Barbara, which I loved to do because spending time with Frank was so amazingly entertaining. He was perfectly at ease with high culture and low culture, and wrote mystery novels, and loved Byron and H.G. Wells, and moved in an atmosphere of tumbling cigarette ash and alcohol and the occasional choice, rich and perfectly placed obscenity. I'd get a phone call from Frank every year informing me that it was time for him to teach something else of mine, and did I have any goddamned suggestions?


And for those of you who have started sending in sad notes complaining that I haven't posted your question/comment/essay/poem... please remember that the maths are against you. We're getting about a hundred things a day coming in. I can't put everything up (and this journal would be pretty near unreadable if I did).

Assume that your comment or question won't get posted, and that if it does, it's cool and fortunate, not that if it doesn't I hate you.

I tend to pick questions over comments. I tend to pick things I've not already answered before. I'm more likely to put up something short than something long, partly because this is now propagating to over 2000 livejournal accounts through the OfficialGaiman Livejournal feed (and to another 700 or so through the Gaimanblog feed, which is more resilient but doesn't have the titles) and I feel sort of guilty if it goes on too long. I'll try and pick the first one, if lots of people write to tell me the same thing (or I may just say "lots of people wrote to say that...".

Small funny things are more likely to get in if they come through while I'm typing one of these than if there are dozens waiting for me. Sometimes things with cool-looking links will get clicked on. If I'm in a hurry, they won't be.

For heaven's sake, don't take it personally.

(And it's probably also worth reminding people about the message boards at They answer questions there as well...)

And take a look at the selected FAQs at and the FAQ blog over at, and don't be afraid to use the search function at

For example...

Dear Mr. Gaiman,

I've been fan of your work for some time now and I often visit this site. I was hoping you could help with a little matter. I am trying to make a career as a comic book writer. I read plenty of comic books, analyzing panels, pacing, etcetera. But I have not been able to find sample comic book scripts to get an idea of how comics are written. Could you guide me to where I could obtain some comic scripts (on-line preferably) or could you send me one of yours? A few sample pages would suffice.

Thanks for your time.

Which is kind of answered, between the FAQs and a blog entry like

But seeing it was something that used to puzzle me before I started writing comics, it's probably worth repeating. The entire script to the Sandman story "Calliope" is reprinted in the volume of stories in which Calliope appears, along with an essay by me about why it's reprinted and how to write comics. It's called Sandman: DREAM COUNTRY, and is the third Sandman book. Nat Gertler's edited a couple of collections of comics scripts by various authors, that are in print. George Khoury's recent Alan Moore book, The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore, contains an original, un-drawn Alan Moore script called "Belly of Cloud".


And for all those people who have been fascinated by the Salam Pax blogs, here's an article by him in the Guardian about how it all happened...