Saturday, July 24, 2004

From San Diego. Still Alive.

Let's see...

Well, on Thursday night we showed the Sony Execs what there is of Mirrormask. 200 shots still haven't been fully rendered by the render farm so you'd move from real shot to blue screen shot back to real shot, but there wasn't anywhere where there wasn't enough of it finished and rendered at cut in to see exactly what was going on, and a number of sequences were completely finished.

"That was like Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast... on acid... for kids..." said one slightly stunned exec at the end of it. My heart was warmed by the DVD extra-material ladies in the row in front of me, who didn't know what to expect, laughing at all the funny stuff.

Yesterday I went to San Diego on the train. Waiting in line, I realised that pretty much everyone else getting on the train was also going to the convention.

"Boy, last year I tried everything I could to get your autograph," said the gentleman behind me, to me. "I never got it though. I never made it into one of the signing lines. I even tried getting round the back, the no admittance area, to get you to sign something, but they stopped me."

"Oh," I said, apologetically. "Er, well, would you like it now?"

"Nah," he said. "It wasn't for me anyway."

The train journey to San Diego was spent on the cellphone, listening to the CBLDF directors' meeting, with the mute button off (as otherwise the train noise cut out the line for me and for anyone else calling in). The meeting started as I got onto the train, and ended as I stepped off the train into the San Diego sunlight.

The afternoon was a blur of interviews, a signing at the Dark Horse panel (I never got to see the prototypes of the Mirromask toys they're doing) and then the Mirrormask panel -- Dave had made a "this is not really a trailer" selection of footage, which we showed, and at the end we showed the whole of the "Close to You" sequence with singing musical box dolls transforming Helena into a glass-eyed princess of darkness, which was pretty awesome though I say it myself.

(Right now, the release plans for Mirrormask are that it'll go on theatrical release in January 2005.)

Then more interviews and then the Eisner Awards, which I went to because I was to present the Defender of Liberty Award. Rather to my surprise and delight I also walked away with two Eisner Awards -- best Anthology (for Sandman: Endless Nights) and Best Short Story ("Death and Venice",  drawn by the amazing P. Craig Russell, in Sandman: Endless Nights). It remains as much of an honour to go up, shake Will Eisner's hand and receive the award that bears his name as it was in 1991, the first time it happened to me. And now the awards are gorgeous heavy objects, and not just plaques it's even cooler...

And then, at the end of the evening, I presented the Defender of Liberty award. I talked about how the person getting it was a powerhouse for the fund, and about how he was, while someone who was one of the busiest people in comics, someone who still made the time to do stuff to help the fund.

And then Jim Lee came up, and received a standing ovation, and made a speech. You can read all about it at Newsarama:

Saw many old friends -- John Totleben, Eddie Campbell, Heidi MacDonald, Colleen Doran, Jeff Smith, Michael Chabon (who gave a killer Keynote Speech, calling for comics for kids), Will and Anne Eisner, Dave Gibbons (who I've been a fan of, personally and professionally for almost twenty years, and who proved himself a real gentleman) and on, and on, and on...

Then, eventually, stumbled back to the hotel with Charles Brownstein from the CBLDF and give him the "Dangerous Alphabet" Xmas cards, and a signed 1996 San Diego "STARDUST" print by Charles Vess for the auction tonight, and I signed a bunch of Auction stuff that he had brought (including an essay I wrote in 1987 and thought lost, with Rick Veitch still had a copy of, called 'Notes Toward a Vegetable Theology' which contained apart from anything else the plans for what I planned to do in my run-on-Swamp-Thing-which-never-happened).

I met Dirk Deppey and told just how much I missed the Journalista! blog -- he seems to be enjoying editing the Comics Journal though. And I doubt you can really do both...

New Line has announced that the Death film will be happening there -- Warners have been very gracious, and have let it go to another branch of the Time Warner tree (no, the announced title won't be the actual title: it was placeholder title someone put on the script, which stuck).

As I confirmed here a little while ago, NEVERWHERE is coming to DC comics. Want to see who's doing it? Or what it looks like? Details at:

And now I fly home. My plans mostly include Sleeping a Lot.

Next post I'll try and remember to talk about Fiddler's Green (all sorts of cool stuff coming up. Buy your membership now and make the committee happy) and some of the books I've read on planes over the last few days, including a new Diana Wynne Jones Chrestomanci novel, Conrad's Fate, and  the new Gene Wolfe novel, The Wizard, which makes the first part, The Knight, look like an overture.

And Cerebus. I want to talk about Cerebus.