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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Chicken Soup and Ice Cream

It's been a long time since blogger ate a lengthy post, like it just did. Now I can put in lots of fail-safe measures to make sure it doesn't happen again, until, months from now, I get lulled once more into a false sense of security.

In the meantime I'll try and remember what I put in the vanished post.

First of all, life is slightly at sixes and sevens: Maddy's gone down with the kind of childhood illness that means that you get to eat mostly chicken soup and ice-cream, and you also get to sleep through much of the day and then wake up at 1:00am and stay awake with your long-suffering father for most of the night, much of it spent listening to Radio 7 (Stephen Fry reading Jennings, "Just a Minute" and the radio version of "Dad's Army" being particularly popular). We were meant to be flying to Europe today, for me to research a couple of novel things in the UK and then on to Italy to see Holly, but that's not going to happen. I'm hoping to head to Italy anyway on Sunday, but it'll depend on Maddy.

Hello. Just wondering, I saw last year's Mirrormask panel at San Diego, but missed this year's. Is there an official website yet or a site at which one can view a trailer or some of the footage that was shown?

There's Mirrormask.com, but there's not much there yet -- so far just a few stills and a synopsis, but you can register, and they'll let you know when there are updates. (Or, if you don't want to give an e-mail address to Sony, you can keep checking with this journal.) And there are definitely plans to put some cool bits up on the web. (I'd love it if we could put up the "Not a Trailer" Dave made for San Diego. Or even the "Close to You" sequence, on the basis that I think they are much more likely to make people want to see the rest of it...)

Neil, How about your take on the Alan Moore/IPC/DC deal? And, explain to us poor Yankees what all the hubub is?

Okay. Well, basically, most of the best-beloved comics characters from my youth in England have, by a series of strange corporate buy-outs, become the property of Time-Warner. Alan Moore, along with Dave Gibbons and Leah Moore and John Reppion and Shane Oakley, will be bringing them back, through Wildstorm.

There's a Newsarama article on it here: http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16046

What it means -- apart from me calling Alan to volunteer to write a Grimly Feendish short story -- is that Alan and his (extremely talented) collaborators get to revive a host of characters who probably only matter if you were reading comics in the UK between about 1950 and 1975. But if you were, the news that The Spider is coming back, or Bad Penny, or Charlie Peace, or the Steel Claw, or the Legend Testers, is really, really good news indeed. Well, it is if Alan's involved.

It's not everyone I have fond or puzzled memories of: Billy the Cat and Katie are D.C. Thompson characters. But listening to Alan list the characters they do have made me grin like a twit. Here are a few of the IPC characters...

Hi Neil!
I expect I'm way behind the curve on this one, but have you heard about the Library of Unwritten Books?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3937039.stm
http://www.unwritten.org.uk/
It seems like something you would like to know about, although credit for the idea is given to Richard Brautigan. No mention of Lucien, either. Tsk.Thank you so much for your site! (sorry, I'm writing this at a ridiculously late hour and can't form coherent thanks. Or thoughts.)

How unutterably cool. But I certainly wasn't the first person (or even the tenth) to come up with the idea of a Library of Books that were Never Written. I think the first person was probably James Branch Cabell -- his character John Charteris had a library of Intended Editions, the books the authors wished to have written.

...

Let's see, what else was in the lost post? I linked to Michael Chabon's excellent speech at the Eisners.

I grumbled -- practically fulminated -- about the barely-literate Katie Tarbox ("I realize that the dangers that lye on the Internet will continue to exist unless we as a collective make the effort to prevent those dangers") and her attempts to obtain, with threats, the katie.com site from its rightful owner.

I mentioned that since I put up the Shatner "Common People" link, people had been sidling up to me and confessing, in the tones of voice they would usually reserved for admitting that they seem to have acquired an unfortunate burning sensation when they pee, that they, er, really rather liked it, so I linked to the press release for the upcoming "Has Been" CD, for those people. You know who you are.

...

I also talked about the cool things that had arrived in the post today. Said things included,

1) Rats. Well, rat figurines anyway. Five rats in all, a demon rat, a wizard rat, an angel rat, a vampire rat, and... a Neil rat -- well, he's wearing dark glasses and a leather jacket, and is sitting on a copy of the Arabian Nights, and he looks sort of scruffy, so I'm pretty sure that he's me. They were a gift from Lisa Snellings, who tells me that she's doing the me-rat as a CBLDF benefit, in a limited edition of 500. I looked around her site for details on the rats (like pictures and, well, how much they cost) and couldn't see anything. I'll put stuff up here when I find out.

2) The Corinthian bust. He looks a lot like the photo DC put out of the prototype, except his hair is now the right colour (very blond). He looks deeply disturbing and sits between Lucifer and Merv Pumpkinhead on my desk.

3) Seven pages of Michael Zulli's gorgeous adaptation of my short story "The Facts in the Case of the Disappearance of Miss Finch".

4) A six page Teddy Kristianson Deadman story that I'd forgotten that I wrote for him. It's for a "Solo" book -- all drawn by Teddy, to be published by DC, and written by a bunch of different writers. He asked me if I'd write a Deadman story to finish the thing off with, so I did, and then more or less forgot about it until he e-mailed all 6 pages to me today. It's gorgeous.

5) Stuff from Chip Kidd. We met at the Eisners, after getting our photos taken, and I got to do that thing where you try to introduce yourself while staring at your shoes and mumbling that you're an enormous fan... and then you realise that the other person is doing it too. And he sent me Chip Kidd goodies, including his novel The Cheese Monkeys, about which I keep hearing excellent things. (Onion interview with Chip here.)

(I tried to find a picture of the Eisner winners together, but only found these on the Beat.)

There. Now to copy this whole post, then try publishing it...
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