Friday, September 24, 2004

Product placement

Let's see... there's a decent and interesting article on comics/graphic novels at The Age:

There's a quote from Stephen Fry in the Onion that made me nod my head in vigorous agreement:

O: You've written and performed in a wide variety of media. Did you ever decide you wanted an eclectic career, or has it just turned out that way?
SF: It's just worked out that way, really. But I'm pleased that it has. If I'd had a chance to make a conscious decision, I hope I would have made that decision. There's always the danger—there's a very dismissive British phrase, "Jack of all trades and master of none." But who wants to be the master of one trade, rather than having fun doing lots of things?

Excellent interview.

Anne Rice's tirade has vanished from Amazon, along with most of the responses to it. Probably a good thing. But at least it's left one hilarious webcomic in its wake. (My respect for Ms Rice fell somewhat when I heard that the people who had sent back their books to her for a refund were getting them back from the post office marked "Return to Sender". If you're going to make an offer like that, you have to stand by it.)

Here's a strange question of a guy like you, but here goes. I did a search of your journal, and it looks like you have a Aga stove. Do you like it? Have you ever cooked on anything else? I understand cooking on one is fundamentally different from cooking on a "regular" stove. My husband and I are planning to redo our kitchen, and I think I'd like to have one (they look so cool), but they are not cheap, and I don't know anyone who has ever even cooked on one. We don't even have an appliance store where we live that would let me try it out before I made a commitment. So, would you recommend one?-Nikki

I don't have an Aga but my friend Tori has one in her house in Ireland which I was borrowing for a month last year. I loved cooking with the Aga, but I found I needed a different approach to cooking: the idea that the oven was always on, and things would cook at different speeds and in different ways depending on which place you put them, and that you had a very hot stove-top to cook things on, and a less hot one, and that they would always be at that temperature, again was a different way of thinking.

If you're somewhere sort of chilly, where having a large object in your kitchen radiating heat is going to make your kitchen a warmer, more comfortable place, then an Aga is probably a very good thing. There wasn't anything that I couldn't cook with it -- if anything the fact that it was always on, so if it suddenly occurred to me that given all the rosemary in the garden, a leg of lamb on a bed of rosemary would be a good thing to cook, then I'd be quite likely to stop writing and go and prepare it. I certainly didn't encounter anything I couldn't cook using it.

If, on the other hand, you live somewhere that air-conditioning is vital for comfort and survival, an Aga is probably just asking for trouble. And you need to be within the working radius of someone who repairs or fixes Agas, because things can go wrong.

Hi! I was just wondering if there's ever going to be a sort of omnibus (umm... is that the right word? collection thingy?) volume of the Sandman comics? I mean a collection that has all of them. The reason why I'm asking is that it's really tough trying to get the comics here in Finland :D I know I could just order them one by one from the net but that simply is too expensive :( Not exactly the best question to ask from the author, is it?

Well, the 76 comics have been collected together into ten books already. (See this article

I recently saw, and fell in love with, the one-volume Bone, and asked the people at DC whether it would be possible to do a one-volume Sandman, even if we just did it in a limited edition. They pointed out that the one-volume Bone is about as thick as a book can be at that kind of price -- a one-volume Sandman, at almost twice the length, would be over 2000 pages long, would need to be printed on paper good enough to take the colour, and thus would be unfeasibly big and heavy and expensive (probably a bit cheaper than the $200 it would cost you to buy the ten Sandman volumes, but it's probably easier to sell people who don't know if they'll like this thing a $20 copy of Preludes and Nocturnes than it would be to sell them a $150, 2,000 page doorstop of a book) (and I think you'd still find it too expensive).

Neil, You may have got several questions like this already, but tuff!!! Do you ever have a browse though your message-board? I've been a poster for over a year now, and find it very interesting that this whole little community has sprung up. Do you ever see what we're up to occasionally? And if so, do you actually ever post?Kind Regards StBarbarella

I kept half an eye on it when it was starting up, but once the inestimable GrandMoffZoe was appointed moderator, a few years back, I stopped even keeping half an eye on it. And no, I don't post there: I can't reply to everything (or even a significant fraction of everything) that comes in at -- why make more work for myself?

Hi! I noticed that the film "Shaun of the Dead" opened in the US this week and got rather good reviews. It won't hit the Swedish shores until december, I suppose, but I'm sure a zombie film is perfect setting the mood for Christmas. But how come you already seen it on DVD? Is that one of the perks being a famous writer or to you have friends in high or strange places?Regards: Per

There are many perks to being a famous writer, although for the moment I can't think of any, and I do indeed have friends in high places and many more friends in extremely strange places. But in this case, I simply ordered my Shaun of the Dead DVD from, and it arrived when it came out in the UK on DVD. It's a region 2 DVD, which plays just fine on my multiregion DVD player (a JATON PSD-7611K in case anyone's wondering).

Hullo, Neil. I've received a Cerebus and a form-letter from the delightful Mr. Sim and I'd be happy to catalogue the entirety of the run of form letters for posterity. I'd happily accept submissions at which is my already being spammed to death mailbox that has plenty of space for the incoming files. All those with scanners can send me a commonly sized .jpg or equivalent image and I'll post them after the weekend. Once I see how it's going I'll notify you of the address to which they are being posted. All the best. Dana...

Thanks, Dana.