Thursday, January 06, 2005

Late night blog...

First of all, Happy Birthday to Mr Sherlock Holmes.

When will the extended trailer for MirrorMask be available? Thanks.

I don't know. I know Dave was going to put it together as soon as he had a second. I know that he's been madly finishing the Harper Collins MirrorMask book (which has all of Dave's storyboards -- about 1700 drawings -- along with the script and deleted scenes and all of that stuff, and which I stumbled on a press release for here at yesterday, and which I didn't know existed -- -- leading me to wonder what else is on the site that I haven't seen, or have forgotten about...)


Lots and lots of tributes to Will have been pouring in here (Mark Evanier points to places you can send them).

This one made me smile, and I thought I'd share it.

I visited Will Eisner just 2 months ago.

I have been reading and collecting every book and comic of Will's for almost 30 years. About a year ago, an article in the NY Times about Will Eisner's work-in-progress mentioned his studio in Tamarac, Florida, which is minutes from where my dad lives. That bit of info had been eating at me since then. This past November, I had to fly down for a couple of days when my dad had a heart attack. (He's recovering.) One of those mornings I had nothing to do, and insanity got the better of me. I drove to the address of Will's studio in Florida, which turned out to be in one of Florda's numerous medical office buildings. I spent several minutes in my car working up the nerve to even go in. I didn't want to be a pest and was quite willing to have wasted the drive. A secretary greeted me in the reception area, and I explained simply that I was a long-time fan and enough of a nudge to have driven there in hope of just meeting Will for a moment. She disappeared into the back and returned to tell me that Will would see me.

The rest was great. We talked of comics, new and old. His desk was surrounded with awards and art. He had mailed out the final form of his last book about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to the publisher just a couple of days before and let me flip through a copy of the final. He'd used a lot of watercolor wash in black and white. He mentioned that many comics are unreadable to normal people. He'd had students so hung up on the art that they fail to recognize its function which was "to serve the story". The story. That was what he cared about. The art was just the way to tell it. I mentioned having read the book "Blankets" and he said that he was just about to recommend it.

Anyway, after around 20 minutes, he said he had deadlines and he pulled out a copy of Spirit Archives Volume 12 to give me, so that I "would not have to go away empty handed," which meant it was time for me to go away. I thanked him for his time and sent him a letter a week later.

Even without that book, I didn't go away empty handed. It was an amazing thing, that he was willing to give me that time, and that I got to speak with him.

I have forced copies of "A Contract With God" and Will's other books on friends and family for years, even placing copies in the library of my synagogue. It was his work that drew me back as an adult to comics, and my reading of his comics that helped me better understand the visual arts. I will miss him.

We all will.

It's my birthday today, so I thought perhaps you would answer something things that've been bugging me: When you were at school did you get hassled for having the surname Gaiman, were you an underdog at high school, socially?


I wasn't hassled about the name (it would, I suspect, have been different if I'd been born five years later). As for being an underdog, I don't think so. For a start, I wasn't at an American high school, where things seem (as far as I can tell from what my kids tell me) much more stratified.

On the whole, the things I liked (Comics, music, SF, acting, the art department, the school library) got me through the stuff I didn't (pretty much everything else).


Heya Neil!

A few months ago I bought the delicious 'Endless Nights' Calendar, which I've been taking much enjoyment in. However, it has come to my attention (rather belatedly, as usual) that it is the new year, and I have to make a decision. So I figured I'd go to the source.

It's essentially a choice made in two parts:

1st. Should I hang my beautiful calendar up on a wall to be admired, or keep it in it's shiny shiny wrapping?


2nd. In the event that I do allow it to fufill its designated purpose, should I dare mar it's surface with reminders of important dates, etc., or should I keep that to a diary/memory and hope for the best? (Or if worst comes to worst, buy an inferior calendar and hang it along side, though that seems a bit silly.)

Hope you can help out!


I tend to believe in using things. I like to read books and comics rather than put them in plastic bags, and to hang lovely collectable calendars I'm given on walls and scribble dentists' appointments on them, rather than put them in dark places to increase in value or just to wait for 1987 to come around again.

(The last time I said something like that, someone sent me a link to a site which listed which years calendars could be reused when.)

Anyway, that's just me. Your mileage probably will vary...