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Thursday, February 01, 2007

"...when you live in a godless universe of pain. If the universe was ordered, Neil Armstrong should be the first Neil on Google."

The quote is from Penn's radio show. You can also get it free from iTunes (here's the URL).

Over at Time Magazine they have a round up of the top ten comics/graphic novels of the year. All good choices, although I was surprised by the appearance on the list of some fine reprints (Kings in Disguise, for example.). Still, it was nice for me to see Absolute Sandman on there, mostly because when I wrote it, in 1987-1989, it would have been unthinkable for Time Magazine, or any real-world magazine, to have devoted any space at all to graphic novels or comics on a Best of the Year list. http://www.time.com/time/topten/2006/comics/10.html

Locus's Recommended list for 2006 is up at http://www.locusmag.com/2007/2006RecommendedReading.html


NEIL: JUST READ YOUR NEW MAILING ADDRESS - BUT I SEND YOU SOMETHING AT DREAMHAVEN -WILL THAT GET TO YOUOR DID I IS JUST WASTED MONEY SPEND ON MAILING? ALSO, ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO BE SPENDING SO MUCH TIME IN HOLLYWOOD? LUV YA- CLARE

It'll get to me, don't worry. It just tends not to be a very fast thing.

And no, I'm not going to be spending so much time in Hollywood, that's just where Cat and her office is. The joy of the modern world is that things can move around it very easily, and we decided that it's far better if letters and suchlike go to someone who can look at them that day and figure out what's meant to happen next, rather than be put in a box with my name on it under the counter at DreamHaven and wait for the next time I decide I need a haircut and go down to Hair Police and stop in at DreamHaven to sign stuff for them on the way home.

...

Lots of artists and possibly someone who isn't an artist drew Spider-Man covers for a good cause. Details and you can pick out the blogging not-an-artist at:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=9528

...

In honor of National Gorilla Suit Day, I did an artist trading card and thought you might enjoy it, a bit.Here's the url: http://www.mcmatz.com/2007/01/ebay_auction_at_4.html I will now slowly back towards the exit and fade away...--Madeline

Oh Mark Evanier and Don Martin, what have you wrought?

Dear Mr Gaiman, I've just finished watching the recording of the Cody's Books readings and Q&A session. I'd never heard you read your work before. It's distressing to find out that not only are you a fantastic author but you are also an evocative oral story teller. Surely you're not allowed to be both? On to my question. (I searched and couldn't find anything specifically on this topic but my apologies if I missed it.) As a writer, do you get a similar feeling of closure/reward/enjoyment when you've created the final climax of a story that you hope your readers will experience when reading it or do you always have one eye on the technicalities of writing? Thank you.Regards, Clare Milner

You're too kind.

And the only answer I can give is neither. Because you're not experiencing it at the same speed. There's a relief at getting to the end, but it's also the relief of getting to the end of something you've been working on for, often, several years. Which doesn't mean you're not affected on an emotional level by scenes or by what happens to characters, or that you don't feel what's happening while you write it. But a reader will read something in a few hours that might have taken you a couple of years or more to write. And that big moment of closure may have been followed by another six months of writing.

Neil,In a post a little while ago you mentioned the reading list John Crowley compiled - which looks absolutely fascinating. You said a couple of the books on the list were your favourites in the world. So that would seem to me a good place to start! Which were they though? Sorry if the answer should be apparent from elsewhere on the site but I couldn't find it...Best wishes
Dominic Hartley

They are Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay, a book I adore; and The Songlines by the brilliant Bruce Chatwin (do not write to me and point out that Songlines is factually dodgy sometimes. It's still an amazing book and Chatwin wrote astoundingly well).

...

Do you realise this blog will be six years old on February the Ninth? I've had some ideas of things that we could put up that would be fun and special to celebrate the birthday, but they may not be ready in time...

...

g'day mr. gaiman. or night. or whatever it is, where you're at.i've been going through your blog for a couple of days now... (...) here are a couple of questions that i sincerely want to know the answers to.with all the fame and joy you've attained from writing, aren't you afraid to lose it all in an instant? i don't want to be morbid and all, but with all the hard work you've put in to your works, are you afraid to die?sorry... i wanted to ask j.r.r. tolkien the same thing but he isn't around... you see, i'm scared of dying and i'm poor... what is it like for you who has all the things you've achieved in life?

I remember being scared of dying when I was on the plane from London to New York in mid 1988 with the first half of Dave McKean's Black Orchid art travelling in the plane cabin with me -- these were the painted originals, and there were no copies as Dave, barely out of art school, couldn't have afforded to get them all shot at that point. I was writing Sandman issue two or three back then.

And I knew that if the plane went down Dave would never have redrawn the Black Orchid pages, and it would never come out, and that even if the first couple of Sandmans came out no-one would have known where it was going or what it was going to be. I crossed the Atlantic sweating, mentally keeping that plane in the air all the way.

Nineteen years later, I'm remarkably sanguine about life and death. I'm really lucky, in that I've achieved an awful lot of the things I wanted to do, and some people noticed. If I died soon (something, I should add here, that I have no intention of doing; I like life and all the things that come with it), I'd leave a body of varied and interesting work and three amazing kids behind, and that's more than I ever set out to do or hoped for.

Does that help?
...

I'd like to ask a small favour of those of you who have read down this far. Would anyone reading this, anyone with a blog or a website that is, mind linking to the last post -- http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2007/02/and-in-time-it-took-to-say-that-neil.html -- with the link text Penn Jillette? Given Penn's recent rant about the power and ubiquity of this blog on his radio show, I'd like to mess with his head just a little and see if we can actually google-bomb it so that that entry shows in the top few entries if you google Penn's name.

And sshhh, don't anyone tell him. I want it to be a surprise.

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