(This is Neil, guest blogging in my blog.)
Yesterday is already turning into a bit of a blur. CBLDF board of directors meeting early in the morning. Then a meeting about the Neverwhere film. Saw old friends Mark Buckingham and Jill Thompson briefly then down to the big hall for "Spotlight on Neil Gaiman". I felt like a kid who had not done his homework, and had brought nothing to the show and tell, so I just burbled and answered questions for the 75 minutes and nobody seemed to mind. A signing (at which I finally met Wil Wheaton, and saw my Interworld co-author Michael Reaves -- who sat next to me, and took enormous pleasure in saying ominously, "Remember Caesar that thou art mortal" while I signed and signed). Up to room, grabbed late lunch, er, something I've forgotten, then back on my head for the CBLDF signing, and then it was getting a bit blurry so I napped for 40 minutes before the Eisners, and showed up later than everyone else, but was happy to be led to a table already containing Ann Eisner and her nephew, Jackie Estrada and Batton Lash, Dennis and Alexa Kitchen, and my future co-presenter Jonathan Ross at the table.
The Eisners were just starting as I got there -- Bill Morrison hosting, assisted by Jane Wiedlin -- and you can find them summarised much better by other people. I was there as I was presenting an award, and had forgotten that Volume 1 of Absolute Sandman was nominated for the best reprint collection. It won, and editor Scott Nybakken, Vertigo ubereditor Karen Berger, and reprint colour hero Danny Vozzo and I went up to collect it. I babbled about the weight of the thing and forgot to a) thank lots of people by name and b) mention that Volume 2 is going to be better.
I got blindsided when they gave me the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award ("I don't deserve this," I said. "Jack Benny was given a similar award and said 'I don't deserve this, - then again, I have arthritis, and I don't deserve that either'. But I don't deserve this." And then I said that the world of comics was a family, and you look after your family. ) This is who Bob Clampett was, if you don't know.
The presenters who were really good -- people like Brian Posehn (from Mr Show and the Sarah Silverman show, who turned out, when we chatted afterwards, to have been at my CBLDF benefit reading at the Stinking Rose in 2000) and Ellen Forney and Alison Bechdel (who announced that, to celebrate the record number of women nominated for the Eisners, they would now re-enact the historic Britney Spears-Madonna MTV awards kiss for us all, and then did).
Jonathan and I were the last of the presenters, and we hadn't worked anything out to do because I turned up so late. ("You'll be funny," I said, having found myself on stage with Jonathan a few times before. "I'll be the straight man." )
It was almost midnight. Everyone was tired. The energy was ebbing from the room...
Jonathan explained that he was famous in England, and that he loved comics... He loved comics so much he had named his son after Kurtzman and Kirby. He loved comics even more than he loved masturbation. And he loved masturbation.... And he was off.
Now Jonathan Ross is funny. He has hosted more awards shows than probably any human being alive. And he was in his element.
Every now and again, I'd manage to stop laughing, and get us back onto announcing and presenting awards. (I was thrilled to present one to Alison Bechdel for Fun Home, one to Gene Luen Yang for American Born Chinese.)
Finally the mad gleam in Jonathan's eye focussed on me, and he announced that we would now celebrate the Eisners and comics... by re-enacting Madonna and Britney Spears' famous kiss at the MTV music awards...
So yesterday night, on that stage, in front of thousands of comics fans and professionals, I got an Eisner, the Bob Clampett Humanitarian award and was snogged by Jonathan Ross.
Maddy thought it was funny. She said I turned lots of interesting colours.
From the Convention:
On Saturday you can meet Neil Gaiman & Brian Froud while doing a good turn for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund! Award-winning illustratorBrian Froud has has turned a poem by critically-acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman into a beautiful poster making its debut here at CCI. 100 ofthese will be autographed by both creators.The drawing for tickets will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday up in theAutograph Area. Winners MUST then go to Booth 4818 (Imaginosis,located in the Fantasy Illustrators section) to make their $20 donation to the CBLDF and pick up the poster. Neil and Brian will autograph the posters for the winners from 3 p.m.- 4 p.m. in line AA1 up in the Autograph Area. Bring the poster AND the winning ticket.
Today I'll be appearing briefly on the Rogue/Focus panel at 12:15 in Hall H (Hall Hell, as the Con people seem to be calling it).
And at 7.00pm I'll be at the Horton Plaza cinema for a special event. Is it possible that Henry Selick and I will be secretly presenting Coraline-related stop motion footage there? Er, it is possible. The Rogue/Focus event will reveal all.
Right. Now I shall get out of bed, and sip things to turn my gravelly croaky voice into something that sounds more like me.