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Thursday, August 28, 2008

This year's Book Festival is going to be LEGEN-(wait for it, and I hope you're not lactose-intolerant because the second half of this word is)-DARY

Leila writes:
Dan posted that the signing in DC will take place at 1pm - I know that the LoC event itself is free, but do those of us who want something signed have to bring or have anything besides a book (or stack of them)?


To which Mr. G waxes:
This is so mysterious. What kind of thing could people have or bring apart from books? Perhaps owl feathers in their hatbands, or black orchids in their buttonholes?

Anyway. No, they should just come. And by special permission of Harper Collins there will be copies of The Graveyard Book available that day only.


And to which I will only add: You do realize that you all need to show up with owl feathers in your hatbands or black orchids in your buttonholes now, right?

UPDATE: In fact, thanks to the generosity of a fan, the first twenty-odd of you that she sees so attired will receive a free copy of the UK edition of ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS, not yet published in the US.

FURTHER UPDATE: As I tapped the above last night, I thought to myself, Wait, it's illegal to possess the parts of most migratory and predatory birds, unless you are a member of a recognized Native American tribe using them for religious ritual, isn't it? I should confirm that before Birdchick has to school me...

And then I promptly forgot about it until this morning, at which point I did look it up and confirmed that: "The Federal Migratory Bird Act states that most birds and their parts (feathers, eggs, nests, etc.) are protected by federal law from being killed, taken, transports, possessed, bought, sold, imported or exported without a valid federal permit."

So all of you non-Native Americans need to stick to black orchids in your bottonholes or, at the very most, faux owl feathers in your hatbands, okay? Or just pick up the first pigeon feather you find on the ground and stick it in your hat -- the Mall is full of them. Mr. G will probably know the difference, but I bet he's too nice to call anyone out on it.



  • Mr. G will be appearing at a fundraiser for the Open Rights Group on 24th October. The details are all on their site. They're charging 5 pounds to existing members, 10 pounds to the general public, and it's completely free to anyone who signs up to become a regular supporter of ORG between now and the event's date. Sounds like a good reason to support a good cause!

  • Lucy helpfully writes to point out that details for the Manchester stop of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK UK Tour have now been posted.

  • Details about the Scotland stop on THE GRAVEYARD BOOK UK Tour have been posted.

  • UltimateDisney.com has up a nice interview with Henry Selick about NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and CORALINE.




The RoboPanda was delivered at last, though its arrival was not without incident. Without further ado, I give you:


The Arrival of the RoboPanda

or, good fences make good neighbors
but good umbrellas make better bludgeons


When I arrived home this evening, I discovered two ragamuffins, of the sort increasingly infesting this once-fine borough, loitering by a large package on my stoop.


this is what happens when your HOA votes against your moat proposal

As I drew closer, their eyes seemed to alight with a sort of nervous hope.
"I always wanted a panda," whispered the little matchstick girl.


no education to speak of, or shoes, but she knows what a panda is?!

I recoiled; for a moment my confusion overwhelmed my revulsion. How could she know what was within?

The answer was quickly revealed, and did not please me. Of all the meddlesome knavery!


note the knife. silver. no doubt stolen, I wager.

I brandished my umbrella and shook it vigorously at them in chastisement. Choice words were uttered then, you have my word on that!


Though I am not a licensed tanner or taxidermist, I was fully prepared to dispense some hide-tanning justice.

They fled, and I briefly pursued them.


Children are surprisingly spry and nimble.  All the more reason to pack them into the pocket watch factories, that they and their tiny hands might be of some use to the greater society.

Having chased them off, I retired to my study to survey the damage.


Like the Christmas mornings of my youth, but without the acrid smoke and the requirement to wrestle bears.

Thankfully, the shipment within was unmarred by their grubby little trespasses.

How fortunate that I happened to have with me an acquaintance who is a professional photographer to capture the entire saga!

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