Thursday, October 16, 2008

Circus Fish

The answer to yesterday's question is,

Dave McKean,

(or David Tench McKean, as Wikipedia and thus everyone else now seems to be listing him as, thus turning a small fish joke into an alternate universe fact)

for Dave illustrated The Graveyard Book, and also illustrated (and even made comics for) Hester Blumenthal's Big Fat Duck Cookbook. I saw a copy of the Big Fat Duck Cookbook when I was at Bloomsbury a couple of days ago, and it is unbelievably beautiful. Also unbelievably expensive. My own plan is to be incredibly nice to Dave and see if he'll give me a copy for Christmas.

Which reminds me, Dave McKean is signing in London on Hallowe'en, just as I am. He'll be at Forbidden Planet from 5.00pm to 6.00pm so if you're coming to see me anyway that evening, you could always go and see him first. And if you aren't going to see me, you could go and see him instead.

(Dave did design work for the third Harry Potter film, which links all three authors on the list.)

Graveyard Book UK Tour: London Talk and Signing (31 October)

Hi Neil, I just spoke to Blackwell, and they tell me the event is sold out. *cries* They do have a waiting list with 30 people already on it so I'm not holding out any hope... I thought you might want to know.

NB I love the Graveyard Book very, very much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Enjoy the tour!
Susanne (A fan)

I'm really sorry. We stopped doing London events at 600 seat halls back in 2003, because they filled up too fast, and we switched to the 930 seat Logan Hall. This time I was told by Bloomsbury that Blackwells simply couldn't find anywhere of that size free for Hallowe'en, and could only get the LSE Old Theatre, which seats about 550 people... which meant that I was fairly sure we'd be upsetting as many people as get seats. But that's all there was.

Again, apologies.

Dear Mr. Gaiman,

You mention in your latest blog entry you'd be 'so there' for a line of fountain pens. Montblanc has a line of famous author/patron of the arts pens that are to die for, mostly. The Semiramis is a particular favorite of mine.

The famous authors/patrons they've honored with pens do tend to be dead which could be a drawback in getting a pen designed for you. If there are any Gaiman fans working for Montblanc perhaps they could whisper a word in the right ear?


The awkward truth is that, while I love Montblanc ink and their ink bottle design (especially their dried-blood-coloured Bordeaux, which I signed my way across the US with on the recent tour) I'm not a big fan of their fountain pens: the ones I've encountered seem made to look impressive sitting on desks. They aren't things I'd want to write novels with, and the ones I've used or been given skip too much to use as signing pens. (I've got a couple of Montblancs, both gifts.)

On the last signing tour I signed books with a Namiki Falcon until the nib went sproing in Chicago, whereupon I switched to a Lamy. (And I became a convert to the Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen when I was in China, as it was a perfect writing implement for using in notebooks on the run.) I wrote The Graveyard Book mostly with a Lamy 2000, an elderly Watermans flexinib, and the Pelikan that Henry Selick gave me.


Neal Hefti's dead
. His Batman theme was, I think, the first record I was ever bought (for, I suspect, my sixth birthday) that I actually wanted, and I was deeply offended because whoever had designed the cover had drawn Batman's cloak as a two-piece, wing-like thing.

XKCD vs The New Yorker in a to-the-death-cartoon-face-off. Yes! (Only not actually to the death, because that would be a sad waste of talent and human life.)

Here is a song I like by Vermillion Lies, called Circus Fish.

(I am also now listening to Mitch Benn's Sing Like an Angel)

Peter Straub in Time. (And belated congratulations to Emma and Michael!)

(Also Happy Birthday, Cat Mihos...)

Tasha Robinson at The Onion sent me a link to the Onion AV review of The Graveyard Book.

And looking into the mirror this morning, it occurred to me that as we age we slowly turn into Mort Drucker caricatures of ourselves, and I found that strangely comforting.

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