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Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Coffee Table Book and why reality is being replaced by small pieces of paper

My scary goddaughter Hayley Campbell is here, working on a book of The Art Of Neil Gaiman or somesuch, and she has disappeared off to

...maddy gaiman is so cool.....

(I just stopped blogging and took the dogs for a walk. I'm sure it didn't say that when I left.)

(Just for that, a photo of Maddy Gaiman and Hayley Campbell from last week. Maddy is wearing Hayley's hat.)




Anyway. Hayley has disappeared off to the attic where she is scanning things and going through tubs of old artwork and faxes and wanting me to explain why I used to draw vampire bunnies and fax them to Steve Bissette back in the 80s.

Also, she is taking art from the walls to be scanned.

Where art used to be on the walls, there are now random PostIt notes, describing what should be there. I keep feeling like I'm in a Philip K Dick novel.



...

I wanted to plug a book here. I got my copy free, and was delighted, because it was a huge and impressive book. Then I read it and got much, much more delighted.

It's really heavy. It's also really good. Here is a photograph of it that amused me, because it is a coffee table book that takes up a whole coffee table..


The book is called 75 Years of DC Comics: the Art of Modern Mythmaking, and it's published by Taschen with production values that I've never seen from a comics publisher. Fold-out pages, amazing reproductions of old art, rarities, wonders, along with a history of DC Comics since the beginning. The majority of the text (although, probably not all -- there are captions, timelines and suchlike as well) is by Paul Levitz, who knows where the bodies are buried, and is too much of a gentleman to tell all, but tells more than I ever thought he would. It weighs 15lbs (7 kg) and comes with its own carrying case.

The production values, as I said, are amazing. They raise the bar for what any comics publisher can do in the future.

This is the Taschen Books website page for the book, where you can look at the first hundred pages of the book in a pop up window.

There's also a great photo on the Taschen site of Paul displaying the book, which makes Paul look a bit like a garden gnome holding a normal-sized book.

Paul Levitz is a normal-sized human being and not a gnome of any kind.

Also, it has a Marc Hempel Sandman drawing on the spine, alongside the five iconic superheroes and Swamp Thing. You have no idea how happy that makes me.

The only downside is that now I am starting to fantasize about a Taschen quality Complete In One Volume All 2000 Pages of Sandman book, like the one that I've suggested over the years to DC Comics. They've always looked at me and shivered whenever I've suggested it. (It could have its own carrying case. Or wheels. Or screw-on legs for making it into a table.)

Actually, that's not the only downside. The other downside of owning it is realising that there are people who I now have to buy it for as the ultimate xmas/hannukkah/winter solstice/etc present. It's really expensive. But it's the perfect present.

Here's the Amazon link, if you want to check it out. It's on a fairly serious discount there. (But it's still not cheap. It works out at about 50 cents an ounce.)

Here is the indiebound link, so you can support your local indie bookseller.

And it's very probable your local comic shop has a copy as well. (Here's a local comic shop locator so you can find out.)

...

Right. A couple of things: first of all, Patrick Rothfuss's blog is doing the wonderful Heifer International thing he did last year. Go and read this: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2010/11/worldbuilders-2010/ and then just look at the amazing things in the raffle at http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/ and marvel. You make a donation to Heifer International. You feel good. You probably come away from it with a signed book of amazing wonderfulness.


As he says,

Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds of others like them. Plus there’s the whole helping make the world a better place thing. That’s nice, too.

Don’t forget, Worldbuilders is matching 50% of all donations made. So why not head over to the Team Heifer page and chip in. Trust me. You’ll feel great afterward.


...

Over at Kickstarter, the fundraising of pledges to make an animated film from my story "The Price" is up to 983 backers and $68,000 pledged. That's almost half-way there.

I'm thrilled and amazed that it's gone so well so far, and I suspect Christopher Salmon is too.

He needs a lot more people to pledge money, obviously. We've got 12 days to go. If you have a blog, can you blog it, or put up the widget from the site? If you have a news site, go and interview Chris, or just mention it as a way for people to get involved. Twitter it. Facebook it. Tell people.



To encourage things along, I just went over to last.fm and put up a full length audio of "The Price" from the Speaking In Tongues CD for streaming:

http://www.last.fm/music/Neil+Gaiman/_/The+Price.

So if anyone wants to know what "The Price" is about, give them the link, and tell them to listen...

...

The SF Playhouse (in San Francisco) is doing the Stephin Merritt CORALINE musical. Details, video, photographs and such over at http://www.sfplayhouse.org/season1011/coraline.php?video=1#link_video
...

Here's something Hayley just found in a tub of old faxes. Somebody didn't like Death Talks About Life. Click on it to read why...

...

Right. A quick wander into the mail on the FAQ line...

Any chance there will be a reprint of GHASTLY BEYOND BELIEF? I miss it.

All best,


I'm afraid not. That book, like the Duran Duran biography, won't be reprinted. Cherish your old copies.

Hi Neil,

I saw you give a talk at Washington University in Saint Louis back in 1999. As you can imagine, it left quite an impression seeing as I'm writing this note to you more than 11 years later.

Back then, I was a philosophy student with aspirations of changing the world with esoteric babble and the like. It was a stroke of luck and fortuitous timing that I found myself there, at Graham Chapel, listening to you talk so openly and candidly about your own creative process.

Little did I know then that I'd end up a painter now. So much of what you said still rings in my heart and in ears. I've always wanted to thank you for that - what you offered. You've been a sort of friend and mentor to me since.

I am writing now because things have come full circle in a way. I am now living in China - recently invited by Sichuan University to be their 'artist in residence' - a great gig which has lead to a invitation to deliver a series of lectures (arising from my sense of my own art, curatorial work, and creative process.) I will deliver my first talk to the University (and art community here in Chengdu) next week. It will be the very first time for me.

When i saw you talk 11 years ago, I actually imagined myself in your position. Of course I hadn't done anything momentous (not that I have now :) - but still, I imagined that it would happen...I imagined that I would have the opportunity to talk about my own work (whatever that was to be)...and I'm a bit taken back that it is happening now. I trust that this will not be the last time - and that such experience will impact my work in ways I can't imagine.

I am now painting in a studio space in a remote farmer's village, outside of the big city. It is not so far removed, practically, from your cabin in the woods...with your window. My rule is like yours, I can look out as I like, for as long as I like - and all the while my paint (and your keyboard) beckons the work. That is what it's all about.

I will talk about Phenomenology and the creative process. I will draw comparisons between cave paintings and Picasso while sharing my own humble paintings and curatorial history. I will make a reference to you - what I learned by watching you talk. I don't anticipate your being in the audience, but your ears may be burning next November 25th.

So here is a cheers and a genuine and profound thank you. I imagine that mine is one of countless affirmations that what you are doing is important and meaningful; all well deserved. I wish you the best along your creative journey.

I think that what makes it all so incredible is that what we do is so solitary and personal. We make art from nothing but our heart, our mind, and our hands. And then to talk about it so openly seems terrifying, not having done it...but it's what i've imagined so many times, so it is meant to be. Manifest destiny in a pure form, eh?

So thanks and cheers to you one more time. Have fun with your upcoming talks in San Diego. You'll be in mind when I offer my first.

Sincerely,

Will Kerr

PS - I have a studio cat too - a real Chinese farmer's cat that adopted me as a wee kitten... I named her 'Gui Mao' - which means Ghost Cat...and she sure is!


I remember that talk in St Louis, and how nervous I was -- it was the first time I'd ever been invited to give a proper We Are Paying You To Do This university talk -- and then getting there and being told by the Art Department who had brought me in that the English Department were boycotting it and me because I wrote comics, and feeling vaguely like a fraud as I wondered whether I really had anything to say that was worth hearing. Then standing up in the chapel, and just talking.

And then I read this, and it made me incredibly happy. Good luck with the lectures, Will. Not that you'll need it.

Dear Mr. Neil, a very happy Birthday to you! My B-day is the 20th of November, and they gave me as a present The Graveyard Book, which I´ve just finished. You made me cry in the end, young Bod wants of life what I have always felt and wanted while I was young, whilst reading the Jungle Book or Robinson Crusoe. Thank you for deeply moving me.

Did you know none of your books are sold in Bolivia? your comics yes, but I bought Anansi Boys in Buenos Aires, Argentina and The Graveyard Book was purchased for me in Valparaiso, Chile.

It took me a little while to realize, while I was reading and wishing to have adventures like the ones I read, that I didn´t live in an "ordinary place" like England, that the jungle, the gold hunters and the "indigenous people", were in fact very near. We speak Aymara at the market place and have wild parties with Afro Bolivian saya being played with loud drums, but I thought, when I was a child, that foreign and adventure where elsewhere...not in my home country, if you know what I mean.

The Graveyard Book set me thinking that, in truth, the real adventure is life itself, and growing up, and learning your challenges, your asserts and your mistakes...

I just wanted to share my impressions with you. Thank you very much for your beautiful books, and, again, a very happy birthday to you...

Mar


You're right. Adventure is where you find it, and so is romance. (You might like this Kipling poem about Adventure and Romance and where it isn't, and why you're wrong if you think it's dead...)

Neil,

Almost all of the photos in your last blog are broken.

Also, the tags you use are cute, but inconsistent and not really functional. I was trying to browse dog posts and nothing I clicked came up with much.


The dog pictures are fixed, and I've learned never to link to tumblr images.

There's nothing I can do about the labels, though. Inconsistent and not really functional is what we aspire to here in the labelling department. Here is the complete list of blog labels, weighted by size showing frequency of use: http://www.neilgaiman.com/p/Journal/Labels where you will see that, to my shame, one of the most frequently-used labels on this blog is COMPLETELY ABANDONS THE IDEA OF WRITING LOTS OF LABELS AND GOES TO BED INSTEAD.

I suppose I couldn't persuade you that inconsistent and not really functional is a feature, not a bug? No... Oh well.

...

The Moth auction just finished
. It's made money that'll help support The Moth in its storytelling mission this year.

Here's a final comment from someone who won a twitchange auction, a couple of months ago, which says it, I think, better than I ever can:

As a recent winner of a Neil Gaiman auction, I felt the need to respond to the comment someone made about cronyism and the benefits of money after your story on The Moth. First, my wife and I are in no way rich. We bid what we could afford, and did so not just because it would be cool to win, but because it was for charity. Believe me, had it not been for charity, my wife would not have gone for it.

The point of these auctions is to raise as much money as possible for those in need. Yes, $4,400 is a lot of money to some (myself included), but that money went to a good cause, not into Neil’s pocket. And yes, we would all love to have the money to bid on the things we want, but that just isn’t the case. If you’re looking at these auctions with jealousy instead of appreciating how they help others, you’re missing the point entirely.
Kris Dalpiaz

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Wedding Mystery Explained

I went to New Orleans and I had the best birthday I've ever had.

There was food (the best New Orleans food, which is the best food in America. I loved eating at the Commander's Palace, and at Muriel's, but I loved The Green Goddess more - Chefs Chris and Paul are heroes). (The "Mezze of Destruction" secret message should still give you a secret foodie easter egg of some kind, if you eat there and say it to your server. It's the secret "Neil sent me" code.)

On the morning of my birthday I was surprised by a wonderful unexpected art-event flashmob wedding.

If you head over to Amanda's blog and read this (and you should. Trust me) http://blog.amandapalmer.net/post/1597897908/still-life-with-wedding-party
you will learn what Amanda did and how she pulled it off. It was amazing.

And once you've read that (go and read it. It'll make more sense of the rest of this) head over to http://www.kylecassidy.com/pix/travel/2010/nfgafpnola/afp-nfg-wedding-album-1.pdf in order to see some beautiful photos arranged into a wedding album by Kyle Cassidy. I don't think I knew that any of those photos were being taken except for the last.

As you read Amanda's blog and look at Kyle's photos you can marvel at the ease with which she persuaded me, without in any way suspecting anything was odd, to wear a top hat in my search for breakfast and tea; you can observe the way that I am astonished by Amanda's first surprise and then banjaxed by her second as a wedding party appears from nowhere; then marvel at the way that, when I think I can be no happier, she tops it with an actual produced-out-of-nowhere cup of tea.


This was how it ended (click on the photo to see it big enough to appreciate it), with Amanda and me with white paint on my face flanked by my glorious daughters, with our friends making happy faces and me holding tea.

Next time we get married, I'll marry the lady, not the statue, and there will be invited people and not a flash mob, and I'll know it's happening in advance, and there will be a paper and it will be legally recognised, but I cannot imagine it will be any more joyous than this was. And truthfully, after that morning's magical wedding, I don't think I could ever feel more married.



A lovely photo of Maddy and me and Holly by Adriane Biondo
...

(PS: As a result of the last interim post, I have learned that the Sushi making kit was from Lena St George-Sweet and Hamish Brown. I love my blog.)

(PPS: More of the New Orleans trip to come)

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Drive-by blogging

Right now I'm flailing a bit. Trying to deal with the amount of email that came in while I was away, opening wonderful birthday presents and writing proper personal notes to all who sent them. Trying to work out who the Home Sushi Kit came from.

I've got a half-written blog post that I know I won't finish today, so I'm just doing a hasty hit-and-blog right now.

If you are wondering what was happening the exact moment I turned 50, midnight on November 9th, this was. In the Allways Lounge, in New Orleans. Photo by Kyle Cassidy, who was lurking somewhere nearby, and I only knew that when he sent me the photos...




More soon. Lots more.

And a link to something I love, and you may too: http://nonadventures.com/2010/10/16/quote-of-arms/

Also look, Something Beginning With (AKA ABCs of Love) is back in print! Read all about it at http://www.sarahsalway.net/2010/11/14/2359/

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Where I am and what I am doing. Also, Dogs.

In case you are wondering where I am, which is something I often do, I am in New Orleans for a small birthday gathering for my 50th birthday, which is tomorrow, and for the Amanda Palmer Dresden Dolls gig on Friday (it's a special gig - a gulf oil spill relief-benefit forBTNEP, an organisation that is working to preserve, protect, and restore the Barataria and Terrebonne estuaries of Louisiana).

(Here is a link to a photo of me yesterday in my natural habitat.)


...


Given that my dogs are not here and I miss them today, I thought I should do a brief tutorial in dog recognition.


Cabal's on the left here, Lola's on the right.


There. That was easy, wasn't it? Mm, probably not. So...

Here are two photos by the Birdchick that I just went and stole from fuckyeahcabal.


Cabal looks sort of noble. A lot of the time he also looks serious, as if he is doing complicated long division problems in his head and does not want to be disturbed. He has a pink nose. He likes staying close to me and is still recovering from a couple of spinal operations, and a couple of leg operations, but is now walking again, and even running, sometimes. He's almost 8 years old, which means he's sort of my age in dog years.



Lola would not know noble if it sat on her head. She has a slightly pointy face, an embarrassed grin and a black nose. She bounds and is impossible to exhaust. She's about 9 months old, and seems like a teenager. If I leave things on the floor she may chew them. She likes leafpiles better than anything in the whole world.



They get on really well, and on the whole, Cabal seems much happier with Lola around, and Lola is settling down. She plays well with us. We're hoping that eventually she'll play well with other dogs. (As a smaller puppy, she was Sent Home from Doggie daycare with a Stiff Note.)

...


And The Price is on the front page of http://www.kickstarter.com/. You should go and see what other great projects they have that people can help fund. Also, if you can, help spread the word about The Price. It's been up on Kickstarter for less than a week and is already almost 1/3rd funded. It's Christopher Salmon's dream project. I'd love to see him make it.


...


I'm feeling so odd about turning 50. The last time I felt like this was, strangely enough, when I turned 24.


I'd liked being younger than 24. Anything cool I did, people would say "And he's so young," and that felt good. And then suddenly I was 24 and I felt like I couldn't be a boy wonder any longer, and the world had become level.

Turning 50, I feel like, damn: I can't be a promising young writer any longer. For the last decade, I've hated getting Lifetime Achievement awards, they'd make me feel squirmy and awkward, and now I'm going, ah, I'm going to have to accept them with good grace.

But I'm glad I'm a writer. There are a lot of professions in which you're done by my age. And I don't feel done at all.

...

Hi Neil

I received an email this morning from the Sydney Opera House which revealed that you and Amanda are performing there together on Australia Day, January 26th.

http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/amanda_palmer_goes_down_under.aspx

Needless to say my wife and I grabbed tickets (G25 & G26 if you would like to wave to us!).

I have not seen any mention in your Journal or Where’s Neil as yet. Are you in a position to give us any information on this concert as yet?

Also will you be doing any other events or signings whilst in Sydney this time? I would like to get my final two Absolute Sandman’s signed and I’ll need a lot of warning so I can get to the gym and work out. Those mothers are heavy.

All the best
Chris Harcourt


Sorry about that -- the gig is Amanda's, and I was waiting for her to announce it, and I think the Opera House may have announced it themselves before she expected it. She put up a hasty entry on her blog.

I don't know about signings and such, I'm afraid.

The TRUTH IS A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS reading I did in Sydney earlier this year with FourPlay string Quartet and Eddie Campbell art is going to happen again, with, I think, some extra paintings, at the MONA festival in Hobart on January 15th - details at http://www.mofo.net.au/MOFO_Highlights.pdf

With respect to the tea party gone awry but actually for the better tale, told in the "A gallimaufry" blogpost, does it worry you that as charming as the story is, it also smacks somewhat of cronyism and a reminder that privilege begets privilege? I mean, I'm sure the young lady was lovely, but how nice for her that her mum could afford $4,400 for her to have tea with you, and that led to a masterclass from Paul Levitz, and then to an internship. Not a lot of kids at Cooper Union or RISD could afford $4,400 for tea, could they? It pays to have money.

I'd love to love your tale of the tea that went rightly wrong, but it gives me a slightly sick feeling instead. I wish you had a different tale to inspire me about the Moth auction.


You know, I've known too many people who won auctions and such, and then told me sometimes heartbreaking stories of how they managed to pay for it, to ever take it for granted that anyone who paid for something like that (or her mother) could easily afford it.

My attitude is that if you've managed to win an auction for a good cause that I support- for something like the CBLDF or The Moth or RAINN,- then I'm going to look after you as best I can.

It was lucky that the young lady was interested in comics, and had already told me she wanted to edit comics, because, when we discovered that the afternoon that the Moth had tried to set up for us had failed completely and utterly, I hailed a taxi, headed for DC Comics, hoped that everyone I knew hadn't left for the day, and talked my way in.

It could have gone wrong another hundred different ways. We were lucky that Paul Levitz was knocking off for the day, and had wandered down the corridor to say goodnight. We were also lucky that Paul is someone who thinks that knowledge should be shared and passed on to the next generation, and that the young lady asked smart questions, and impressed him enough that he told her how to apply for a summer internship. And it came as a pleasant surprise to me a few weeks ago to find that she had applied for one, and that was how she'd spent her summer.

But you obviously (or maybe it isn't obvious, so I will say it here) don't need to pay thousands for a Moth Benefit tea with me to get a summer internship with DC Comics, or with Marvel, or with Dark Horse. You don't need to pay anything at all. What you need is to keep an eye on their web pages, to apply in time and make yourself sound like someone they'd like to have around the office for the summer. (Here's last year's MAD Magazine internship applications, for example.)

And as far as I was concerned, the point of the story was that, while the adventure happened last year, the Moth have promised that it won't happen again, and that this time wherever I turn up for tea, will have tea and will be expecting me.

Personally, I keep hoping that one year they'll suggest SUSHI WITH NEIL GAIMAN as a Moth prize. For now, it's tea. Unless something goes wrong. https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/item/Item.action;jsessionid=FCG-PzM5xkCyEjNyq4b0yw**.app3-i?id=120626095

...

The way the FAQ line mailbox works, most of the letters that come in are people saying thank you for the stories, and while I read them, I normally don't post them here. But every now and again, one touches me in an unexpected way. Take a look at the part of this journal entry from 2005...

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2005/04/jetlag-morning.asp

Go and read it. I'll still be here when you get back.

Right. This just came in, as a sequel...

I wrote to you in 2005 about my son, Jared. I'm sure you don't remember, but you posted my comment on your April, 29, 2005 journal entry.

I had been told that Jared, then 5, had visual and auditory processing disorders and that he'd never learn to read. We went to a book reading of yours, and then, a couple of years later, Jared found his signed copy of Coraline and decided he would teach himself to read it. He did it!

Jared is 12 now, still homeschooled, and I'm happy to say is reading and comprehending on a college level. We found out that he 'only' has a visual processing disorder (VPD), a fine motor delay and he's highly gifted. Because of the VPD, he has no visual memory... he cannot make 'pictures' in his mind. He describes it as 'just being black in there'.

We were talking about his VPD, and I asked him how he taught himself to read. He replied that he remembered your book reading, so he decided to figure out how to 'translate' the weird squiggles on the page into auditory sounds so he could remember them. (This explains the difficulty he had transitioning from reading aloud to silently!)

I'm almost certain that if he had had someone try to teach him to read, he couldn't have done it. It seems that you gave him an idea that allowed him to figure out how to overcome his disability.

Over the years, this has given him the confidence to overcome a number of hurdles. He simply thinks back to teaching himself to read, after several adults had told him he never would, and he is reminded of how remembering you reading aloud gave him the idea to 'translate' written words into sounds... and he thinks outside the box to figure out a way around whatever he's having trouble with.

As I said, he's 12 now, and reading "Grey's Anatomy", the medical school textbook, for fun! He has decided to be a trauma surgeon.

I honestly don't think his life would have turned out this way if we hadn't taken him to your book reading.

So, thank you again for writing, for reading, and for changing my child's life.

Heather (Hubbard) Conrad


Thank you, Heather. Tell Jared I'm a fan.

Hi Neil,

Do you know when the Absolute Sandman vol 1 will be reprinted? Or if it will be?

It's out of stock pretty much everywhere I have looked.

Cheers,

Nat


They've been reprinted already, and are in a boat crossing the ocean. I think they'll arrive in January. I also checked the DreamHaven Books neilgaiman.net site, and they have it in stock as well.

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Friday, November 05, 2010

A gallimaufry.

Last year, the daughter of the winner of the Moth auction of "afternoon tea with Neil Gaiman" met me for afternoon tea, and it all went a bit wrong.

The winner was the mother of a very nice young lady, and she had paid $4,400 for her daughter to have tea with me (all the money goes to support The Moth, which is something I love and care about: people telling true stories about their lives. Check out their podcast). Unfortunately, when the nice young lady and I went to the tea place they explained that they'd never heard of us, and for that matter they didn't even serve tea, and it all went so wrong that I took the young lady in question up to DC Comics (she had told me that she loved comics, Vertigo in particular, and wanted to edit comics when she graduated) and then DC Publisher Paul Levitz, who was passing by, gave her an hour's masterclass in matters editorial and said something about a summer internship.

I saw her at the signing for the Year's Best American Comics last month and the young lady told me that she'd just done a summer's internship at DC Comics, and loved it, and that the failed tea had been a wonderful thing better than any actual tea could possibly have been, and she was incredibly happy and grateful..

I cannot guarantee you that the afternoon tea with me this year will go anywhere nearly as wrong as that. But the Moth are at it again. Also, you could be an "area man or woman" in the Onion.

https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/item/Browse.action?auctionId=120612926

...

I don't do much journalism any more, and I do even less book reviewing (I think the last book I reviewed was the Annotated Grimm's Fairytales for the New York Times, six years ago), but if I'm not reviewing at all I feel guilty, as if I am no longer being part of the cultural dialogue, so I just reviewed Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars for the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/nov/05/full-dark-stephen-king-review.

I'm happy to say that I liked it.

....

I turn fifty on Wednesday. Ivy Ratafia gets in there early, with a birthday LJ post for me.

And I am putting it up here because Ivy answers one of the great questions of the universe here, viz. Which were the nine true panels in this two-page comic? In 17 years, no-one has been able to guess it correctly.

You should probably read the comic first before you read Ivy's explanation. It comes from a 1993 "Roast" comic done for the Chicago Comic Convention, and was drawn by Scott McCloud and written by Scott and Ivy.

Read what Ivy has to say at: http://ivy-rat.livejournal.com/104712.html

...

I really don't do much journalism, and I'm amused to see that the only pieces I've done in so long are both being published-on-the-web on the same day. Since I typed that first paragraph, SPIN MAGAZINE just posted an article I wrote for them yesterday.

They asked me to review the Dresden Dolls Hallowe'en show.

I'm not sure that that was quite what I gave them, although it's that as well. I'm happy with it, and I'm not normally happy with my non-fiction writing. It's up at http://www.spin.com/articles/neil-gaiman-amanda-palmer-dresden-dolls

People like it, and I'm glad that they do.

...

And finally, All Hallow's Read appears, at least anecdotally, to have been a huge success. It's not too early to start thinking about what we ought to do next year. The website is up at http://www.allhallowsread.com/ - it's primitive, as it was thrown up in hours two days before Hallowe'en. I'd love to crowdsource this more - what kinds of things would people like to see on the website? What kinds of things would you like to see in real life? Posters? Suggestions? Should we enlist bookshops or publishers or libraries or all of the above? Should we start an online group?

And what did you do (or give, or receive) for All Hallows Read this year that you'd like to pass on to the world?

(I gave Joan of Dark a copy of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, and I gave random strangers copies of Carrie.)

Use the "Leave a reply" form at the bottom of any of the AHR website pages. We'll start to plan next year's give-a-scary-book festival together.

...

Right. Now I'm off to the (very small) bonfire.

Here's a photo of Cabal today, when we went down to winterise the beehives.


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Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Price of "The Price".

There is a man named Christopher Salmon who has a dream. He wants to make an animated film of my short story "The Price." He wants it to be really faithful, so he's using me telling the story as an audiobook as his narrator. He's already done an animatic.

This is a project being made by fans, for fans. (No, I'm not getting anything out of it, in case you were wondering.)

Christopher is using KICKSTARTER to get it going. If you don't know about Kickstarter, it is a wonderful thing that helps people get projects off the ground. If you want to support one of their projects then you pledge money. If the project reaches its funding goals then the money changes hands. If not, it doesn't.

Okay. Watch this video.



This one went up a couple of days ago. They are looking for $150,000. Which is a lot of money (I believe it's the most anyone's ever asked for on Kickstarter). But you can contribute as little as $10. Which is not a lot of money. And it's really easy to do (when I support Kickstarter projects, I log in, then use my Amazon.com account to pledge. It's a couple of clicks.)

There are rewards offered at different levels for different donors - Posters, Prints, DVDs and suchlike. Or you can tick the No Reward box, because sometimes supporting something is its own reward.

Right now there are 102 backers, including me and Cat Mihos and Steve Wozniak. If you've ever wanted to be a film producer, or if you just think that things like this are a good idea and should be supported, why not become a backer?

And please, as well as supporting it with your wallet, spread the word. Blog about it, LJ, Facebook, twitter... or write articles in magazines and newspapers and websites (like Tor.com). Christopher has 26 days to get there. Let's help him.



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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Not really much of a blog post, but with the best photo in the world of me on a carousel ever in it so with luck nobody will mind too much


I am on deadline right now.

So...

For the American Gods-House on the Rock weekend, as a fill-in while waiting for me to write about it, I recommend Valya's blog over at http://www.vdlupescu.com/journal/2010/11/joy-and-sacred-spaces/ (Valya is the author of The Silence of Trees.) I stole the picture above of me riding the eagle-tiger from Valya's blog.


And yes, it was as magical and as wonderful as everyone says.

I shot from Wisconsin to New York where I saw The Dresden Dolls for the first time. (They've been on Hiatus since I've known Amanda.) Pictures from the evening - including a couple of me - at http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2010/11/the_dresden_dol_4.html.


From mobile

(Casey and Danni Long at the Dresden Dolls gig.)

I took Amanda to meet the people at Audible.com, with whom I am cooking up some really cool stuff which I am not yet ready to talk about. I talked to them and she played a song on her ukulele. (You can see a shadowy Don Katz, audible supremo, in the background, here.)

From mobile

From New York I stumbled to Austin, Texas, where I was caught up in the madness that is W00tstock, standing in for Wil Wheaton. It was madness, madness I tell you...





This is a video of me coming on. That's all I do in it. I come on. You can probably find me doing more than that elsewhere on YouTube.

From mobile

These men are Paul and Storm. Founders of W00tstock.
From mobile

This is Adam Savage. The man from Mythbusters. He bought the drinks.

...

Then I came home.

...

Right. Now I have to go and write, so to entertain you in my absense, here's the New Scientist link to some wonderful forgotten futures;

http://www.newscientist.com/gallery/lost-worlds

and here's a link to the info on the New Scientist competition I'll be judging this year 350 word short stories, including the title, on the theme of Forgotten Futures.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Not the post it ought to be

This ought to be the post about the wonderful happiness that was the House on the Rock American Gods Weekend. But that's going to have to wait until tomorrow. (In the meantime, here's Kitty with pictures: http://kittysneverwear.blogspot.com/2010/10/holy-american-gods-party-batman.html)

This is just a very short one to remind people near Austin, TX, that Tuesday, November 2nd, it's W00tstock, and that I'll be MCing, standing in for a Big Bang Theory Stolen Wil Wheaton. Details at http://www.austintheatre.org/site/Calendar/250633393?view=Detail&id=24581

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