Thursday, March 28, 2002
It just occurred to me that I can use this journal to publically congratulate my friends Lisa Snellings Clark (you can read about her here if you don't know who she is. Or even if you do,) and her husband, Pete, on the birth of their son, Orion. He's about a week old right now.

Lisa's sculptures have inspired many of my stories.

Pete was very gracious and let me interview him for some background in American Gods.

You can see Lisa's online portfolio if you click here . Well, three pages of it, anyway. Buy some cool art from her. You know you want to.


I've started to do occasional interviews for Coraline. I wish I had more to say about the book, but I don't really. I wind up talking about the way it was written, and a few of the things (like the door) that I took from my own childhood. Beyond that I find myself curiously devoid of intelligent things to say: it's all in the book, after all.

(I was, incidentally, recently asked how it feels to have written "a children's classic". Didn't really know how to answer, except to say that I probably hadn't. Thinking about it, I suppose what I should have said was "that you can only begin to identify a children's classic if it's still in print fifty years later, and still being read by kids and adults, and still has something to say. Coraline hasn't even been published yet. Ask me about it again when I'm 92.")

My wife's book club are going to read it next month. I'm more worried that they'll hate it than whether or not it'll become a classic.

Here's the UK cover, from, not very big at all:


And here's an FAQ message that I think I'll answer here:

Dear Neil~ First of all, thank you so much for all the works you have made. Although I have yet to read them all, everything i read just keeps me searching for more. At the moment I am thoroughly engrossed in a comic series you began and now assist in..Books of Magic. I've been told repeatedly because of this that I should begin reading Sandman, but it just seems like so much to find at such a high cost...Poor college students unfortunately have other food..::smiles:: just kidding. Anyways, I was wondering what you would suggest to begin reading in the series? With books of magic i've always purchased the books instead of the individual comics so if there is something out there of that nature, i would be truly grateful. Well, thank you for your time and reading this...and I wonder, I've been thinking of studying abroad in england within the next few years...I'm studying to be in medicine, would you recommend it? Thankfully yours, Jenny M.

Er, yes, travel. Always a good idea. There's a whole world out there, after all.

The Sandman comics are all available in book form, if that's what you're concerned about. There are ten books altogether, and another three that are sort of off to the side.

However, the main thing I'd suggest is to use your libraries. Sandman books -- most graphic novels, heck, most books -- are expensive. A full set of paperbacks will set you back around $200. But most libraries either have them or can get them for you on inter-library loan. Talk to the librarians at your college or town. Order the first four books -- Preludes and Nocturnes, The Doll's House, Dream Country and Season of Mists, and then go on from there.