Tuesday, September 17, 2002
And the news from Top Shelf Comics is that

Top Shelf Productions has two things to celebrate today:
-- Our 5-year anniversary in publishing &
-- Chris Staros joining the CBLDF Board of Directors

To commemorate both events, and to really try and kick off a big
membership drive for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), Top
Shelf is making the following offer:

Thru September 30th, if you buy $75.00 worth of books at the Top Shelf
website, we'll give you the following:
-- a free CBLDF annual membership (Top Shelf will pay the $25 fee for
-- a free 5-year anniversary print by Craig Thompson (for the first 100
-- and free shipping (to US destinations only)

Or if you don't want books right now, but you do feel like it's time you
should join the CBLDF (and you should), Top Shelf will donate $1 for
every new member that joins by September 30th.

Which is pretty damn cool. (If you've already got a CBLDF membership, they could probably be persuaded to give one to a person of your choice.)


Lots of e-mails coming in asking about the History Channel interview -- when it will air, and so forth.

The word from James Goldin, who is making the documentary is:

The 2-hour program,
tentatively titled "The World of Comic Book Superheroes," will "air" in the
spring, probably at some time that will catch some residual heat from "X-Men
2" or "The Hulk." I'll keep you informed of any updates. I hope everyone
will be pleased with the final results.


Got my sealed-up CD player with Scarlett's Walk on it yesterday. Looks like the Martian boys used a combination of glue and some kind of super-hot something or other to make it the single most effectively sealed CD player there has ever been. Great pair of headphones though. Various e-mails from people have arrived pointing out that I could dismantle the headphones and run the wires into a computer or something, leaving me shaking my head and going "but why would I want to do that?"

Got home very late from LA last night, and sat in the small hours of the morning, listening to it three or four times over. It's wonderful hearing tracks I've not heard except in rough form months ago -- Don't Make Me Come to Vegas and Virginia. Vegas has immediately become my New Favourite Track.

There's a strangeness to it in places, as the versions on the previous CD I have are pre-strings, so I'm used to Gold Dust as a really sparse, empty song, just piano and voice, and the strings keep surprising me. I wonder if it's like that for people who read early drafts of my stuff.


Hello, Neil,
Another Not-A-Question-But-More-A-Request-For-Info

After mentioning to a few friends that I had purchased tickets for my
daughter and I for the Chicago Humanities Festival reading, they pointed
out to me that Walter Payton Prep was more of a math/science magnet
school, and didn't have an auditorium per se, and that the reading would
probably be in the gym with abysmal acoustics.

Do you have any information about what the set-up and sound is going to
be like? I'll be there, nevertheless, but it would be informative to
know what to expect coming in.

Thanks for your time,
Angie Burke

and the reply is...

The venue that Neil will read at, Walter Payton College Prep, is the second of 6 regional high schools the Chicago Public School system is building. It is a beautiful school with a three story arched glass atrium running the length of the building. The school is state of the art. The theatre in which Neil will give his reading is, likewise, beautiful. It holds 370 but feels very intimate, with a small balcony. Whatever tech is required, the school has. Earlier that day, we are doing a concert with a 45 person orchestra, an electrified harp, with a simultaneous power point display illustrating the musical on a movable floor-to-ceiling screen behind the musicians. If the conductor of the orchestra thinks that the venue is excellent, I should think that a reading of Coraline will go off very well. So, no gym, no abysmal acoustics.

If anyone else has any questions, please let me know.

Best, Cris Kayser, Chicago Humanities Festival