Friday, April 25, 2003

stealth signings and pantoums

The less said about the two 1997 stealth signings in the
Netherlands, the better
, you said.

Aw. I suppose, if it makes for a happier memory, you could think of it
as a very exclusive signing session, not unlike the famous
Prince afterparty in het Paard in The Hague, which more people now claim to
have attended than could ever fit into the tiny venue.

"Neil Gaiman in the Hague in '97? I was there, dude!" Like that.
Here's my version:
You did a signing at the Haagse Strip Shop (comics store in the Hague),
which, as far as I can tell, was advertised by a teeny poster in the
shop window and nowhere else. I remember walking past that poster on the
way to work and doing a truly classic doubletake.

When I showed up for the signing there were three people in the shop.
Well, four, including me: the owner of the shop, me, another fan, and
you, looking somewhat forlorn behind a little table. The other fan had
her picture taken with you and I chatted with you for about half an hour,
about stuff we'd both read (you hadn't been able to get your hands on
The Mirror of Kong Ho either, but of course by now it's online) and
comics that you had a cameo part in (I can't remember which comic it was
that featured a sort of super-spy Gaiman, dressed in trademark black,
looking around for a disguise and deciding on another outfit that just
happened to be completely black as well...). And a great time was had by,
well, me.

But, you know, this time the line will probably go on forever, and
that's great, because I want your publishers to send you on more tours like
this, for one thing, and because you're a damn good author and deserve
proper recognition, for another.

See you on Sunday,

Katrien Rutten, The Netherlands

All very true -- and I didn't know that Kung Ho was out on the web. The comic in question is Eddie Campbell's Bacchus. Eddie said it was inspired by me arriving in Brisbane, showering and changing clothes into clothes exactly the same as the ones I'd changed out of...

Dear Mr Gaiman,
A genuine question! I have the Green Man collection (edited by Terri
Windling and Ellen Datlow) with your poem, Going Wodwo, in it. I was
wondering if that poem was free verse or some specific form... Also,
whether or not it's a specific form, do you happen to know a good site or
book with reference to more obscure poetry forms? Thanks!

I'm not sure you could call it free verse, as it has a very tight rhythmic and line structure, but it's not a classical verse form either.

The best book I've ever read on poetic forms is very small and odd and filled with examples and has been out of print for about 120 years, and is about 4000 miles away, so I can't even check the title for you. A quick search on google for poetry sestina villanelle gave a lot of online poetry sites (including a number of college courses online) -- this one looked pretty solid, as a good place to start.