Saturday, May 31, 2003

A major improvement on yesterday

Today was a good day.

It started with a terrific meeting with Roger and Brenda, my directors on the TAM LIN project. Then I walked across the hall and met with a company who wanted to finance DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, and the only condition that they had thought might be a sticking point was something I already wanted. Things can go wrong (things can always go wrong) and lots of deals need to be made before a formal announcement can be made, but I wouldn't be surprised to be shooting DEATH next Spring.

Then to the bookfair, to the BOOKSENSE lunch. Each of the nominees for Booksense Book of the Year (of whom I was one, for CORALINE) were given a leather Levenger bag, filled with a multitude of cool Levenger articles, including a gorgeous fountain pen. And speaking as a serious pen person, I was very happy. It's a really good thing for award nominees to get cool stuff: you already feel like you won.

Did an impromptu signing at the Book Expo DC comics booth, and saw a number of old friends (including Len Wein and, artist Jill Karla Schwarz who I'd not seen in the flesh for 12 years), and DC gave away copies of Dream Hunters to happy people.

Then to the Booksense awards where I met lots of people I'd wanted to meet, and stayed for my category (didn't win -- Cornelia Funke did, which made her very happy. Michael Chabon, who was sitting next to me had already deduced we would lose to her, and he was right). (He also commented on the astonishing power of this blog -- a lot of you turned up on his Summerland signing tour and said hi from me. And the very amazing Neal Pollack and I compared notes on our blogs, and agreed about stuff.) So Coraline is a "BOOKSENSE BOOK OF THE YEAR HONOR BOOK" and I have a bag full of wonderful Levenger stuff.

Then a mad dash to the Audie awards -- I was a presenter (and not wearing a tuxedo), and followed Martin Jarvis (of whom I am an enormous fan). I pointed out that Martin and I went to the same school in Croydon ("Quite some years apart!" he shouted from the audience) thus proving to all Americans who had been told off for saying "You're from England? I have a friend in Leighton Buzzard called Bill -- do you know him?" that England really is a tiny place inhabited by approximately 500 people. I lost the Audie award for Coraline, then was asked to sign something, wasn't paying attention, and suddenly found myself being nudged when "Two Plays for Voices" won an Audie. "It will be collected by Harper Audio's Carrie Kania," said Kevin J. Anderson, who was presenting that round of awards. "I am not," said Carrie, sitting next to me. "It's your award, go and get it."

So I did, and I said something grateful, and thanked Brian Dennehy and Bebe Neuwirth and the cast and Brian Smith, the director. It's very lovely.

And came back to the hotel to type this and go to bed. Pretty good day.


Don't know about the FAQ's margins, but the Journal proper was demarginated by the line about
"so-bad-it's-well-not-good-but-everyone-will-at-least-remember-this-show-as- opposed-to-most-other-Eurovision-entries"

I noticed it at the time, but my screen was big enought that it wasn't terrible. Why is it that the Journal doesn't just wrap to anyone's screensize?

Jordan D. White

How odd. On my computer that wraps just fine. I'll go in and fix it.

Hi Neil,

Thought this would be fun for the blog. I stole it from :)


Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked will debut on The History Channel on Monday, June 23 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

The special is hosted by Shane West, star of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie.

Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked was granted "unprecedented" access to comic books published by DC and Marvel Comics from the late 1930's to the present. Featured are interviews with many of the most influential comic book writers and artists of the past 50 years, including Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Denny O'Neil, Michael Chabon, Jim Steranko, Kevin Smith, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman and Joe Quesada.

According to The History Channel, the program was "designed to bring visual depth, energy and movement to classic comic book images while still preserving the integrity of the artwork."

Have a great day!

I'm looking forward to it.

And finally (as I'm tired, and tomorrow -- well, later today -- starts early with a CBLDF Board Meeting and ends very late with a red-eye home for Holly's graduation)...
Dear Neil,
I had been searching for Stardust for a while now but managed to find it during a trip to the airport. While reading it I found something interesting on page 199. The thing that caught my attention was the reference to the sword Balmung. The reason for this was that it seems to be an anagram for Mablung, a character from the works of JRR Tolkien. I was only wondering if you intended to do this or if it was only by accident.


It may well be an anagram, but if so it was Tolkien's. Balmung was forged by Wayland Smith (you'll find him in Puck of Pook's Hill, by Kipling) and used by Odin, Sigmund and Siegfried. Here's a link.