Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Twas the Night Before Endless Nights was published...

Sandman: Endless Nights comes out tomorrow (Wednesday). (Does a little happy dance.)

I hope you all like it. I'm really really proud of it, and think it's got some of the best comics work I've ever done in it. And the art makes me very thrilled indeed.

Everything that I see has Endless Nights listed as #12 in the Sandman series. I have 1-10, and I can't seem to find a #11 anywhere. Could you tell me if it really exists and what it's titled?

I think it's only, as far as I know, who've decided that Endless Nights is Book 12, and I suppose they've picked Sandman:Dream Hunters to be Book 11 by that reckoning. Unless Sandman: Dust Covers, the Dave McKean covers and art book (which also contains one new story) is their #11.

Endless Nights is really not Book 12, unless it's also Book 0 at the same time. As a rule, the further into Sandman you go, the more wise it is to read the books in the order they were published. (Starting with THE WAKE, the last one, is not recommended at all.) Endless Nights on the other hand, is a book that anyone should be able to pick up. People who've already read Sandman will find things in it that people who haven't won't notice, but it should be accessible to anybody.

Dave McKean's done a new set of Sandman covers, patterned after ENDLESS NIGHTS (you can see some of them in this press release at Click on the thumbnail covers to see them full size). We've made sure that those books have numbers on. Endless Nights, intentionally, isn't numbered. It's its own thing.

I did a web-search for Virginia Dare. It says she was a real person and that there is a story that she turned herslef into a white deer. Did you know this? There's a page about her story at amd more on the legend at

Yes, I knew it. Truth to tell, I sort of automatically assumed that most Americans probably were familiar with the story of Virginia Dare and the White Doe, because I first read about it when I was a little kid in England, and, well, you people live here.

(And I just googled, and this -- -- was the first thing that came up, which seems a good retelling of the version I'd heard.)

So, yes, she was a real person, who was, in many stories, killed in the form of a white doe, by a silver arrow. She, and Elizabeth, and James of Scotland, are pretty much it for my real historical people (although there are innkeepers, soldiers, papal assassins, and executioners who just walked on when I needed them and aren't meant to be analogues of anyone really.)



John Giuffo's you/sandman article for the Village Voice is online.
(nice picture... ?)

Thanks. That's the Minneapolis Weird Hair Day photo.

Next to be published will be the USA Today "I want a sort of knowing smirk. No, you're not smirking. Just sort of smirk and look at me sideways," photo, to be followed by the Entertainment Weekly "Stand in front of this giant fan and grit your teeth as hard as you can -- no, I want a real scowl," photos.

I'll stand by my comments about the final Manara page in the Voice article, although it makes more sense if you've read the Desire story. On the other hand the statement that "Gaiman expects that it will be the first graphic novel since Art Spiegelman's 1992 Pulitzer-winning Maus to reach the Times bestseller list" is balderdash: what I expect is that it will sell in numbers which would put it on the Times list, if the Times were tracking it, and if 30% of the sales weren't through the direct market and thus invisible. I'd love to be able to put a graphic novel on the Times list (if you don't count The Wolves in the Walls, which is now in its fifth week on the list), but I'm certainly not holding my breath.

(The New York Times "tracks" the books it expects to see on the list. It sends out queries to reporting stores, asking how many they sold of the books in question. If you're not on the list to be tracked, you won't be on the final list.)

And this one's being posted as a public service announcement...

Hello Neil,

Two partners and myself are starting a monthly zine for the younger crowd (8-12 is what we think but you never can tell, can you?) and we are in need of several comic strips. We're aiming for a full page of comics. Either strips or one panel would be great.

I'm thinking that out of the 20 myriad readers you have there must be some who are just starting drawing comic strips and would like a venue for their work.

We can't pay much at all to start as we're doing this with the change we find in our couches, but we will increase pay as we increase our market. We're all firm believers in treating others as we'd like to be treated and we're all tired of writing, drawing, etc. for no money.

If you'd be so kind as to run the following blurb we'd all be quite grateful. The email is one of my partner's but anyone can also get in touch with me at

Thanks very much,


We're looking for never-before-seen comic strips for a kidzine start-up. In the manner of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Ren & Stimpy, or the Far Side, strips should be kid-friendly but also amusing to adults. We are asking for first syndication rights only. You would retain all other ownership of your work. Query by email at

Good luck.

Hi Neil

First of all - it seems that the Neverwhere DVD does indeed work on dvd machines. So that will be good noise for all those people out there who don't have multi-region dvd players.

Secondly - I'm reading Nick Sagan's Idlewild at the moment- on the strenght of your little blurb I might add and thought you might like to know I'm enjoying it very much.

Lastly - I'm coming to see you when you do your talk at Foyles and i have what might be a problem and might not be. Despite attending the event you did with foyles to launch Coraline we've never met- having hat to leave when half way through the signing queue. Something which has always disapointed me, since you've always been one of my favourite writers. Now I was hopefully going to stand in line this time and get to thank you personally for the many hours of enjoyment your work has given me, however, and here is the rub - I already have Wolves and ALL of your previous work (including an order of Endless Nights) so how CAN i queue to meet you? I was hoping to meet you, as I'm an artist (you can see some of my now quite old work at ) and was hoping to present you with a painting. Just as my little thank you.

Is this going to be at all possible?

Christian Ward

Well, seeing that Foyles is charging for tickets, I very much doubt that they'd try and insist that you buy something new from them to get into the signing line. They certainly didn't last time.

And it's far from unknown for people to get into signing lines and wait for hours to just shake hands and say thanks, or similar. So I wouldn't worry.

And the last word for the night goes to a soon-to-be librarian.

Dear Neil, other people who may or may not read this

I am a 23-year old soon to be school librarian and have been enjoying a lot of the random library banter that's been on your blog lately. I thought I would send in some more info and thoughts becuase I am sure whatever in box this goes to isn't clogged enough.
1. "Where's Waldo" has been challenged and banned so many times because one page features a beach scene on which the sharp eyed viewer may notice a sun bathing woman who has been startled and whose bikini has fallen off. This small illustrator reveals the shocking truth to our children that there are breasts in this world and that women have them. Thank God for all right thinking parents out there who have shielded the innocent lambs of the world from this menace.
2. Libraries sometimes have to play games with where they put their books, because the librarians feel it's more important to have the books in the library. Hence you find some graphic novels in more adult areas, while others may be in a YA section. Librarians want to buy the books that people want. My public library used to have the all of the Sandman graphic novels, until someone stole/lost. Library patrons, tell your librarians what you want. Library budgets are being cut like crazy, but if a couple of people say they want the same things, your librarians should try and find a way to help you out. Graphic Novels are The New Hot Topic of library science so strike now while the iron is hot. Frankly I can't wait till I finish my MLIS in Dec. and get myself a high school library so I can start a graphic novel collection and get angry parent phone calls.

And in the event this gets posted for the wider world to see, do something really radical and subversive that will threaten the morals of society. Read a banned book, banned book week runs from Sept 20-27. If nothing else, pick up Harry Potter. Hundreds of parents swear it will cause you to lose all respect for authority and worship Satan.

Oh, I think you're going to be an excellent librarian...