Thursday, December 18, 2003

Funny Headline In Cleveland Shock Horror.

I never thought I'd find myself actually missing "Wham! Smash! Pow! Comics Aren't Just For Kids Any More!" as a headline, but there's something about the tone of the Cleveland Plain Dealer headline: "Graphic novels get book world's respect and geeks - er, readers' - satisfaction" (I think it's probably the misguided conviction that it's funny) that make me feel nostalgic for the innocent elegance of the usual old "Kerwhap! Spung! Comics Have Grown Up". It's not a bad article, but that headline, sigh... (mi sides are splitting and mi mirth is uncontrollable.)


I was interviewed last month by a very nice interviewer named Sash, who, learning that I hadn't read Francis Spufford's book The Child That Books Built, took it upon herself to provide me with a copy. I've been reading it, a few pages at a time, for the last month, and am finding it both fascinating and terrifying. I often feel, reading it, like I'm reading parts of my own internal biography -- the one formed by books, -- and there are chapters that are scarily personal in their accuracy: the Narnia chapter, or one about the discovery of SF. It's almost a relief when Spufford and I differ in our inner landscape. Astonishingly well-written book about, well, books.

There are books I've written -- Stardust was one -- because I wanted to read them, and no-one else had written them. I almost felt, reading the Spufford book, that there was a book I now didn't have to write.


Just a quick one - is "Anansi boys" a deliberate play on "Nancy Boys", or have you been in the US so long that outdated English slang has slipped your memory? (Apologies if you've already answered this one).

BTW I greatly enjoyed the talk you & Dave did for Foyles - will you come back next yr?

It's deliberate, although mostly because I liked the way the syllables worked.

Not sure when we'll be back for Foyles, but I do know I'll be a guest at the Edinburgh Literary Festival next August (2004), and may well do a talk or signing in London.

I'm majoring in public relations and hoping to becoming a publicist. I'd rather not be a publicist for someone in the movie or music business as I think I'd feel like I was compromising my morals, but figured you very rarely hear about an author trashing their hotel room (either that or those spots get removed from your blog). My question, however, is what exactly does a literary publicist do. I suspect it's quite similar to what a publicst does in any other field, but it seems like there would be far less cause for a literary publicist as authors are rarely more famous then their specific works. Any information would be appreciated.


Well, most publicists work for lots of people. I'm not sure that the morals of authors is any improvement on those of the acting or music profession; but then, I've known a lot of musicians, actors and directors, and none of them have ever trashed their hotel rooms. Except one rock star, now a family man with the spotless conscience of a Victorian Bishop, who said it was something they did a bit in the seventies when they got amazingly bored, but they only did it a couple of times because, after all, you had to pay for the damage.

There are some freelance literary publicists in New York, but most literary publicists work directly for publishers, calling journalists, sending out books, organising book tours or launch parties, and putting authors together with interviewers.

I've used freelances a couple of times, for short periods, normally when I was doing stuff that was outside the area of any single publisher's publicist. But normally I'll rely on the publisher's publicity department, and then only when something new is coming out.

Hi Neil,

I was looking through your site & was wondering if you have a list of all the awards you've won over the years from all the work you've written? I'm curious to know what awards you've won ever since I learned that The Sandman was awarded a World Fantasy award. Thanks in advance for your response. (If no response is given, I still thank you for taking the time to read this.)


There's a page up at which is a bit out of date, and is incomplete, I'm afraid. But it's a start.

I've looked all over, and couldn't find this anywhere in the FAQ. In "August", there is inference that Julius Caesar took his great nephew Caius Octavius (who would later become emporer Augustus) as a lover while Caius was in Spain. Well, I know historically that bisexuality was common in Rome at the time (there was no "don't ask don't tell" policy), and that Caius was in Spain with Julius Caesar in 46 BC., but do you have any definative text to support the case for buggery, or did you make the leap without? Thank you for your time.

Shalene Shimer

Young Augustus was certainly rumoured to have been Julius Caesar's boyfriend. I took pretty much everything in "August" from the Caesar and Augustus chapters of Seutonius's wonderful "The Twelve Caesars", in the Robert Graves translation. (There's more than a little online Suetonius at, although not the Graves.)

Of course you know Jon Singer. Everyone knows Jon Singer. He was the first person I met when I came to California umpty years ago. I was in Norway, for Bergen's very first science fiction convention, and a German fan asked me, "Do you know Jon Singer?" (I bet you don't have a Jon Singer T-shirt, though.)

No, I don't. I did once make someone fall off a chair, at a reading I was doing in Kepplers bookshop in San Jose, by mentioning Jon Singer during a Q & A, though.

>a 1996 Dave McKean Anthropomorphik Calendar for example should provide
>lots of images to put on your wall. And if 1996 ever comes round again,
>you could use it as a calendar.

Well, calendars *do* repeat, of course. 1996 is a rather tricky one,
since it's a leap year. Looks to me like the soonest you could reuse
a 1996 calendar would be 2024.

(You may fairly accuse me of having too much free time; however in my
defense I will point out that UNIX shells -- including the one that
comes with Mac OS X -- have a nifty little utility that will print out
a calendar for any year in the Common Era and even knows about the
change from Julian to Gregorian dating back in the 18th century.)

David Goldfarb

Good lord.

Um, well, I've read some of the FAQ, but it's long and this is faster, do you read the LJ feed? I read fan postings that say you do not, and I've taken that as truth and posted comfortable in the knowledge that you are unaware.

But, now, I must ask as I see you have friends on LJ and I know I'd be peeking from time to time.

Have you resisted? Will you continue to do so? I need to know.

I didn't know I was meant to resist. I'll check the LiveJournal Feed whenever it's been misbehaving, which from time to time it has been, and make sure that it's posting, especially when I need to keep twiddling with settings at Blogger in order to get things to work. Haven't checked it for a while because it seems to have been working fine.


Hello from LiveJournal-land! The officialgaiman RSS feed seems to be a big hit. There's 3602 readers at this moment, and the number of comments repeatedly soars over 30 and 40 per entry. But there's a bit of a problem with that - not all of the people commenting realize it's a feed, and that you don't actually read the comments. Recently it's gotten to the point where every second or third entry, someone will post a comment directed to you, and someone else will step in with the address of the FAQ page and directions to take the comment there.

I was wondering if there'd be a way to include the FAQ address at the bottom of every entry, with some sort of indication that questions to you should go there, rather than in the comments. Or maybe if you'd be interested in having volunteer LJ-ers transcribe the questions over here every few days, or something. I can't speak for anyone else, but it's getting a little annoying to keep repeating "He doesn't read these, go over to his site."

Thanks for listening, and I hope I didn't interrupt your thoughts too much.


Well, the only way I know that I could use to put things at the bottom of every Live Journal feed would be for me to put something at the bottom of every post, which I think would get very irritating for everyone very fast.

I think this is one of those cases where all 3,602 readers are just going to have to have infinite patience with people signing up on Live Journal who assume it's an actual Live Journal, rather than an RSS feed. There are always new people coming along.

Have you thought about putting together a short FAQ for Live Journal people, that you can point them to, explaining what they're reading? (And if you send me the link, I'll post it here.)

Hey Neil,

I noticed that you wrote in your journal that'll you'll be home soon. Do you have a special place that you go to and write?

Yes. Well, there are a lot of special places. Normally I'll borrow a house from a friend (I'm lucky in having several friends with more houses than they have bodies).

And finally,

Hi Neil-

In response to where to buy Dave McKean Art- We have had great success through The Gomez Gallery in Baltimore Maryland. Cheri Landry is extremely helpful and nice. It might take a while (after all I heard Dave is working on a movie :) and he has to print out his work).

The whole family loves your work (and Dave's). Thanks for continuing to create.


You're welcome. And I found a link to the Gomez gallery at