Friday, January 23, 2004

bits. bobs. blobs. blits.

I just visited and realised I could get a visual representation of where I signed last year. I ticked every country where I did a book signing in 2003, and it came to 17 countries (I also stopped over in Iceland, but didn't sign anything there), and it produced this map:


create your own visited country map)

(That Pacific side is next, I hope.)


I wrote here a few months ago about Jim Vadeboncoeur's magazine ImageS. He just sent me an advance copy of the second black and white Annual. It's gorgeous -- a host of wonderful turn pre-1923 illustrators and illustrations, oddments from the greats, and a portal into (or portrait of) a vanished world. The Norman Lindsays alone are woth the cost of the publication. The bad news is that once the next one is published Jim's putting ImageS onto hiatus for a while. However the back issues remain available, and the next Annual is still to come out, and it's something that anyone who fancies themselves an artist, or a lover of fine illustration, might want to seriously consider checking out.


Went with Maddy and my assistant Lorraine last night to see Pacific Overtures in Minneapolis (Mary wanted a report back on the show before she goes).

I was lucky enough to see the English National Opera production of Pacific Overtures in 1987, and loved it. Last night's production was not in that class (although the "Welcome to Kanegawa" scene was funnier) although it was well-acted and sometimes well-sung. Maddy fell asleep at the end, and I worried that she hadn't enjoyed it, although I woke up this morning to find that she'd already located a CD of it and was singing lustily along to Chrysanthumum Tea.

(I didn't find it as bad as this review. But I did find myself sometimes mentally subsituting what was going on on the stage for what should have been going on on the stage. "Pretty Lady" can be a heart-stopping beautiful song, except it wasn't.)


Though I'm disappointed Wolves in the Walls didn't at least get a Caldecott nod, I am quite pleased that they gave Mo Willem's Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! a Caldecott honor. You have read it, right? Right?

(Then again, if you were to win a Caldecott or Newbery award I would probably become quite insufferable; my library co-workers would have to ostracize me until I could behave myself.)

(scroll down to the bottom)


Wolves in the Walls can't get a Caldecott -- Dave McKean's neither a US citizen nor a resident, and because it was published in the US first, it wasn't eligible for the equivalent UK prizes. (And it's strating to collect its share of prizes. It was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2004, and has just received an Italian honour that I need to get the details on before I put it up here.)

I haven't read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! I take it that I should.


Hello, Mr. Gaiman.

I'm another friend of kittybecca, whose story you posted a link to in your blog today. I am also helping her, relevantpink, plutomoment and various others get her life back together again. I wanted to reiterate that Becca was very touched that you mentioned her here and invite you to check in on any of our journals (hosted at to see how the effort is progressing, should you have a chance.

Thank you again for your help.

Russ Matthews

You're very welcome (really the thanks should go to Elise, who made sure that I knew). I'm just lucky that there are so many readers of the blog, and that they, and others, are helping Kittybecca and her daughters.


I keep meaning to mention the various 1602 sites. In the meanwhile, Julian Darius has an excellent background on 1602, with notes from this journal, at I should mention that I did, in the end, get my way, and the last issue, #8, is even longer than the first one was.