Thursday, October 28, 2004

Once in a blue moon, or a red one

Right. I'm back in the US, the place I'm staying is now livable (although the builders are still here, beavering away in the next room), and I've just solved the internet connectivity issue (although I barely have a phone connection, which is probably a good thing really).

If I'd solved the connection issue last night I would have posted about the blood-red lunar eclipse... But I watched it, and it made me very happy...

So now I'm back just in time to write like a mad thing.

I've ordered a new iPod, so Holly gets my old one, which makes her happy. This means that I've got a new iPod as my birthday present for myself the last two years (and got one from Mary the year before that). It also means that they've none of the three of them lasted longer than 11 months before being sent off to Apple to be replaced (which is why I now get the extended warranty) which isn't a very good percentage. And I have no desire at all to have pictures on the iPod. But I do want 60G of space...


Bill Liebowitz owned and founded Golden Apple on Melrose, a comics-and-entertainment store. I've known Bill and his wife Sharon since I did my first signing in one of their stores in 1989. He was a good man, he really enjoyed what he did and loved the medium of comics as much as he loved yo-yos. (He gave my son his first yo-yo.) He did good things for the CBLDF, and long after I'd pretty much stopped doing signings in Comic Shops I kept on doing signings and events for Bill, because he was unique and so was Golden Apple.

He died yesterday, and is already much-missed, not least by me.

Mark Evanier has an appreciation of Bill, and a photo. (In the photo, Bill is the one who isn't blonde.)

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about learning that there really were hobbit-sized members of the human family (and of course they rode ponies and fought dragons. Or ran away from them). It's like someone discovering fossil remains of a one-horned horse: something suddenly slips from idea-space into the world.

I like the quote in the BBC article from Dr Henry Gee at Nature, where he says "The whole idea that you need a particular brain size to do anything intelligent is completely blown away by this find." Henry manages to give an interview about hobbit-sized people, and then write a whole article about it for the Guardian, without ever once plugging his book The Science of Middle Earth, which is more than I would have been able to do.

(More on the little people at the Washington Post.)


Hello Mr. Gaiman,So I looked online and found data about each state and calculated the geographic centre of the USA. So drum roll please, the Geographic Centre of the 48 Continuous States is 98� 54.8' W and 38� 39.1' N (Between Galatia and Millard, Kansas). The Geographic Centre of the 50 States is108� 21.8' W and 43� 7.2' N (Near Delfelder, Utah. Obviously the answer is only as accurate as the data I started with. I admit it is possible that I have made a mistake. When I first entered the coordinated into MathQuest I got the GC to be in Nepal! I forgot that W = negative.You can see more information on my website. Karen Collins

So Karen has the centre of America in something that Microsoft Streets and Trips tells me is on NW 200 Rd Hoisington, KS. Any other contenders?


If you search for "Blue Moon" on this journal, you'll find several discussions of Blue Moon Ice Cream....

I found this in the food section of the Sacramento Bee. It's a site that lets you order custom ice creams, with flavors that include avocado, blue moon, hot pepper, pandan and rose water, with toppings the likes of dill weed, cheddar cheese pieces, black sesame seeds and Pop Rocks. Obviously I've emphasized the weird ones, but the whole site just looked like something you might enjoy.

Have a safe trip home,

Diana Foss

Thanks. There are some faintly mind-boggling flavours of ice-cream on there...


And yesterday's question asking about references for comics scholarship got a slew of replies:

Neil,For Justin and his graphic novel paper an article from Library Journal Also he could use the journal's search function to find more information. Susan Kosenka


Dear Neil, For anyone looking for scholarly articles on comics I've found the annoted bibliography at to be extremely helpful. Take care, Remco


Anyone doing comic research should start with - comics scholarship annotated bibliographies. Karon Flage


You'd be looking for the journal ImageTexT, published out of the University of Florida. Website is


And now, a Fiddler's Green suggestion:

Yet another odd possibility for Fiddler's Green: Wedding(s). I'm coming from out of state, but I checked with the county office. If I bring my ordination certificate (and $5.50), I can stop by a county service center on my way from the airport and register myself to perform marriages in Minnesota.Being universalist (in that I don't know that anyone has the right answer), I can do just about any kind of ceremony. There's an email link here for anyone interested.Important point: Minnesota has a statutory *five day* waiting period between obtaining the license and the ceremony, so this might not work for people coming from out of state. It could be fun to have a wedding after the auction, adding further celebration to the Masque. Or it could be too much.

By the way, tomorrow is the last day for getting the cheap-rate Hotel Rooms for Fiddler's Green -- which is, for those coming in late, a Sandman-themed convention, in Minneapolis in a couple of weeks' time, with me, Karen Berger, Charles Vess, Jill Thompson, Todd Klein and Caitlin Kiernan as Guests of Honour. All profits are going to the CBLDF.... for more info.


Hi Neil,I read in your journal about the school Halloween celebration being cancelled because of witches being offended. I wanted to let you know that the majority of us aren't really all that offended by Halloween and so far, no evidence has shown up that a witch actually complained. If anyone wants to know how actual witches feel about it, they can check out the section called "Wren's Nest" at and look up the various articles and comments about it. Thanks! Amanda

FWIW, I don't actually believe that the school in question ever thought that Wiccans would be offended, or cared. I think they're idiots who were looking for an excuse to ban something fun and magical with chocolate in it.


Neil, Do you have any suggestions where one might find the Hebrew editions of your books on-line? I tried looking on a couple Israeli bookseller websites, but am a little unsure of how to spell your name in Hebrew, so I'm not sure if they don't carry your books or if I was just searching for the wrong name.Todah Rabbah, John W. Leys

Well, most of the book covers are up at so you could start there.


Right. Back to work.