Sunday, November 28, 2004

News from the Dead Room

The last two days were as much fun as I've had in ages, and reminded me once again why radio plays are, if not my favourite medium, at least one of my favourite media. It's like film-making without the waiting about, and with its own special magic.

I spent the weekend, with seven actors, a Punch and Judy professor, three studio staff, a director and his assistant, in the BBC studio in Maida Vale, turning the radio play version of Mr Punch I've written into something the BBC will be broadcasting (on Radio 3 on, I am told, March the 3rd 2005 . I've just looked at the way things work on "The Wire" website at and it looks, because "The Wire" is monthly, like the show will remain up for download for an entire month. An amazing cast, a terrific director and technical people, and a dozen puppets.

I am now exhausted but very, very happy; and my only regret is that producer Lu Kemp couldn't be there.

It's unfair to single out individual performers, but I'm going to do it anyway: Richard Dillane played the narrator, and he did an astonishing job of finding the melody of the sentences. I hope he'll read more of what I've written; Sandy Morton was an amazing Professor Swatchell; and Jonathan Bee, who plays the narrator as a boy, will probably be a huge star when he grows up.

Geoff Felix, the puppeteer who did the voice of Mr Punch, and all the Punch and Judy show material for the Mr Punch radio play (and who did it because he liked and respected the Mr Punch graphic novel, which made me happy) mentioned to me that he will be doing his Punch and Judy show at the Museum of London ( on the 28th (noon and 3.00pm) and 29th of December 2004 (2:30pm and 4:00pm), and I pass this information on because there are few enough top notch traditional Punch and Judy shows about and Geoff is really good, and because, while I won't be there, I wish I was: it's a joy to see a traditional show done when it's done well, and to realise you're laughing at the same jokes and routines that made 'em laugh in the streets of London almost 200 years ago. (This is Geoff's website.)

I'm now exhausted, so you're not getting much of a blog entry really.

Re: Under ByenHmmm, the link you posted in your blog to Danish band Under Byen doesn't sem to work anymore. You could link to this comprehensive English language fan site instead: which has lyrics, articles etc, PLUS a link to this Belgian site which (legally) streams the entire second album:
I saw them live here in Odense (Denmark) a few days ago, and I was VERY impressed even though I'm usually a bit suspicious of Bj�rk/Stina Nordenstam/Talk Talk soundalikes. It seems fairly likely that they'll do a 'Sigur R�s' and quietly go global in an underground kind of way.And yes, the first time I heard the name Under Byen ("Below the City") it DID make me think of Neverwhere.Michael, Odense, Denmark.

Thanks, Michael.

Kitty, who is a wonderful artist (and was selling comics panels framed in copper at Fiddler's Green), and who also feeds bands and musicians on tour across the world, sent me a note about her next exhibition:

"swimming pools and movie stars..."please come to Kitty's first LA show. color photographs encased in handcut, recycled glasseach "glass candy bar" is a little postcard from the road.images collected on various tours in and out of the country. Thursday Dec. 9th, 2004 @7:30 pmWorkhorse Studios 4210 Santa Monica theSilverLake area.

Which I post for people in the LA area who either a) need cool Xmas presents or b) were at Fiddler's Green and just want to say hi to Kitty again.

Scott McCloud wrote to suggest I mention that the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is looking for an "Assistant Professor in our BFA Comic Art program. " If you've ever wanted to teach comics full-time, now may be your opportunity. Details are up at

Hi Neil, For folks in Australia, the Continuum website has been updated with lots of information. Robin Hobb has joined the cast of players, alongside yourself, Poppy Z. Brite, and Richard Harland. After the event, everyone's invited to my birthday party (it will rival Bilbo Baggins' one-hundred-and-eleventieth).,Rick

I've started talking to may Australian publishers about doing a handful of signings while I'm in Australia.

Incidentally, I'm still trying to figure out how Vitamin Q can do a list of Victorian street catchphrases from Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (one of the world's best books) and leave out Terry Pratchett's favourite, "Twopence more and up goes the donkey"?