Thursday, March 31, 2005

mailbag stuff

When the first MirrorMask Teaser went up, we mentioned that the music wasn't from the movie, and people started to ask write in to ask where it was from and who did it. And I said I'd try to find out.

So for everyone who was wondering, Michael Polis at Hensons tells me it was by a composer named Fletcher Beasley. And a quick google gives a website at for the curious.


"Aargh! is now part of history and so is the clause, but Alan's piece for it, the Mirror Of Love, is available in a gorgeous book form"It might be worth mentioning that this is not really the *same* piece. It's a re-presentation of the *text* of that piece, with new illustrations by Jose Villarubia. But the original piece, as published in AARGH! was a comics story, with quite good art by Steve Bissette and Rick Veitch. Each is a beautiful work, with qualities that the other doesn't share, and I think they both deserve recognition.-- Alexx Kay

I should have mentioned that, you're quite right.

Hi Neil, hope the redrafting is going ok. I thought I'd point you in the direction of this article in the Guardian about children's literature and the new "golden age" for when you have free time again... it's pretty interesting, and I was pleased to see you name-checked alongside children's authors "at the top of their game". So kudos, and deservedly so. Hope all is well with you, Mehran -,6109,1448965,00.html

That's a really interesting article, and I love that final bit about me and Dave McKean. It doesn't mention one thing I've noticed over the last couple of years, which is that the review space for children's books seems to be shrinking back to where it was in about 1999ish. For a while in there children's books were getting individual reviews, now they're back to being reviewed in monthly clutches.

...I do have one question would you ever consider teaching someone to write, perhaps not how to write like you but how to develop their own style? Would you ever consider taking on pupils?

Mostly I say no when asked, because I'm not sure that the things I have to say are the things people want to hear. For example, my only response to something like this:

Dear Neil, Bradbury had a medicine for melancholy. How about the cure for insecurity?It's a writing question. Or maybe a plotting one. I don't know where I'm going after the first chapter. Instead of working to get to chapter two, I stop. I have notebooks and hard drives filled with thousands of good first chapters.Any experience with this? Got an antidote?

is to say yes, finish things, and to suggest that you might want to write short stories before trying novels. You can finish a short story in the same sort of length as a first chapter.

Beyond that most of the advice that I can give is so simple as to be useless. And I've already written it all in this blog over the last four years -- for example:

Neil, I hate to say this but Stardust the comic isn't up at The novel certainly is, but it's a shame the comic ain't cause I really wanted to order the illustrated version badly. Charles as a fantasy painter has no equal. Anyway, I hope you sort this out.

Well, they may be currently out of new copies at Amazon, but you must not let this deter you. Check your local comic shop. Check your local bookshop (and bookshops can always order things.) Check (or in the UK For things by me, it's always wise to check DreamHaven's site, which they created because I got tired of simply suggesting to people who wanted to know where to get anything of mine that wasn't obvious that they get it at DreamHaven. Incidentally, I did a DreamHaven search for Stardust, and they have it in and also have the wonderful Charles Vess San Diego print.

By the way, the full title of the DC Comics version is Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess' Stardust, which I mention not to be pedantic but because it can help in online searches.