Friday, April 08, 2005

...and nail 'em to the wall...

Currently trying to finish the very last Anansi Boys bits while also working with Roger Avary on our Beowulf revision (most of which is about taking what we wrote as a live action movie and re-imagining it as a motion-capture/animated thing). Roger discovered that I have a hitherto undiscovered aptitude for writing rugby song lyrics, so whenever there's an obscene mead-hall drinking song to be written, I get to do it. Yesterday was a song about Hrothgar when young, called "Nail 'em to the Wall".

Nothing much else is happening -- I'm getting further and further behind on emails and suchlike. Dave McKean just finished the MirrorMask "graphic novella" art and design.

I just drew three different seven-legged spiders and fedexed them to my editor at Harper Collins, who will, I hope, like one of them. They want to use a drawing by me as part of the advance stuff, and there's a very brave and noble seven-legged spider in Anansi Boys (who starts out as clay, rather like Eblis O'Shaughnessy in Sandman did) so I decided to draw it. I hope they like the drawings (I get much more nervous about drawing than I do about writing).

Two quick things: First, did you use "rube" instead of "punter" for the Mirrormask book? It's a bit ruder, implying a lack of culture or a backwoods origin, but I've known carnies who used "rubes" to describe the customers.Second, you might want to consider capitalizing Creek, since the original phrase refers to the fear that the Creek Nation might rise in battle and not that a small stream might flood. usual thanks and fannish gwee,Peg.

I couldn't really use rubes or marks instead of punters, mostly because they're such US specific slang (and they sort of imply a "them and us" relationship that "punters" doesn't, not really), and of course, Helena isn't American. I'll do the last tidy on the text in a few minutes and I think I'm probably just going to keep "punters" as it is.

Learning that the Creek in question were the Indian nation and not a stream was a wonderful thing. Thanks.

Hi Neily:

(You've answered a question from me earlier, which in my book offically allows me the privledge of giving you a nickname) I need your help! I't's disastrous, It's terrible! Only you can help!

I reaaaaaally want to read the Hill House edition of "American Gods," but alas, I must eat. While gazing longingly at the Hill House site, I noticed that the book comes with a "Reader's Edition." A glimmer of hope! I immediately contacted them to find out if i could purchase just the Reader's Edition, and they said no. Terrible! These folks need to remember when they were struggling twenty-somethings, lacking the funds to buy $200 novels.

What is a poor girl to do if she wants to read those extra 12,000 words, barring going hungry or taking an unsavory job dancing on tabletops?

pre-emptive thanks,
cynthia silvestri (again)

Neily? (Raises eyebrow. Thinks. Raises other eyebrow.)

Er. If you're after the Reader's edition some of the bookdealers who bought copies of the HillHouse edition to re-sell have split them up (which on the one hand is a bit dodgy, as they got the Reader's Copies for free, and on the other hand is something that they can obviously do as booksellers to earn an honest profit). Best bet is to check the websites for online bookselling --, and so on.

Simply put, I would like to include this site in my links section on my website. I run an English Language Academy in Spain and would like to direct users to something more entertaining and less didactic than what they are used to.Is it possible? Thankyou. John Parker

Of course.

Dear Neil,I've just finished reading Neverwhere, and I enjoyed it enormously. A few of my friends told me that if I liked the book, I also had to watch the BBC series. And thus I went in search of the DVD. Which I found at And then it turned out they only had the Neverwhere DVD available in region code 1 (US & Canada). Since I live in the Netherlands, I need a region code 2 DVD. I've browsed the net and every online DVD shop I know (including the BBC shop) in search of the region code 2 DVD, but unfortunately, I'm beginning to suspect it was never released as such. I did find one used copy of the Neverwhere series on video at, but honestly, I'd much rather have the series on a brand new DVD.And thus my question to you: has the Neverwhere series ever been released as a region code 2 DVD? If not, are there any plans of releasing it as a region code 2 in the near future? I surely hope so, because I'm getting rather frustrated about this whole ordeal. Thanks for your time!Best regards,Helenr.

This is definitely one for the next round of Frequently Asked Questions: whatever it says on the site, the US DVD of Neverwhere (and the DVD of "A Short Film About John Bolton") are both Region Zero. As far as I know, it plays everywhere.

Heya Neil,Michael Zulli's website seems only to have a contact for the webmaster, which is apparently not the best way to get a question to Mr. Zulli, so I was wondering if you could find out for us if he's planning on making the Last Morpheus painting available as a print or poster for the thousands of people who will not be lucky enough to hang the original masterpiece in their parlours.Thanks,Shawn McBee

I doubt it -- Morpheus belongs to DC Comics, who would not look kindly on Michael selling prints or posters. (And the next question is Well, Why Don't They Do It? I'll certainly suggest it to the powers that be.) There's a fun interview with Michael Zulli up at

And finally, I need to find Graham Linehan's e-mail address. I know I have it somewhere, and he badly needs to know that Father Dougal Maguire of Craggy Island is currently 1,000 to 1 to be Pope. People have done things with worse odds.