Saturday, July 23, 2005


Outside my hotel window is somewhere that looks astonishingly like Tokyo, and in the hotel room's bathroom is a toilet with a control panel jutting out of one side, rather like the kind of thing starship captains have, which I find faintly troubling.

Having left Melbourne at 3.00 pm yesterday and arrived on Japan at 7.00 this morning I need to unpack, to recharge my iPod, to have a bath and to nap, because the world is feeling faintly odd right now, as if I'm walking around in a bouncy castle.

I just weighed myself in the hotel bathroom, and discovered, to my gloomy not-surprise, that a month on the road with barely any exercise, lots of sitting and signing, and every meal in a restaurant or hotel, means I've put on a good ten pounds since I left home. So when I get back (tomorrow!) I need to

a) lose the weight I've put on (not really hard)
b) start exercising (not really hard either and helps with (a))
c)make a plan for how to survive the US leg of the signing tour without getting as hellishly zombified as I got on this one and also plan to keep exercising in hotel rooms and figure out some way not put on another ten pounds despite the fact I'll be doing the same sort of tour only with American-size meals on my plate (a bit harder but not impossible) and then
d) actually stick to the plan from (c) (extremely hard).

My assistant the Fabulous Lorraine has gone and found me a personal trainer for when I'm home, and I'll report back on how that works and whether it works.

Speaking of exhaustion, nice article/interview at The Age (the Melbourne paper) at this link. You'll need to register or bugmenot to read it.

While at there's a summary of my trip to the Philippines. (I just wish I'd read all the books on Filipino mythology before I went there, rather than on planes across Australia.)

Hi Mr. Gaiman, or Neil we're not sure what to say. We are Alex and Callie. We're both twelve and living in Ontario (we are just introducing ourselves so you dont think we're strange by calling ourselves "we.") We have a question, and if the answer is no, we have a suggestion to make. We both loved your book Coraline, and each read it countless times, and wondered if you had considered making it into a movie. Again, if the answer is no we DO think you should team up with Tim Burton to make it into one. Why Tim Burton you ask? Tim Burton's style would complement your way of writing, and Coraline's creepy yet wonderful adventure. We would love it if you would consider this, and we know alot of others who would as well. We've also put a lot of thought into the cast. If you want to know who we had in mind, please reply to our question also with a question, if you get our drift. Thanks for keeping us entertained with literature, and for reading. Sincere and hopeful Callie and Alex (and callie rhymes with Sally, for a pronunciation check.)

Dear Callie and Alex,
well, Coraline is now officially in production. And it's not by Tim Burton, but it is by the man who directed Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mr Henry Selick. It will have songs by They Might Be Giants. According to this article -- -- it will probably be out sometime in 2007.

Hi Neil,

Congratulations on finishing your tour. I'm sure you must be aching to get back to your family and garden. Just thought you'd like to know, the trailer of Mirror Mask is now available at For the fans who were unable to see past the crowds during your sneak preview on your tour stops, here is the URL:

We can't wait. Have a good trip home and please send my regards to Eddie Campbell whose work on From Hell still gives me that wonderful feeling of dread.

Karlo S.

Oh good. Eddie and his family were, as always, wonderful. I was just sad that I didn't have longer there.

You are coming to LA in october I just saw. I read in Poppy's diary a while ago about the rules that go at signing sessions. But I wanted also to check in with you. What is the maximum amount of books you will sign for one person? Is it ok if you are in LA for two days to come both of these days and get one or two books signed each time or is that very rude for your other fans? Thanks you in advance for your answer and your time !

I don't think it's wrong to show up on different days, although because the LA Sunday signing is at the bookfair it will only last for an hour, because that's how bookfairs work. (What this will mean in practise is that people will have to decide whether to see me talk or get a book signed afterwards, I expect.) The Vromans signing on the saturday will go on until everyone's done.

The current plans for the tour are that I'll sign as many copies of ANANSI BOYS as you get (in case you're getting copies as presents for friends and family) and two additional things you bring with you.

Different shops will have different rules, so the most important thing is to check with the bookshop early. For example, I just got an email from Troy at Joseph-Beth booksellers in Charlotte, which I'll reproduce here in full as an example of how one shop is organising the signing:

People are encouraged show up between 5 and 5:30 so that all pre-orders can be retrieved for the attendees since the books will have just officially gone on sale the day prior.

We are selling pre-order vouchers of the book. Each pre-order will be accompanied with a Group Ticket Letter. Early pre-orders will have Group 'A', then 'B,C,D' the earlier the purchase the earlier that group gets called to get in the line for the signing portion at the end of the event. Pre-orders can be purchased over the phone and held for the event. If the person is coming for the event they can pick it up the 20th or 21st, if they are picking it up after the event please tell us how it should be personalized or if it should be signature only.

The event will start at 6pm with a 15-20 minute reading from 'Anansi Boys', then 15-20 minutes of Q&A with the signing following immediately after it's conclusion.

Neil will be happy to sign as many copies of 'Anansi Boys' that an individual wishes to purchase, but will limit to two the number of additional items a person might bring with them, in addition to the new book.

Hopefully this will help everyone out there planning to attend.

The only thing I'd want to point out is "tell us how it should be personalised" means Would You Like Someone's Name On It? and Is It A Birthday Or Wedding Present? It's not an invitation for you to leave a message saying "Please have Neil copy out the attached Shakesperian Sonnet on the dedication page and then do a drawing of a cat learning German irregular verbs and underneath that write Dearest Alexandra, do not give up on your studies, who knows what will happen if only you follow your dreams, also please try to listen to your parents more and would it kill you to tidy your room once in a while?"

Really wondering now about your meeting with Eddie Campbell. Last thing I saw by him was in the recent The Escapist No. 6 (80 Page Giant: Gregarious Gregory), which contains the required reading of Will Eisner's last graphic work. But ever since Campbell's case of Egomania cleared up, we have been left wondering if he's tired of dusting his wine bottles or is finally "up to something" or can be compelled to be up to something by a certain mop-haired Minnesotan. Surely he's producing one of his "Alec the Artist" type books, maybe After the Snooter II: The Armageddon?Gregory from Midd Tenn

One of the best things about seeing Eddie is getting a sneak peek at upcoming Campbelliana, in this case the next Alec book, of which Mr Campbell said, in a recent communication:

...the book is called 'The Fate of the Artist' and tell him it's all finished and ready to come out next march/april and it's the dog's bollocks.

Having read it, I can assure you that it truly is the dog's bollocks. (Note: while Bollocks means literally testicles and less literally rubbish, you may be pleased to hear that The Dog's Bollocks means exceptionally good. If you don't believe me, look at

Finally, anyone who reviews comics, or comments on comics, or thinks they might one day write about or review comics in a newspaper has to read Jessa Crispin's pithy tirade first. It starts with 1. �They�re not just for kids anymore� is not an original, interesting, clever or even remotely intelligent opening statement. You�re recycling a decades-old stereotype, akin to declaring �Novels: They�re not just for ladies of leisure anymore� in a review of a �real� book. And it goes on from there.

Okay. To the bath. At least that doesn't have a control panel.