Monday, February 27, 2006

Spear of Destiny -- now on eBay

Lorraine and I spent some of today going through various tubs and boxes in the attic and the basement, looking for Sandman stuff for the forthcoming Absolute Sandmans. Back when they shot the original art to make the black plate for the comics, sometimes it was over- or under- exposed, and either the blacks would join together and fill in, and we'd lose detail, or the finer lines would vanish completely, and we'd lose detail. Luckily, I kept everything I was ever sent -- or tried to. Lots of stuff has been sent back to DC Comics over the years for the various Companions and suchlike, and it hasn't always returned safely, so some things have disappeared. But the photocopies of the issues have mostly been kept, and they are, on the whole, good, clean, crisp black and white photocopies of the art, with clean black-on-white (as opposed to the white on black in the comics) Morpheus word balloons which means that we don't need to redo the ones that have closed up. But finding them, that's been the challenge.

Still, there's a lot of serendipity about, when you go rummaging through old tubs of papers. Every now and again I'll run into something I thought lost forever -- comics pages I wrote and drew when I was about 14, for example, or the drawing lesson Dave McKean faxed me before I began my 24 hour comic -- and I'll be pleasantly amazed.

Mostly it makes me wish that I had a couple of months to do nothing but go through stuff.

I think I'm going to reprint a few stories that have never been reprinted for the 2007 short story collection for kids I'm planning (Ray Bradbury said that he didn't mind if I called it M is for Magic, which is my tip of the hat to R is for Rocket and S is for Space, bless him) and I know that it'll be back to the tubs again for that.


Over at Locus Online -- -- there's a few interesting links. There's the extract from their 1991 and their 2005 interviews with me and Terry Pratchett up, for example. There's the locus poll and survey and the online-only SF poetry poll.

And then there are the things you find out about from their sidebars, like
this terrific interview with Poppy Z Brite.

Terry Gilliam has run off to join the circus, and you he talks about that and copyright and mentions reviving Good Omens in this article --

And, probably like many authors, I watch the reports of the current Da Vinci Code - Holy Blood, Holy Grail suit with interest. (
Here's the Guardian on the first day in court.) I kept thinking there was something familiar about the case, and finally realised that it was similar in many ways to when my old friend James Herbert was sued by Trevor Ravenscroft, the author of (the sort of non-fiction) The Spear of Destiny over what Ravenscroft felt to be copyright infringements in Jim's novel The Spear. A Google showed the court case mentioned in this Bookseller article, and in this case summary.

In addition, you can find out about the mysterious histories of the Spear of Destiny in this Wikipedia article which begins The Spear of Destiny, sometimes known as the Holy Lance, Holy Spear, Lance of Longinus, or Spear of Longinus, is claimed to be the spear that pierced the side of Jesus when he was on the cross

and finishes up with the rather awesome claim,

Spear of destiny on eBay Spear of destiny for sale now on eBay. New Bidders Welcome!

One of those hypothetical questions :-p If you had to choose between working on comics and working on straight forward literature, which would you choose? Do you feel like one is more effective than the other? Thanks.

I don't have an answer, I'm afraid -- it's one of those "If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life would it be cheese or apples?" sort of questions that makes my eyes cross just thinking about it. Luckily, nobody's ever going to make me choose. And no, I don't think one is more effective than the other: it's cheese and apples...

Neil,I would like to know how often you write, I am working on my novel at this time and I was just thinking about how often my own personal favorite writer's create a different life on page. Well, with that said how often do you write? When you're working on a novel, how much of the novel do you work on in a day? Do you write a chapter a day or do you perhaps write two or three chapters? Okay, just a simple thought. Thanks Neil for all the writing and powerful words. Jeff Buford

When I'm working on a novel I try and write every day, and I'm perfectly happy as long as I've done over about 1500 words.





HOWEVER: The Books of Magic was a pretty okay book I guess.

Okay fine it was rockin'.

I hate that I cannot bring myself to hate you, Neil.

That would be the non-speaking Garfield cartoons I linked to at Sorry about that -- I didn't mean to send people there to crash your forum.

In my defense, that's one of the advantages and disadvantages of the internet -- if something interesting gets discovered or linked to, it can go wider than anyone ever expected, and the next thing you know thousands of people who never knew that your site existed are stomping around, staring at interesting things on it, or downloading your song or your video, or whatever. And raging at people who point out that something's interesting and link to it isn't going to stop that happening again. Probably the best solution is never to post interesting things, and to stop other people doing it.


If you're in Manchester on Friday, there's a screening of MirrorMask with a Dave McKean Q&A afterwards.

And finally, thanks to all of you who sent me the link to me signing books, in Lego...