Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Why I won't do homework...

Let's see -- Kelli Bickman's eBay art auction is in its last day. She's auctioning off this piece, the original design for the mural she did for me, for the CBLDF and the Tibetan Women's Association.

In addition, the CBLDF is inviting comics professionals to Jim Hanley's Universe tomorrow, Wednesday March 8th, to sign the Danish Flag, in a gesture of support for Danish cartoonists (it was Colleen's idea).

One of my heroes -- Ivor Cutler -- is dead. Here's the Times Obituary.

Hello Mr. Gaiman. My name is Daniel Antolin, a print journalism undergrad at Cal State Northridge in California's San Fernando Valley. I was reading your article in The Guardian about comic book movies while doing research for an article I am writing about how comic book movie fan sites are influencing the way movie studios make such films. I had some few questions in that regard I was hoping you would be kind enough to answer. Do you frequent any of the comic book movie fan sites? Which ones and what is it you like about them? What sort of director tends to make a good comic book movie? At first antagonistic to comic book movie fan sites, movie studios are now cozying up to these sites, giving them free promotional material, inviting them to press junkets and to their sets. What do you make of all this? Is it because they really want to make a quality comic book films with fanboy input or are they trying to control the content of these sites by telling them what to report? As a screenwriter, how are superhero movies harder to write than regular movies, given that there is so much comic book/graphic novel source material to keep in mind? Do movies tend to help out a comic book's official story line in any way, say by filling in time gaps, making material more realistic, tweaking characters? What are some example of this occuring in comic book movies? Have you ever had to change something from in a screenplay from the comic book/graphic novel mythos? If so, what did you change and what was the reason? Working as a movie screenwriter, what seems to be the attitude of Hollywood bigwigs toward a comic book's source material? Do they take it seriously? What is the transtion from a graphic novelist to a movie screenwriter like? What specifically did Alan Moore dislike about V for Vendetta? What is the state of comic book and graphic novel sales as of late? Is business good? Do movie adaptation boost sales? Do you have any major gripe s with the new Superman and X-Men movies coming out this summer, from what you have seen thus far? Why do you think more Marvel comics are made into movies than DC comics? If so, what are they?

Hello Daniel. You know that bit on the Ask Neil page that says I won't do your homework? I'm afraid this would count as doing your homework. Good luck with your article.

Hi, I love your work and do you mind if I ask you a few questions. Also, how do I contact you directly, instead of using this form?

Well, you could always try to find the next signing I do and ask me questions there.

I'll be doing a Q&A after one of the Preview performances of Wolves in the Walls in Glasgow.

hi neil, i recognized that the book covers for anansi boys are really much alike the ones for susanna clarke's "jonathan strange & mr. norrel". is that a concidence , or am i missing a trend? greetings eva

I think they're much more like the covers Headline already did in paperback... (I thought I'd posted them here before, but I can't find them now.) Which reminds me -- the search function is now working...

Hello Neil,

See what Dave McKean had to say about you:

See what I had to say about your film:

See what happens if you abuse the livestock:

love from


The poor goat.

And Dave is right, of course, especially about film being a director's medium. It can be astonishingly frustrating for a writer during the process -- at some point I've had each of the directors I've written for over the years say words to the effect of "Well, of course you can write that if you want to. But I won't shoot it."

(It's also worth pointing out that writers don't have any say in casting. Ocasionally we get a vote but it's only a vote.)

Which is one reason why writers occasionally say "sod it" and direct something.

(Here's another interview with Dave McKean.)

Neil-Dumb question but how many black leather jackets do you own? And where do you get them from? bye- Deb

I think there are about five of them, some heavy, some lighter. And they come from all over (one came from Jonathan Carroll, one came from Aardvarks on Melrose, one came from another leather jacket shop now closed on Melrose and was then heavily customised and reworked by Talana Gamah and Ieish, one came from a leather jacket shop in Neal St...). The lovely paper-thin Armani one I got to wear in Singapore and the Philippines dissolved in Chicago while I was on tour.

You appear to be agonizing over the order of stories in your next collection. As a reader I rarely experience such collections in order. I scan through the list of titles and pick and choose the ones that appeal to me depending on my mood. Am I depriving myself of the authors intended experience, or are you just over thinking it? Miss Idlewild

I think it's a reader's prerogative to read in any way he or she wants (I'll sometimes pick some of the shorter stories to read first in a collection). You can skip the poetry, or start at the back and work forward, and the author won't mind (or this one won't). Some people don't read introductions -- I think they're missing out on something interesting (which is why I'll be writing an introduction to the new collection on the plane to the UK on Friday) but that's up to them -- it comes free with the rest of the book. As an author it's nice to think that the order you're putting the stories in is a better experience than just putting them down any old how. My editor, Jennifer Brehl, just sent me her suggested order, and I think we agree on how it begins, and I think we agree on the broad sweep of what happens after that, but disagree on the details. And I think that's a good thing. It may not matter, but it's nice that we care.


Hello, I have been translating the journal from English to French for 6 months or so, and will now need to pass the torch, as it were.I find myself with much less time than I had previously, and well, you blog a lot.Should anyone like to take over the french blog I'd created, I'll gladly hand it over. I have put such a notice on the blog itself.
Best regards,sky

Thanks so much for all your hard work, Sky. And if anyone wants to take it over, let her know...

And finally, Maddy would like it to be widely known that she voted for Kellie Pickler in tonight's round of American Idol.