Monday, September 18, 2006


Hello Neil,

You'll probably know this by the time you read my note, but what the hell.

Mastermind tonight (which we flicked over to half way through) featured the most wonderful contestant whose specialist subject was Sandman. When quizzed by John Humphreys, "so, graphic novels, they're just comics really aren't they?", he used great words such as "meta-contextual" and was generally funny and upbeat about being a bit of a comics geek. Brought the whole subculture into repute.

If there's a watch-again that you can find, I'd highly recommend you have a gander.


PS At risk of ruining this whole message by sounding like an awful fan-girl, I loved your reading of Coraline... Please record more audio books!

Well, this year I've recorded audio books of Stardust and Fragile Things for Morrow (Stardust came out a few weeks ago, Fragile Things -- with, I suspect some very dodgy accents in a couple of stories on the part of the narrator, although I've not actually heard it -- should be out in a few weeks. I think they're both coming out from Headline in the UK...

Of course, the very best audio of any of my books is Lenny Henry's recording of ANANSI BOYS.

The Mastermind clip isn't up on Youtube yet, but this was -- -- and I trust it will help explain to the world what kind of show Mastermind is. Also, it's funny...

Just in case it has escaped your notice, I've done a column about the
"Stardust" panel at this year's San Diego Con: "Comics in Context" #144:
"Stardust Memories" ( at my new
location at Kevin Smith's Quick Stop Entertainment.--Peter Sanderson

It had, but no longer.


I have just read your post about the screening of Pan's Labyrinth and the dificulty your daughter had with the subtitles. I must say that I find that highly amusing. Where I live almost every foreign film is subtitled (only the children´s films can have a dubbed version) and even now that I understand english fairly well I can´t seem to take my eyes from the subtitles, even on ocasions when my native language is subtitled my eyes seem drawn by an unresistable force to the bottom of the screen. Also I would never pay to see a dubed version of a film, it just seems wrong to take such an integral part of a film out just because someone is too lazy to read the subtitles.
Since you have worked in the dubing of Princess Mononke what is your opinion in this matter?

Not a lot, really. I've seen badly subtitled films that were much worse than watching well-dubbed films, and badly dubbed films that made me pray for subtitles. What made Pan's Labyrinth so good, I think, was that Guillermo (who wrote the script) also wrote the subtitles. (In self-defense, as he felt his last Spanish language movie was really badly subtitled.)

Beyond that I don't have much of an opinion -- though I've never quite understood the point of view that only the original language version of a cartoon is valid. I suppose it's faintly possible that all non-English speaking people who were denied Bugs Bunny Cartoons with Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan, or saw Donald Duck cartoons with Donald voiced by foreign people who weren't Clarence Nash, saw such manifestly inferior versions of the cartoons that they should have either seen subtitled versions or learned English. But if that had happened neither Bugs nor Donald would have attained the level of popularity they did around the world. And lots of voice actors around the world would have had a lot less fun...

Right. I'm going to get on a plane in a few minutes. Not sure how much I'll be able to get onto the Internet over the next 5 days.

If you're in the UK, try and get to the Blackwells event next Monday evening*, and then it's on to New York, Washington DC, Bay Area and Minneapolis.

Blackwell present: An Evening with Neil Gaiman

Monday 25th of September, 7pm
Logan Hall
Institue of Education
20 Bedford Way

Tickets cost £7, £5 concessions, and are available from our dedicated booking line 0845 456 9876 (Mon-Fri, 9.30 - 6.00), or in-store at Blackwell, 100 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JG (as soon as we get them in).

If anyone has any questions or wants to be put on the Event mailing list, email If anyone wants to reserve a signed copy or be put on the Signed First Edition Mailing list, email .