Friday, July 20, 2007

A million words. More or less. Argh.

I'm home, and a bit exhausted. It was a beautiful day, and I took enormous pleasure in wandering around the garden in my dressing gown this morning while not being interviewed. Oh, how I love not being interviewed. I could spend several happy lifetimes not being interviewed, and between the not-interviews I think I could joyfully not get on planes. I could especially not get on the kind of planes that sit on the tarmac for three hours before taking off. I could not get on those planes with a smile on my face and a tip-tapping of my toes.

Anyway, everything here was as I left it on Sunday, more or less. Some small furry bandits (at a guess, but a good one) had completely stripped the pear tree of hundreds of unripe pears, and have started to invade the corn patch. Lots of raspberries, blueberries, carrots, onions and beets. And the apple tree is still laden with apples.

Then I got dressed and wandered down to the hives to see if the bees had missed me. And I promptly got stung on the back of the neck by a bee who obviously hadn't. Which was, I suppose, not a bad thing as a) I now know that I'm definitely not allergic to bee stings, and b) those of us who've been beekeeping had a pool for the first of us to get stung by a bee.

The first of the cluster of interviews to bear fruit is which is a Variety article by Anne Thompson in which we learn that "Finally, after a long, painful gestation, 2007-08 is poised to be Gaiman's year at the movies." I don't honestly remember a lot of painfulness over the last fifteen years of dallying with movies -- mostly it was just interesting, occasionally amusing and often educational.

Anne Thompson's blog, over at is in some ways more interesting, as she talks about what she perceives as wrong with the Stardust marketing -- "First, I think it will appeal mainly to women, which makes studio marketers crazy. Paramount's selling this movie like an action adventure to get the boys. They're not capturing the charm and sweetness of the movie in their materials. They're making it look like everything else. I asked Nora what she thought of the Robert DeNiro flying pirates billboard and she said it was "dumb.""

Over at you can learn about a Stardust special Comic-Con thingummy that the CBLDF is doing --

Be among the first to experience the film magic of Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess' Stardust at Comic-Con! The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is offering 50 VIP packages filled with exclusive Stardust goodies, plus a special pass to attend a gala San Diego screening of the film to take place on Thursday, July 26.

The Fund's exclusive Stardust VIP package includes: an all-new Stardust print, limited to 50 pieces signed by Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess; a set of 5 Stardust fragrance imps from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and a ticket to the San Diego exclusive screening of Stardust. Stardust VIP packages are available for a donation of $100 to the CBLDF. The Stardust screening is on Thursday, July 26 at 9 PM, and features an introduction by Neil Gaiman, followed by a Q&A afterwards.

Pre-orders of this very limited package will be taken until Tuesday, July 24 at 10:00 PM Pacific Time. You can pre-order here:
If any packages remain, you may pick one up at the CBLDF's booth [1831] at Comic-Con. All Stardust VIP packages *must* be picked up from the CBLDF's booth on Wednesday evening, July 25, or on Thursday, July 26 before the convention closes at 7:00 PM.

(Given what you're getting, I tend to think that the $100 donation should be a minimum, and that if you want to put in more, you should, hint hint.)

I've now seen about 20 minutes of Beowulf in 3D. As soon as I figure out how to describe it without joyously stomping off into happy and impressed swearing, I will. In the meanwhile I'll simply mention that in addition to that footage -- which is reel two of the film -- being screened on Wednesday night at Comic Con (well, at the Horton Plaza), it (along with film of Roger Avary and me introducing it and answering questions) will be shown again twice on the following Thursday Afternoon so that another 800 people can see it. I don't yet know how people will get tickets to get in to those screenings, or to the Stardust screening on Thursday Night (except for the CBLDF ones) or the Coraline event with Henry Selick on Saturday Night that I'm not supposed to mention yet. But as soon as I know, I'll put the information up here.

Which reminds me -- there's another auction at -- this is the CBLDF Saturday Night Comic-con auction, although they will, as you'll see, accept bids from people not at the con. An amazing bunch of things from people, and they've got some interesting things from me that they've gathered over the years, including the fabled Stardust paperback covers from 2000 that were designed by Avon, and that Barnes and Noble killed at the last minute -- the idea was that the covers (which form a triptych) were respectively romantic, fantastic, and sort of respectable, and that the book would have three covers and would allow bookshops to rack it in different parts of the store. (When Barnes and Noble killed the idea by refusing to stock it if Avon did it, they took the middle cover and put a blue leather cover over it, with a little window through which you could see the man on the horse. I never really knew who the man on the horse was.) I may have another set somewhere, but I think these were my only ones, and unless they exist in the Harper Collins archives, this would probably be the only set around.

And there's more in the auction -- including what looks like a comic that I doodled during a CBLDF board meeting three or four years ago, which Charles Brownstein rescued from the yellow jotter on the table.

I have been examining the Comic-Con schedule, and I noticed the only autograph time for you (currently) is listed as "Limited - Drawing for a line ticket at 12:00 PM Friday" with the signing listed as being 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm on Friday. Do you know if you will be doing any signing on Preview Night? I would love to get my Absolute Sandman signed, but I fear I will haul it around all day Friday and then not get a line ticket.Thank you! Jeanine

There are a couple of other signings scheduled, so I'll do at least one signing on each Comic-con day (except for Sunday) -- one signing will be at Brian Froud's table, and one will be at the CBLDF booth. (And then there's the tee-shirts that we haven't announced yet.)


I wrote to Paul Cornell to tell him how much I loved the Dr Who Human Nature two parter, and wound up getting him to a Stardust screening -- which he writes about at

And from I read Stardust reviews like
and discovered that you can ask Matthew Vaughn questions at , although I don't think Martyn's quite found or Dan Guy's Flickr accumulation of Stardust promotional pictures at yet.


And as I reluctantly admit to a million words of blogging... is a lovely article about authors and blogs, why we do it and whether we should or not. While blogs are criticised for being inaccurate, unedited, multifarious, narcissistic, having too many pictures of cats, and encouraging people who aren't experts to behave like experts, these issues don't overly concern me. Me neither.

So that's about a million words. Next post we ought to have a party. With balloons.

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