Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Snowmen Later

Outside it's a winter wonderland. Look:

I got some wonderful presents from my family. My favourite was a scrapbook that Maddy made of the year filled with photos of the family and brief Maddy-style essays and commentary on the photos. ("Well father, even though we look like a two-headed person in this picture, I would like to say that it's one good-looking two-headed person. Ha :) . Mike's graduation was a wondrous family outing!!") It melted me.

I am afraid that I have somehow forgotten who sent me the link to a beehive-extension-in-a-bell-jar at but I am already planning on buying a jar, or similar strange glassy thing and finding out what the bees make of it.

Hi Neil,
Merry Christmas! I was wondering, in the spirit of the season and in honor of your swarms of yellow and black buzzing friends, if you would post a link to Something Awful's evil charity drive to flood the third world with bees VIA only $30 this holiday season you too can send 12,500 bees to terrorize unsuspecting civilians in places like Uganda and El Salvador, where the brave might try to make an alliance with the bees for their sweet, sweet nectar. By noon we've already given away a million bees to the needy and I figured you might be able to help get us to ten million.Thanks,

I can do my best. After all, you cannot have a land flowing with milk and honey without bees. And, um, lactating mammals.

(Coincidentally, I just got a wonderful Xmas gift from a friend of a bee donation in my name.)


There is a trailer for Hellboy: The Golden Army up at
(And this may mean that I can post a couple of photos from my time on the set that I've kept under wraps until now.)


I just discovered this site, forgive me if it's old news, but I was wondering if the idea for this originated with The Corinthian, or if you drew on a previously existing "nightmare image" when you created him.

Good question. I think that the Corinthian was pretty definitely the first actual comics character to have mouths for eyes, although Steve Bissette (I think) drew a Swamp Thing Cover showing Swamp Thing with mouths for eyes a few years before Sandman. And I'm sure that you could go and find other occasions that people did the image over the years -- let me know what you turn up if you want to go looking. Mouths for Eyes has definitely become a lot more common since the Corinthian turned up, but that probably has a lot more to do with ease of photomanipulation than with the character creeping into the popular consciousness.

Honestly, I'm just glad to see how disturbing it is.

(Which reminds me. A chapter of Steve Bissette's from the Golden/Wagner/Bissette Companion, all about the NEIL GAIMAN'S MIDNIGHT DAYS collection, is up at

What are your thoughts about the US Library of Congress classifying all Scottish authors under the English literature heading? I can see smaller libraries trying to save space, but shouldn't such a large and respected library concern itself more with accuracy? I've included the link to the artice at the BBC below.

On the one hand, it's silly: Scotland is its own country, with its own traditions and its own literature, a literary tradition in English and Gaelic. On the other hand, it's less work for the Library of Congress. But then, they'd have even less work if they just filed them all under Books.

Re: winter butterflies This is actually not a question.Your entry with the picture of the butterfly last December 20 is actually not a butterfly but a moth. Moths when they rest have open wings, while butterflies sort of fold them vertically.

No, I'm afraid it was a butterfly... as to which one, the first person to identfy it was Heather, who said,

Dear Neil,
Intrigued by the butterflies, I did a bit of research. It looks to me like a male small tortoiseshell, which is evidently very common in Britain. It seems it likes to hibernate in houses and may wander out if the walls are warm enough. Lots of information here and some wonderful pictures of the chrysalis:
Happy writing!
- Heather


Hi Neil,
I am the Animation Supervisor on Coraline. We met briefly when you visited the Coraline studio awhile back.
Anyway, the clip you posted is causing quite a (positive) stir on my website. Check out what they are saying here:
We are now employing about 25 animators with over 37 stages in operation. When/if you have time, you may want to pop in and see the sets. There are many more cool things to see at this stage of Production.Happy Holidays & thanks for hosting the clip on your website.
- Anthony

It's lovely seeing people begin to talk about it. It's over a year since I went out to Laika and saw them beginning to work on Coraline, and I've been really impressed with everything I've seen since then.

And waiting for me here when I got home, only a year or so late, were my own two copies of the Hill House limited edition of Anansi Boys. It is absolutely gorgeous. Possibly even worth the wait...

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