Friday, November 21, 2008

on not doing an Alan

There's an official CORALINE trailer out....

It's out in English, but this version of it is it in Italian. Because everything sounds better in Italian.

A few of you have written in asking if I'd done an Alan Moore and taken my name off the film, or if I'd had a falling out with the studio, as my name isn't mentioned in this trailer, just Henry Selick's -- and no, not at all. Nobody's name except Henry's is mentioned in the trailer, and that has more to do with Focus wanting to make sure that if they invoked The Nightmare Before Xmas, people wouldn't then assume this was a Tim Burton film, and go and see it -- or stay away -- based on that. (On the international poster -- above -- you won't find my name or Henry's.) I suppose it's a marketing decision.

I chatted to Henry today, and am really looking forward to seeing a finished film -- the last twenty minutes of the thing weren't done the last time I was sent anything. And it has music...

Incidentally, the Coraline Movie edition is now out, with an essay by me in the back, and another by Henry Selick...

I've now assembled the same list of passwords for the CORALINE website -- -- that everyone else with access to a search engine has:

stopmotion : the Biggest Smallest movie ever made.

buttoneyes : Meet the cast...

moustachio : Bo Henry, art director of Coraline, shows off his remarkable moustache tricks.

armpithair : Every hair in the film was placed there by hand...

puppetlove : Director Henry Selick explains what it must be like for the puppets in the film.

sweaterxxs : Micro-knitting. That's right: micro-knitting.


A small collection of MAD fold-ins are up at I cannot imagine a better time-waster than if someone were to put every Mad Fold-in up on line. I could click my way through them forever...


I've started playing with the T-mobile G1. First reactions -- I like it, mostly. It feels good in your hand. It's reasonably intuitive. (Bizarrely, when it isn't intuitive and I've had to head into manual land, the phone's software and the PDF of the manual do not always agree with each other.) I've had fun making ring tones, creating galleries. The way that your contacts list is also your Gmail contacts is mostly terrific (although it won't let me create entries that have the same email address as someone already on the list).

The things I don't like about it so far seem huge and obvious: no Blogger app (when there's a LiveJournal app and several others) seems a huge omission, seeing it's from Google; it can't read or open PDF files yet; you can send it pictures and watch them as a slideshow, but you can't save them; the built in Gmail app can't do anywhere near the things that the gmail program on my N73 can do; the camera is about the same standard as the iPhone's, which is to say, a bit meh. I like having a real keyboard but wish it was a tiny bit bigger -- I find myself typing with fingernails. Battery life is fine unless you've got Wifi on.

More reactions after it's been on the road with me and been used for a bit.


Hi Neil,

I just had a quick question on the Who Killed Amanda Palmer book. I have the album already (and have listened to it countless times. It's beautiful).

I was going to go and order the book, but when I went to the site, I found that the book seems to only be in packages. I was wondering if there are any plans to sell the book alone, or whether I should buy one of the packages. The extra CD could make a nice gift.


Let's see... the book is being designed right now, then it goes off to the printers. The people who bought the package version will get theirs first. Depending on where in the world it's printed, this could be a couple of months before anyone else. Then, when copies come in from the printer, they'll go on sale -- probably in the early Spring. I think.


I'm re-reading American Gods, and I'm at the point where Shadow first meets Sam. At the diner, Shadow reads a newspaper story saying "local farmers wanted to hang dead crows around the town to frighten the others away; ornithologists said it wouldn't work, that the living crows would simply eat the dead ones. The locals were implacable. 'When they see the corpses of their friends,' said a spokesman, 'they'll know we don't want them here.'"

Neil, I don't have Time Enough for Love here at school, but wasn't there something very similar to that in that story? Was your dead crow story a little Heinlein homage?

And OMG - just realized that Sam's last name is Black Crow, and that story was about crows. Wow. Sneaky of you.


When I'm driving through small-town America I make a point of buying local papers in towns where I stop, and reading them, preferably in local coffee shops. I read that in a small town as I went, and thought "It belongs in my book". So I put it there.

Dear Mr Gaiman,
I recently finished reading M is For Magic, and I have a question about the story Chivalry. Sir Galahad was considered the holiest of Arthur's knights; so, how coul he have obtained an apple from the garden of the Hespiredes? The Hespiredes were a part of greek mythology which was actually a religeon based on monotheism. So, how could he get something that his religeon said didn't exist? I am sorry to bother you with this question, but it has sparked my interest.

- a young and curious reader

He had to travel a long way.

I don't think that the existence of mythical things would have been a problem for a mythical early Christian, of whom Galaad would have been one, or even a huge problem for real early Christians: in The Golden Legend, which was the most popular book of stories about saints, collected in the thirteenth century, Saint Nicholas (the one who became Santa Claus) went up against the Goddess Diana.

Then again, Narnia, a most monotheistic world, had, in addition to a Leonine Son of God, more than its share of nymphs (just like the Hesperides) not to mention such gods as Bacchus and Silenus (and Santa Claus again) wandering around. So I would not worry about it, were I you.

I loved the link to the Sandman Death 20th Anniversary Bookends you put up.
When should they be coming out and how much of a dent will they put on my wallet, please?

According to a quick Google, says they came out in September, and they will cost a wallet-twinging $295. (Ouch.) There are only a thousand of them.

This one has almost nothing to do with you Neil, but since his website is still in the makings I thought you could perhaps forward this to him.
I was very sad (like a child whose told there won't be a Christmas this year) to learn that Dave McKean's appearance this weekend in Buenos Aires was canceled.
In the event's blog they posted Dave's email in which he mentioned he couldn't make it because a date was changed (which sounds reasonable). But it remained unclear if it was the date of ANIMATE (the Buenos Aires event) which was changed, or if it was one of Dave's previous engagements.

Dave McKean said...

Hi Neil,

Please post this, as I certainly do feel very bad letting people down:

I agreed to go to Animate in the summer and had to organize a military
operation of friends and family to take care of our son Liam during
the proposed week, as he is appearing as Gavroche in Les Miserables in
London and has to be accompanied to and from the theatre each day he's
on, and also be available on 12 hours notice every day in case another
actor drops out.
We managed this, so both Clare and I could make the trip to Buenos
Aires, a city we've always wanted to visit.
Unfortunately, the date was changed by the organizers, and so we had
to re-arrange.
More importantly, it became obvious that the festival was now
colliding with a variety of previous commitments falling in the latter
half of November, so I decided with great sadness to withdraw this
I hate letting people down, and I was really looking forward to the
trip (though not the 24 hours travelling each way, I admit!).

Hopefully there will be another event, an animation or film festival,
that will allow me to visit the city in the future. Or maybe we'll
just go for a holiday, and do a signing in a bookstore.


(I think it's worth pointing out that ten-year old Liam McKean -- owner of the original Pig Puppet -- is in Les Miserables in London. If you happen to go and see it, check if he's in your performance. Get his autograph. Mention pigs. Make his day.) And that reminds me...

Hi Neil,

I thought you might like to let people know that Dave McKean is on the BBC4 programme "Picture Book" talking about his illustations for David Almond's 'The Savage' and how he was inspired by Comic Book's art. The programme is airing (again) at 19.10 on Saturday and 3.30 on Sunday, and is also currently available on the BBC i-player.

Thank you again for all the stories,


You're welcome.


Just read that you completed "the Dying Earth story." Huh? Is there a new collection of Dying Earth stories coming out? Is it an homage to Jack Vance's work, or what?

Did a search for "dying earth" on your website and saw no other mention of it.


It's for this.


And finally, Larry Marder talks about why the drawing we did together is so special at

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