Monday, October 05, 2009

The Monster That Devoured Cleveland

In a hotel room in Cleveland. The hotel just sent up a Bic disposable razor, as I had left my many-bladed thing at home, and wanted to shave. For the first 30 seconds of shaving, I thought, ah, why do I use an expensive shaving device rather than one of these? It works just as well. Then I noticed the amount of blood appearing and decided that there was a lot to be said for multi-bladed shaving devices. Also, ow.

Anyway, I went to Cleveland yesterday -- set out very early in the morning and got to Cleveland in time for a 2:00 reading/talk and a signing. There's an auditorium in the Cleveland Library (a beautiful building that used to be a Catholic Girl's School) that fits over 650 people. The auditorium was full. So was the overflow room where 350 people watched it on a big TV (I went and said hello to them first, so they knew it was me and not just animatronics). I learned when it was all over that fire marshalls and such got involved, and that people were being turned away (I'm really sorry).

Then I did a reading. The cold has left my throat missing a chunk of range, but done that nice thing where I get all this bass I don't normally have, so it was easy doing the bear's voice, and harder doing some of the others, and then we did a Q&A and I did another reading and it was all over too quickly.

After it was over, I signed forever. I was given lots of really good art. (I'm often given art. But there was more really good art at this one.)

Hi Mr. Gaiman,
I've been a devoted reader since middle school (I'm now a graduate student, so that's a long time!) I was so excited to find out you were giving a talk in Cleveland, where I started grad school recently. I was so disappointed to show up today, with the Graveyard Book in tow for signing, and be turned away by police officers due to overcrowding at the library. I had been looking forward to this event for a few months now, to finally get the chance to meet you.

Will you be returning to the area anytime soon?

A sad, devoted fan

I'm sorry. I don't think anyone at the library had dreamed that more than a thousand people would show up. I think some of them thought it was a bit optimistic having an overflow room at all. I'm in Toledo tonight, which is sort of in the area, but then it's going to be a while.

I'm thinking about doing a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Reading tour at some point in 2010. It'll be a decade since The Last Angel Tour, which was, as far as I was concerned at the time, the last time I was ever doing this. But, you know, ten years...

(Incidentally, people sometimes ask me where they can buy signed stuff from, and I normally say "I don't know" or "Dreamhaven". But there's always the CBLDF Neil Gaiman store. A useful tip for Xmas. Also the only place that you can get the me-related BPAL perfume "imps" (small sampler scents).

Hi Neil, love your work and am wondering will you be visiting little old New Zealand any time soon? Would love to hear you speak, I realise you must be super busy and thank you in advance if you have a chance to answer.

Kia kaha,

Yup. In March, although I don't think the event has officially announced it yet.

Right. Got to go and find a car now. Thanks to everyone in Cleveland, or at least, the library people, and the people who came to the library, and my friend Chelsey Johnson, who came out and ate with me afterwards. Now on to Toledo (Details at, although it's not going to be a signing, I see. Probably a good thing, as, after yesterday, my hand hurts.)

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