Sunday, October 25, 2009

playing with forms: Journal as back-page letters column

[My apologies to those of you seeing these posts again in your feed reader. I am attempting to diagnose the current LJ syndication fail. -your faithful web goblin]

Clare M. writes:
I haven't a question, more a spot of praise for Dreamhaven Books that I'd like to share with you, if I might be so bold.

Some time ago, Neil told us that Dreamhaven had a new batch of signed stock. I was looking for a special gift for my honorary neiece and so ordered a signed copy of Blueberry Girl, feeling slightly apprehensive about having it shipped to the UK. But, it arrived wonderfully packaged, very quickly and for a modest shipping fee. Thank you Dreamhaven.

Three cheers for Dreamhaven Books! It has bought, sold, and even published a lot of awesome stuff over the years.

In the spirit of this, the Graveyard Book Parties contest, and's serialization of Cory Doctorow's Makers (for which he has requested that readers share some of their favorite booksellers or bookstores with the rest of the community in the comments sections after each post), please allow me to wax nostalgic about one of my favorite ones.

My local independent book store, growing up, was Books Do Furnish A Room in Durham, NC. From third grade through college I was there at least once a week. When I was little, buying Batman and X-Men comics, I had no idea that the store owners had great taste. By the time I discovered what I'd been missing, the Miracleman TPBs and the Dave McKean art books were gone, but I did manage to snag "Angels & Visitations", "Warning: Contains Language", "Violent Cases" (numbered and signed by Mr. G and McKean!), the whole run of From Hell, several Sandman shirts and posters, and "Signal to Noise".

It's an awesome place.

Eden writes:
How did you first get into Neil Gaiman's work?

That's a good question. I hadn't actually thought about it in, well, possibly, ever, so the answer surprised me. My first exposure to the idea that there was a "Neil" was when I bought a used CD of Tori Amos' "Under the Pink" for $9 at Books Do Furnish A Room. I loved it; later, I got online and found out what "hanging out with the Dream King" and "Neil says hi by the way" meant.

The next time I was in BDFAR, I picked up the Sandman "Dream Country" TPB, because it was the shortest and least expensive. It hooked me completely, especially the Midsummer Night's Dream story with Vess. I picked up the earlier Sandman trades, started getting the monthly issue, and then got into his short fiction and other comics work. The rest is history, long-boxes, and continually upgraded bookshelves.

Sandi L. writes:
Are you enjoying your time updating Neil's blog?

Yes. I wasn't sure at first; I was feeling decidedly unwitty and unworthy this time 'round, convinced that Non-Birding Bill would be doing a much better job. In the past few days, though, I've received many nice notes, so I guess my meager attempts are not all rubbish.

I hadn't planned on doing any guest blogging at all. Mr. G isn't going to be gone all that long. I'm only posting because he keeps sending me little things he wants posted. I think he's kindly humouring me.

audra writes:
"goblin ears knit cap" ???

photographic evidence please. thank you.

and Angela W writes:
I should love to see a picture posted of you wearing your goblin ears knit cap.

I just knew, when I wrote that, that I was going to get a "pics or it didn't happen!" in response. And here it is.

Somewhere, in one of my previous posts from last year, I mentioned that the Web Elf and I had made grand plans for on-site bios of ourselves, complete with pictures in which we would be masked, or otherwise facially obscured, and wearing ears. I was going to commission a knit goblin ears cap from etsy or someplace. Alas, it did not come to pass.

If I did have a goblin ears knit cap, though, I imagine it might look something like this:

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