Monday, December 27, 2010

Nicholas Was Redux and a small public service announcement

I'm writing a short story right now, using the lap-desk that Maddy got me for Xmas. I'm getting older, and while, mostly, I really like getting older -- life is easier and lighter and more fun -- for the first time ever I'm finding it easier to wear reading glasses when I write by hand, and it feels wrong.

But the writing is good, I think.


(The "Nicholas Was" art above is from

"Nicholas Was..." is a hundred-word short story that began life as a Christmas Card, which Dave McKean calligraphed for me and I sent out to friends and family in 1989. I still wonder how many of them actually read it.

Hello Neil,

This may be an extremely naive question since I am not a collector, only an avid reader of your work. Do the original Christmas cards of "Nicholas Was" go for huge amounts of money? I'm very much taken with the simplicity and beauty of it and would love to get hold of one, but can't seem to find one at any price on the internet. Any chance you have one lying around that you would like to send me? I know this is a longshot but hey you never know...

Thank you,

The original Dave McKean handwritten Christmas cards -- as far as I know only one has ever been sold. (The people who got them in 1989 are either still holding on to them, or threw them away once Xmas was done, I expect.)

The one that was sold went to auction this year -- I found a handful of the originals in the attic, and donated one to the Low Key Gathering auction, helping to bring fans in from all over the world who could never have made it otherwise to the House on the Rock Hallowe'en party. The "Nicholas Was" card went for over $1200.

Back in 2002 Dark Horse did some Nicholas Was cards with a Michael Zulli illustration. They'll set you back about $15 for an unopened pack of 5 (according to


So, last week, when this "Nicholas Was..." video came out...

39 Degrees North: Christmas Card 2010 from 39 Degrees North on Vimeo.

...I suggested that people might like to make videos of their own (with a deadline of this Xmas), and a few of you rose to the challenge.

David Goecke put this together in his basement:

James Bolan made this...

This one, by Alexander Sovronsky, is beautiful, less illustrative and more meditative.

And this one was not done this week -- it's two years old, by Trine Malde, but I thought it deserved its day in the sun as well.


Dave McKean is putting up YouTube of songs he's recorded: an illustration and a song in each case. Lyrics by me (for one of them, tune by me /chords by Amanda) music by Dave McKean. Yes, he can sing, and he can play keyboards and drums as well... Listen to them at:


This is the Public Service bit of the blog:

Over at Kitty Mihos's NEVERWEAR website, she does T-shirts and limited edition prints and suchlike. She gives the money that would be my share of what she sells, to the CBLDF, and an extra chunk besides.

As the numbers on the prints go down, she raises the prices. They tend to keep going up (the last few THE DAY THE SAUCERS CAME prints sold for $200 each). This is to encourage people to buy early, at the beginning of the print run, and also because, in the past, as the numbers remaining got lower, Kitty started seeing the same prints she was still selling at for face value selling for many times what she was still selling them for on eBay.

Numbers are starting to get low on Jim Lee's A HUNDRED WORDS print. In 24 hours -- at midnight on the 27th of December PST -- the price goes up on each print from $38 to $50 a print. Right now you can still order a print for $38:

And that link is also where you can also go and read the poem for free...

Jim Lee Neil Gaiman neverwear

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