Neil Gaiman talks about writing "Good Omens" - "Terry Pratchett and I met in February 1985, in a Chinese restaurant. I was a young journalist. He was a former journalist and Electricity Board PR, and a writer who had just published his second Discworld novel. I was the first journalist who had ever interviewed him."
Neil Gaiman: Why Disney's Sleeping Beauty doesn't work (Gaby Wood for The Guardian):
"I feel like some kind of alchemist," Gaiman suggests. "I have to go to the cupboard and take one ounce of Snow White and two ounces of Sleeping Beauty, and heat the Sleeping Beauty and froth the Snow White and mix them together: it's kind of like fusion cuisine. It tastes like both of them but it's actually a new dish."
Are fairy tales back in fashion? Certainly, the recent success of Disney's films Frozen and Maleficent seems to point to something. But most of the fairy tales we know have come to us via 17th century France or 19th century Germany, and have since been subject to so many retellings and rebellions that trends are difficult to map.
Terry looked at me. He said: “Do not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.” I thought of the driven way that Terry wrote, and of the way that he drove the rest of us with him, and I knew that he was right. Neil Gaiman on Terry Pratchett.
The BBC has announced that it will be producing a radio dramatization of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's book, Good Omens. The radio drama will be broadcast as six episodes in December on BBC Radio 4, and will feature Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz in the lead roles.
I'm not always a Neil Gaiman fan, but this rousing paean to books and libraries definitely brightened my day.
The Guardian has an excerpt of Neil Gaiman's latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. You can also watch him reading an excerpt of it, and he writes about it a bit (and links to several reviews) on his blog.
Who owns Marvelman? Part I and part II - the concluding chapters of Padraig O Mealoid's epic 16 part history of one of comic's most disputed characters. meanwhile another hole in comics history is about to be filled in as Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith finally gets collected in full.
Dresden Dolls meet Lene Lovich to sing Delilah. You might know Dresden Dolls from stuff, and their awesome kit-bashed band at last year's MOMA (playing the Violent Femmes and such with Brian Ritchie and Mick Harvey). But do you know Lili-Marlene Premilovich aka Lene Lovich? [more inside]
Down to a Sunless Sea - a new short story by Neil Gaiman published by The Guardian as part of their series of Water stories.
Today would have been Douglas Adams' 61st birthday. Google is celebrating with an elaborate doodle. Neil Gaiman, who once wrote a companion book to the Hitchhiker's Guide, reminisces a little bit about the man here. Worth reading, if you haven't read it before, is the old lament by Richard Dawkins, a long-time friend of Adams. (Second thing on the page, not first; scroll down.)
Windsor McCay was one of the first superstars of the American comics strip, a pioneer in both cartooning and animation, massively prolific. All of his work is in the public domain, but where to start? Over at Robot 6, Chris Mautner provides the lowdown in the first installment of a new series of Comics College, "a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work". [more inside]
"And I fell into those thousands of connections that I'd made. And I asked the crowd to catch me." "When you connect with them people want to help you" - The art of asking by Amanda Palmer [more inside]
The twelve tales are written. (PDF) But words are only half the story – now Neil wants your help bringing them to life. The next step is to illustrate them. [more inside]
"Just because you might be a monster, that doesn’t mean life is going to be all terrified villagers and biting. There’s a down side—monsters have problems, too." You may not know illustrator and author Adam Rex, but if you enjoy the idea of The Creature from the Black Lagoon ignoring perfectly sensible advice on eating and swimming, of Hulk at the Tropicana, 1965, or of Frankenstein sitting down with a Dagwood sandwich, you might want to get to know his work. [more inside]
Can Neil Gaiman restore the Cybermen to their original greatness? - Neil Gaiman's second episode of Doctor Who will feature the classic cyborg villains introduced by medical scientist Kit Pedler in The Tenth Planet.
"Some remarkable Books, Antiquities, Pictures and Rarities of several kinds, scarce or never seen by any man now living."
Musæum Clausum is a catalog of invented books, pictures and antiquities written by 17th Century Englishman Sir Thomas Browne. It is a fantastical and witty meditation on the ravages of time on literature and other works of man. The Musæum Clausum is perhaps the finest example of the invented, or invisible, library, a genre which seems to have originated with Rabelais. The genre has been of special interest to Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog (older posts), where he has written about the invisible libraries of writers such as Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, H. P. Lovecraft and invisible libraries in video games. The natural medium for invisible libraries might be pictures, and Musæum Clausum inspired a suite of etchings by Erik Desmazieres.
Neil Gaiman reads a story that scared people. A new Neil Gaiman story is available from Audible. It's free, and every copy downloaded means a donation to DonorsChoose or BookTrust. (Neil does ask that you wait to listen to it until after dark.)
Decompressed is a podcast in which comics writer and former Rock Paper Shotgun journalist Kieron Gillen (X-Men, Thor, Phonogram) talks to artists and writers about the process involved in writing a single issue of a comic. Decompressed 6 broke format and is instead a discussion with Mark Waid and Matt Fraction about scripting comics using the "Marvel Method", or "plot first" - in which the artist draws the comic from a story outline and dialogue is added later, rather than the writer supplying a panel by panel script. For a while out of favour even at Marvel, the method is seeing a resurgance. The podcast page contains visual aids, and embedded version of the podcast, the script of DEFENDERS #9 complete with B&W art and additional links, including links to Warren Ellis’ 3-part tutorial on writing comics (1, 2, 3). Jamie McKelvie and a vultue put in guest appearances. Further example comicbook scripts are available at the Comic Book Script Archive (previously).
Neil Gaiman, 7, Interviewed About Scientology by the BBC in 1968 David Gaiman, Neil's dad, was Scientology's UK PR chief. Neil was brought up in the cult but prefers not to talk about his childhood as a practising Scientologist. In 2010, he declared that he's not a church member.
Novelist Neil Gaiman tells the graduating 2012 class of the University Of The Arts everything he wishes he knew starting out and all the best advice he failed to follow. (Vimeo 19:55)
A Stephen King interview: by Neil Gaiman "I interviewed Stephen King for the UK Sunday Times Magazine. The interview appeared a few weeks ago. The Times keeps its site paywalled, so I thought I'd post the original version of the interview here. (This is the raw copy, and it's somewhat longer than the interview as published.) I don't do much journalism any more, and this was mostly an excuse to drive across Florida back in February and spend a day with some very nice people I do not get to see enough. I hope you enjoy it."
Neil Gaiman writes a poem about nudity (in collaboration with Olivia De Berandinis). Katie West responds. Neil approves. [consider the entire post NSFW] [more inside]
"What I realize when I’m doing an audiobook is that I actually have a much closer relationship to the text than I do when I’m reading."
Neil Gaiman’s audiobook record label: [Salon.com] The best-selling author talks about introducing his new, hand-picked lineup [Audible.com] of favorite books to American ears. Neil Gaiman Presents is part of a larger enterprise by Audible.com, called ACX (for Audiobook Creation Exchange). It aims to bring new titles to the public by hosting a service through which authors (and other rights holders) can connect with professional narrators.
Professor James Moriarty is a mathematician and criminal mastermind, who appears in The Final Problem, the story in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes. Colonel Sebastian Moran is a colonial cad, who appears in the Adventure of the Empty House, the story in which Holmes returned. Together the commit crime. Kim Newman talks about Professor Moriarty: Hound of the D’Ubervilles, his novel in which they star as a reverse Holmes and Watson (review here), and lists his 10 best villains in literature. Previous team ups of the diabolical duo include the movie Silver Blaze / Murder at the Baskervilles (youtube), which features Ian Fleming as Dr. Watson, (not THE Ian Fleming), and Neil Gaiman's A study in Emerald (pdf) (Previously), as well as a brief appearance together in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Science Fiction / Double Feature performed by Amanda Palmer, Moby, Stephin Merritt, and Neil Gaiman, on the The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. [more inside]
"Who are you?" the minstrel asked. "I am the Golux," said the Golux, proudly, "the only Golux in the world, and not a mere Device."
James Thurber meets Neil Gaiman: The Thirteen Clocks. James Thurber's classic work of dark whimsy, wit and fantasy The Thirteen Clocks [Wiki], narrated by award-winning author Neil Gaiman in this magically animated excerpt.
"This Halloween, give somebody a scary book, to read. That's it. That's the idea. It's going to be a tradition." It's an idea Neil Gaiman came up a year ago. It's called All Hallow's Read, with a website and everything, which has book recommendations of all sorts, plus stickers, bookmarks, cards, and a small story you can print off, as well as a poster contest for next year's event. [more inside]
Snuff, Sir Terry Pratchett's 50th book (and 37th Discworld book) will be released in the U.S. tomorrow, and Neil Gaiman has interviewed him for Boing Boing. [more inside]
Stephen Strange was an arrogant doctor, until a car accident damaged his hands, leading him try every cure possible. Eventually he made his way to the East, where the story progressed, and now he's Doctor Strange, master of magic! His thrilling tale is set to be the first Marvel superhero movie since Marvel was purchased by Disney. But there has been much history behind the latest movie, including a period when Guillermo del Toro was involved and wanted to include Neil Gaiman, a draft script by Alex Cox (1990, 5.1 mb PDF; review), and a draft script by Bob Gale (January 21, 1986, 3.5 mb PDF; review). Along with these incomplete attempts, there was the 1978 Dr. Strange TV movie, which you can watch online (full movie with Portuguese subtitles, or YT playlist). If you'd like another take, head to 1992 for the direct-to-video movie Doctor Mordrid. Depending on who you ask, it's a more or less entertaining/accurate take (warning: spoilers) on Dr Strange. Modrid is also online.
Adam Savage of Mythbusters (Mefi's Own) on Minnesota public radio singing "I Will Survive" in the voice of Gollum with Neil Gaiman in attendance.
Neil Gaiman: "A pencil-necked weasel who stole $45,000 from the State of Minnesota". Minnesota House majority leader Matt Dean was moved to fury at the discovery that writer, comic book celebrity and Minnesota transplant Neil Gaiman received this sum for a speaking engagement at a Stillwater, MN high school. [more inside]
Cory Doctorow's new science fiction story collection, With A Little Help, is available in text and audio. The stories range from an order of datamining monks to Google gone terrible wrong, and the readers include Neil Gaiman, Mur Lafferty, Mary Robinette Kowal and Wil Wheaton. The introduction is written by Jonathan Coulton.
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown - A 90 minute documentary on HP Lovecraft with contributions by Neil Gaiman, John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro.
Amanda Palmer and a sock puppet stage a meticulous re-enactment of a scene from Jim Henson's Labyrinth (see the original scene here), with a special guest appearance by a very famous writer as David Bowie's mullet. Happy Boxing Day!
Neil Gaiman wants a Christmas tree, just one problem, he's Jewish. And he's not the only one debating this issue. There's a discussion over at slate.com on whether or not Jews should own a Christmas tree.
"Alan Moore is a writer and magician from Northhampton. He's a stranger to hairdressers and worships his very own god in his very own way, blurring the lines between religious belief, magic, and the power of the creative imagination. If you film him from strange angles, you can make him look very sinister." It is his fifty-eighth birthday. The beard is pushing 40. [more inside]
Perhaps I don’t have the allegiance to paper that I ought to because anybody who invests in The Absolute Sandman, all four volumes, is now carrying 40 pounds of paper and cardboard around with them. And they hurt and they complain, “Oh, I feel guilty.” And I look at it and go, you’re not getting anything that is quantitatively or qualitatively better than the experience you’d be getting on an iPad, where you can enlarge the pages, you can move it around, it’s following the eye, and you can flip the pages. - Neil Gaiman on digital comics. Will this be the year of comics readng devices, as comiXology CEO David Steinberger says? Comixology is certianly leading the way, announcing tools for independant comics creators that will allow them to publish their comics via the comixology store, complete with the "guided views" which are a core part of their viewing experience. One creator who is full embracing digital is Alex De Campi, whose Napoleonic comic Valentine is not only published across a range of devices (iOs, Epub, Android, Kindle) but also in 14 languages, something that would have been difficult-to-impossible otherwise. Previous digital comics, Comixology suggestions
Neil Gaiman has been busy lately, winning the Carnegie Medal, defending libraries, fighting Todd MacFarlane in court again, and admiting that his first book was about Duran Duran. He's also taken time to ask the question: Shouldn't good writing tell a story too?
Neil Gaiman on what it's like to be invisible at the Oscars
Geek Heroes sing "We Love xkcd" As a follow up to this animation of the original strip Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Wil Wheaton, Hank Green and a cast of dozens sing of love and geekiness.
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