I hope one of them gets Rush to do the soundtrack...
September 28, 2005 11:44 PM   Subscribe

National Geek Day. Neil "Sandman" Gaiman & Joss "Buffy" Whedon both have movies coming out this weekend; in honor of the nerd confluence of events, Time magazine conducted a joint interview with the two.
posted by jonson (26 comments total)
For all my taunting of the nerds, I'm a huge fan of the work of both these gentlemen, and will be seeing Mirrormask & Serenity, as well as picking up Anansi Boys. The Time interview is, to me, most notable for their discussion of being trapped by their creations. For Gaiman, the blog he created as a way of keeping in closer touch with a section of his fan base now has 1.2 million active readers, and he feels a daily pressure to continue, going so far as to say that he wishes he could stop, but feels obligated not to. For Whedon, it's the fact that several years later, "every other question" that he answers is about the Buffyverse, even on the verge of the release of Serenity. For fans of the Sandman's character arc (about the nature of snares, and the ability to adapt to change), Gaiman's comment reveals particular irony.
posted by jonson at 11:51 PM on September 28, 2005

Useless trivia: Neil Gaiman is the Neil that Tori Amos often mentions in her lyrics.

I'd like to check both of these out.
posted by teece at 12:20 AM on September 29, 2005

NG: I always loved, most of all with doing comics, the fact that I knew I was in the gutter. I kind of miss that, even these days, whenever people come up and inform me, oh, you do graphic novels. No. I wrote comic books, for heaven's sake. They're creepy and I was down in the gutter and you despised me. 'No, no, we love you! We want to give you awards! You write graphic novels!' We like it here in the gutter!

JW: We've been co-opted by the man.

awesome, great link. thanks.

I hate you for mentioning rush, though. die.

but otherwise, awesome.
posted by shmegegge at 12:38 AM on September 29, 2005

oh, and this is golden (ahem.)

JW: I find that when you read a script, or rewrite something, or look at something that's been gone over, you can tell, like rings on a tree, by how bad it is, how long it's been in development.

NG: Yes. It really is this thing of executives loving the smell of their own urine and urinating on things. And then more execs come in, and they urinate. And then the next round. By the end, they have this thing which just smells like pee, and nobody likes it.

posted by shmegegge at 12:46 AM on September 29, 2005

I was lucky enough to see Serenity already. It's quite good, but what's amazing is the amount of press that Whedon is getting. In both traditional and non-traditional ways.
posted by tsarfan at 1:18 AM on September 29, 2005

Cool interview, thanks!

I also saw Serenity back when they did the pre-screen thingies and must HIGHLY recommend it.

I'm near DC and it seems that Mirrormask won't quite open here for another week or so, and only in one theater I think (the indie one)


Useless trivia: Neil Gaiman is the Neil that Tori Amos often mentions in her lyrics

Wow, i had no idea
posted by poppo at 4:19 AM on September 29, 2005

Related, but only in passing reference to MirrorMask, Stephanie Leonidas is my new favourite person.
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:31 AM on September 29, 2005

FYI, Gaiman & McKean are both interviewed by The Onion AV Club this week, as well.
posted by ijoshua at 5:24 AM on September 29, 2005

Saw Serenity two days ago. As a (late-arriving) fan of Firefly, I was blown away. Whedon promised a Big Damn Movie, and that's what the fans will get.

The miracle, however, is that the film is incredibly accessible to audiences unfamiliar with the source material. It is quality sci-fi action/adventure that doesn't get bogged down in technobabble or exposition. You meet the principals quickly and know their situation immediately, so all that's left to see is what must be done.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:33 AM on September 29, 2005

Thanks for the link. This was an enjoyable read, though I kept expecting Whedon and Gaiman to break into a no-holds-barred kung-fu death match. Kind of a letdown, now that I think about it...
posted by voltairemodern at 6:09 AM on September 29, 2005

Here is a (bland) Whedon interview I caught in my local "commuter" paper this morning, one of those syndicated wire thingies
posted by poppo at 6:47 AM on September 29, 2005

Seriously, though? Rush is awesome.
posted by jonson at 7:37 AM on September 29, 2005

That was great, thanks. Loved this from Gaiman:

in America, it almost seems like family has become a code word for something that you can put a five-year-old in front of, go out for two hours, and come back secure in the knowledge that your child will not have been exposed to any ideas.
posted by mediareport at 8:25 AM on September 29, 2005

The miracle, however, is that the film is incredibly accessible to audiences unfamiliar with the source material.

Thanks, grabbingsand. The previews looked intriguing, but as I've never seen a single episode of Firefly I was concerned whether I'd be able to follow it. I'll probably see it now based on your comment.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:26 AM on September 29, 2005

This interview was great - I think I had a geekgasm, and I've been waiting for these two movies (and hoping at least one of them makes it to Asheville, sigh) and now I'm really really hoping. I read Anansi Boys this week and liked it, but I thought it was light, really light, fluffy almost. Anyone else read it yet?
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:31 AM on September 29, 2005

I saw Neil speak Tuesday night at the Tattered Cover in Denver. Great speaker, great author, humble man.

He's advocating (on his journal) we go see Serenity on Friday and Mirror Mask on Saturday, because Serenity needs the big box office numbers more than Mirror Mask.
posted by jazon at 8:38 AM on September 29, 2005

I heard Gaiman speak last (this?) week in Harvard Square, and he read several pages from Anansi Boys. The passage he read started off rather blandly, with two characters chatting in unexpectly stilted fashion. Then one character (an old lady of presumably Caribbean descent, Gaiman's accent was a bit iffy) told some kind of African folktale about Anansi the spider god fooling Tiger (lord of the jungle etc.) into killing his mother-in-law. As Gaiman reached the macabre ending and dropped his voice an octave to perform the part of Tiger - absolutely nailing a note of understated menace that I hadn't expected to hear from, let's face it, a fey British dad - I realized I was literally on the edge of my seat.

I think Gaiman lives quite comfortably just over the crazy/normal line from the rest of us, but writing the prosaic domestic scene seemed to come a bit less naturally. He seems to make a lot of hay out of juxtaposing his dream/faerie/Goth-music-video imagery with a normal world, but it's usually clear (in what I've read of his stuff) which is the primary interest for him. This isn't to say he's not a great writer; he's frighteningly good, one of the best ever to work in comics. But a lot of the power of his work seems to come from the normal-innocent-as-witness-to-the-fantastic perspective he often uses. (Now imagine him taking on Alice in Wonderland explicitly, as opposed to the many variations he's already done, up to and including Mirrormask from what I can tell.)

His social portraiture feels a little forced to me - cf. Good Omens, with its authorial tongue far too firmly in cheek, a kind of compulsive wittiness that gets cloying at times.

The reading still sold me on Anansi Boys, though. And he's one of the better question-answerers I've seen speak.
posted by waxbanks at 8:50 AM on September 29, 2005

Rush x (Gaiman + Whedon) = geek orgasm.

Too bad I'm at work because now I got some 'splaining to do.
posted by Ber at 9:07 AM on September 29, 2005

Am I a bad geek for not getting the lust-on for Wheedon?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:37 AM on September 29, 2005

The Nerdiverse is broad enough to accomodate all, KirkJobSluder. Even the misguided, like shmegegge above
posted by jonson at 9:43 AM on September 29, 2005

Poppo, it's at E Street tomorrow.


Landmark E Street Cinema 8
Washington, DC

Here's a full list of MirrorMask openings.
posted by phearlez at 11:33 AM on September 29, 2005

I walked by the site where Gaiman spoke in Harvard Square several hours before the reading. Fans were already lined up with that strange cultist look in their eyes, hands clutching tightly to silk wrapped offerings for the Master to sign. It was like a scene out of The Birds if birds could carry comic books.

I'm most of the way through his latest book (some friends were amongst said cultists) and it's depressingly familiar in plot to his other novels.

As for Whedon, he'll be the doom of hard scifi. Whether this be good or bad, I dunno, but there's a pocket full of doom there.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:18 PM on September 29, 2005

Poppo, it's at E Street tomorrow.

Dangit! Thank you phearlez, but I must watch my boy tomorrow night. Man, I can't wait til he's old enough to take to stuff like this!
posted by poppo at 1:36 PM on September 29, 2005

I read this yesterday, and the mental image this bit gave me was the highlight of my day:

I look up and they have a bodyguard line of 30 Klingons. They're six-foot six and four-feet wide and they have the foreheads and they had linked arms. We were being lead off behind a human wall —a Klingon wall—of Klingon warriors. And I thought, how good does it get?

Neil's going to be in Berkley tomorrow, but alas, I can't make it *bangs head against wall* so I'm just going to go see Serenity this weekend and Mirrormask when I get back to SF.
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:14 PM on September 29, 2005

or Berkeley, even. *facepalm*
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:15 PM on September 29, 2005

For those of you interested in seeing the film, the first nine minutes of it can be viewed at this website.


I wish I could get this onto the main page, but alas, I am a lowly newbie...
posted by joe_monk at 11:13 PM on October 7, 2005

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