Apr. 15th, 2011

crewgrrl: (Kaylee)
Last night [livejournal.com profile] mbarr, [livejournal.com profile] taylweaver, [livejournal.com profile] mollygrue and I went to hear the fabulous Mr. Gaiman speak at Symphony Space. He was being interviewed by Paul Levitz, former president of DC Comics on behalf of Columbia University's Institutes for Israel and Jewish Studies and the one for American Studies.

Side Note: Mr. Letvitz will be teaching an American Studies course on "Transmedia" next Spring. Depending on my schedule, it looks really nifty. Also, a college class taught by a comic book exec! How could I not?

Some interesting questions were asked, including "Why are you the last of the great Jewish comic writers?" Neil's answer was short and hysterical. "I killed them all." Neil was asked about how involved he always was in the business side of his own career, they talked about comics being a "gutter medium," and random fascinating questions that I am not smart enough to think of. Then Neil read a bit of his least known book, A Walking Tour of the Shambles, which was a fictional travel guide written for a World Horror Convention hosted by Chicago. It employed one of my favorite conceits, that of being a small portion of a much larger series which does not actually exist.

Afterwards he answered some questions from audience members that had been written on index cards beforehand. My question (how much fun was it to work on Doctor Who) was not deemed sufficiently interesting. But some other questions were, like the various media he has worked in and how does he fit them to a story. At the end, the professor who had introduced both Neil and Paul basically told us that due to the small budget, the evening was over. So we walked out.

But of course, it's hard to make us all go away. So we congregated outside, discussing Neil's work, the impact he'd had on DC Comics (the Vertigo imprint that we all know due to Fables would never have existed without Sandman) and the impact that his work had on my reading and who I read because of it. And then [livejournal.com profile] mbarr snuck up behind me and said "if you want him to sign anything, go back inside." So I did. Neil and his wife were hanging out in the lobby, taking and signing books.

On the theory that a man as awesomely weird as Neil Gaiman is likely to respond to weird requests, I asked him for a bizarre favor. "Can I take a picture of you holding this sock?" I asked. He asked if it was a sock that I was currently knitting, to which I answered yes. He agreed. The picture was taken. We discussed fountain pens (he signs books with them) and how my father collected them. He signed a copy of The Graveyard Book for me. And then we left, so that he and his wife could see each other for the first time in a month and perhaps have dinner.

This is a picture of one of my favorite authors holding the result of one of my favorite hobbies )

Another side note: I have submitted an audition clip to the American Gods full cast audiobook contest thingie. Please go here and vote for me so that I have a chance to be heard by Neil and the execs at Harper Audio.


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