Day of Wonder

neil-twitterpicOn Saturday, Books of Wonder held a fantastic event to celebrate the release of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess‘s collaborative effort Blueberry Girl.  I’m fortunate in that I live just six blocks south of nyc’s “oldest and largest independent children’s bookstore,” so I was able to retreat to my apartment and grab some lunch and fortification.  I finally shook Neil’s hand roughly five and a half hours after I had first arrived and received my number (#350).

It wasn’t until a day later that I learned that Neil had very nearly missed the event altogether. Neil’s father had died suddenly that morning, and certainly no one would have faulted him had he cancelled. You can read some of Neil’s thoughts here and here.

I’m truly staggered.  For eight hours, Neil greeted fans, signed several hundred books, and all the while maintained his smile and good humor.  As a person in attendance, holding a number, gleeful at a few moments of conversation with one of my idols, my sense of appreciation for what Neil did on Saturday can’t be expressed here adequately.  It means the world to me.

It’s slightly embarrassing in a way.  As a fan, you can hardly feel worth the effort.  Thank you again, Mr. Gaiman, and my sincere condolences.

Irene Gallo, art director for Tor Books, has a great blog up on the event here.

Some photos (Thanks to my wonderful and patient wife):

Stranger Than Fiction

update: I’ve changed the image of Neil quite a bit (and hence the collage of Neil and Susanna as well).  Check it out.

If you haven’t read Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell – What the hell are you waiting for? It ain’t gonna read itself!  End public service announcement.

Meanwhile, here’s another portrait.  Along with Neil Gaiman, Clarke is one of my absolute favorite novelists writing today.  Cheers!

Click to enlarge.

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Pretty, Witty and Gai

update#3: Neil has since changed his avatar, but for those interested, here’s a screenshot of my image in use.

update#2: I’ve changed the image quite a bit.  It was really more of a “work-in-progress” before.  I hope you guys dig it!

update: I was stunned and flattered to receive an email from Mr. Gaiman this evening.  Neil enjoyed the caricature and requested to use the image as his avatar on Twitter.  Naturally I’m excited and honored.  To Neil’s friends and fans: Welcome!  Please feel free to poke around the site, and don’t hesitate to contact me.  Thanks again, Neil!

My hero, Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline, Neverwhere and a zillion other modern masterpieces of fantasy fiction.

Click to enlarge.
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