"So, I see this bright red suit, white cowboy boots and...

inside, there's a Yeti*."

-- Neil Gaiman's description of his first-ever meeting with Alan Moore

PTSD folks, I know E and I have written fairly long posts in the past 24 hours. I know yous probably need a break from us. But, I can't resist this. Please be warned though that academia of any shape or form (apart from a few snipes at yesterday's gig) does not make an appearance.

So, what do I want to write about? I think I'm going to be a stalker. Specifically, Neil Gaiman's stalker. And, Mr. Gaiman, on the infinitesimal chance you run into this post, I took your advice about to heart--you did say to do it and put in on Livejournal. I'm blogging. Not much difference, I hope.

The church, oh the church: It was disturbing and yet the best place for a NG reading. Especially as the two readings he chose (he read for over an hour) were perfectly suited (a poem about mixing the fantastic with the everyday and the first story from his new book) to the setting.

Getting back to the church--it was rather odd (for me anyway) to have a church where the Christ-figures were not half-naked and being staked to a wooden cross but were fully-clothed (in some sort of robe-like thing) and had open arms. It was a bit more disturbing than the (usual) staked bearded guy. I want him back. The audience was seated in the pews (the church was full but I'd gotten there fairly early so had a seat halfway down the aisle) with NG talking from where the priest would talk. I shall leave imaginings of how utterly appropriate it was to yous, dear readers.

The people: As I had to wait nearly an hour for my turn to come up, there was plenty of time to become mates with the (sign-language interpreter) girl next to me, the chatty (jewelry designer and "voice trainee") couple on the other side and the (flanel-shirted) boy who told a surely blasphemous story (not fit to be written down on PTSD). All I could think of was how much more fun yesterday's Syrian monastery story would have been if it had been allied with this tale, of a naked Jesus, arising from his grave (coffin? I'm not sure) and doing things unmentionable here.

The usual stuff: My being nervous and babbling when my turn came to have my book signed. NG said the name [The Bit's since it was a bit weird to have a book dedicated to myself] was "very pretty". I explained that, in Sanskrit, it meant a puzzle or a riddle and added a bit about the Bit, wanting to be a vet. Oh, and so the dedication in the book I had taken with me? "Believe" and signed by the man himself. Fantastic.

Not as cool as my new mate having her copy of the Sandman having had the Sandman drawn on it, though. Yes, NG drew on the title page. I really really wish I'd nicked one of E's comics before heading there myself.

Other stuff: There's quite a few movies coming out, based on NG's books, in the next year or so. Terry Gilliam might direct Good Omens. One can only hope.

By the way, before I forget, the man looks exactly like his picture. Exactly. Quite possibly even more fanciable in person.

Did I mention the entire thing (the long reading, the witty anecdotes, the conversation with the man and the signing) was free? Oh, yes, free. Since E abandoned me, I was forced to make friends. I couldn't sit for hours and not say anything to the neighbours. We're all mates now and are going to have bi-monthly pub sessions to discuss books we like. I shall subject PTSD readers to my views of those events so be warned. Just like the terrorism thing earlier on in the summer, a place full of people I'd otherwise never meet (i.e. comic book folks who go to various comic book conventions or terrorism studies people who do quant analysis) was actually far more inclusive than I think we ("we" being the poststructural/discourse/identity folks) would be. Quantitative folks just seem to run away from us. Though that may not be a bad thing, I'm in a bit of a conversion mode at the moment and it'd be nice to have more quant-types at events like yesterday. I still say FTMD should get his own cult (though they too would not be quant folks, I guess). We could even have a Battle of the Cults.

But, I digress.

Yet another thing: the 5 hours spent in the church were the most I've ever spent in a place of worship. It's a wonder I was not struck down or turned into some odd creature. But, perhaps, United Methodists don't do such things? I should really have paid more attention to the empirics of FTMD's talk instead of thinking of what I would eat for dinner and where I could scam free food off from (answer: the new Thai place in Dupont).

The Bohemian connection: Once more, Bohemia made an appearance. This time, in the form of Prince Franz Drago of Bohemia, who was the murdered man in the story NG picked to read out loud.

I still think a combination of yesterday's and today's talks would have made an eerie sort of sense and greatly livened up yesterday's proceedings. Actually, NG just standing there, in his black leather jacket and talking in his oh-so-proper English accent, would probably have made it all better. He was just a nice and funny bloke. The sort you could run into on a street somewhere and have a few beers with (while discussing the intricate plottings of the Sandman). He even mentioned blogging (and thanked people for reading his blog). There really should be more writers like that. Why aren't there?

* As PTSD readers are sure to know, the Yeti is indigenous to Nepal (and Tibet. As regular PTSD readers know, Tibet is almost Nepal anyway so that doesn't change my point). No one else has (or quite possibly wants) a Yeti. We have loads and even lend a few out to be Doctor Who villains. Yetis are known to drink, get humans drunk, and lure them into staying with them. They are not much different to the average Australian, in other words.


At 9/30/2006 2:08 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Why didn't I send anything with you? Why, why, why??? I should have sent along the goldfish book, or Coraline, or any of the dozens of copies of his stuff I have in my living room!

I am an idiot, clearly.

At 9/30/2006 3:00 AM, Blogger Priya said...

I know! I thought of that as I was sitting in church, waiting for the thing to start :-)

If he ever comes back to town, I'm dragging you and S with me even if I have to come get you at your place. Yous have to meet him since he's a really really nice bloke and, best of all, hugely amusing in a very PG Wodehouse/MP-ian way.

At 10/04/2006 12:28 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Done. We should have gone this time, but stuff comes up.


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