Sunday, November 01, 2009
Neil Gaiman likes my Tshirt
He said so as he looked up while signing my battered, yellowed copy of Good Omens. I had given up finding an ankh pendant so I used a fabric crayon and drew an ankh onto a black tee. Incidentally, earlier, the cute guy in front of me in the queue to get in also liked my Tshirt. Then his girlfriend showed up and that was the end of the conversation.
I asked Mr Gaiman if it wasn't too much cheek signing a book of which he only wrote half. I had brought a whole bag full of everything Gaiman that I own but we were allowed to offer only one book per person for Mr Gaiman's autograph. So I chose Good Omens, it was the first Gaiman I ever read, the first time I ever knew he existed. Mr Gaiman owes Mr Prachett a great deal. I didn't get into the Sandman until much later -- I had missed out on comics in my childhood because my mother wouldn't let me read them, she thought I should read "real" books rather than stuff where the text comes out of mouths in balloons. I wonder what Mr Gaiman would say to her.
Anyway, Mr Gaiman's response was that he was proud of his half of Good Omens, and who knows, maybe Terry Prachett wouldn't have come up with such a great book if he, Neil Gaiman, didn't write half of it.
L chose Anansi Boys to be signed, and he wanted the dedication to be for: "Queeni, Adeline". "Queeni??" Mr Gaiman looked up. "My daughter," answered L, but never explaining that the daughter in question wasn't human.
We had queued for an hour, maybe an hour and a half for the signing. L said sniffily that he didn't do this even for Elton John. The truth was that it was pelting down so we couldn't leave anyway. After the signing, we ran across to a nearby restaurant. After some wine and before the food arrived, the rain lessened, and L wondered if he should go back to the Gaiman signing queue. It should have petered out by now and what's there to stop you from joining the queue again, with another book?
A bouncer, that's what. Mr Gaiman's minders put the guy at the end of the queue so they knew that was the end of the queue. But L pleaded, it's our anniversary and he wanted Gaiman to sign his wife's Sandman omnibus collection as a present.
And whaddaya know, bouncers have heart and L was waved through. Mr Gaiman looked up at him and remembered: "Ah, Queeni, Adeline?" And that was the point at which L became a Gaiman groupie. The Man remembered.
My copy of Coraline was left unsigned in the bag but what Mr Gaiman did was to draw two button eyes on an illustration of The Doll's House -- kinda like killing two birds with one stone.
So now I'm not the only Neil Gaiman groupie in the house. And the next time Mr Gaiman returns, It's L who will will suffer ankh angst for a Sandman costume.