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#09

Monday, July 04, 2005

Enter Sandman

Just returned from the Neil Gaiman signing at Orchard cineleisure, held after a lovely question and answer session and screening of a digitally packaged Mirrormask preview. I left approximately 45 minutes ago and I guessed there were still about fifty fervent fans still waiting behind us in line.

At first, waiting in the dim theatre (the price of being punctual for once), listening to two samples off the Mirrormask soundtrack: weird music and an even weirder rendition of 'Close to You' sang by something reminiscent of a small girl being half-asphyxiated, with chimes and hums in the background. Neil walks in and I'm oddly relieved to see the trademark leather jacket. Less than enthusiatic about the paunch though (Singapore: "You're welcome."). I know you guys are keeping him well-fed.

The turnout was enormous and after the theatre closed for the night, practically everyone poured two levels down to line up to get their books and figurines and pictures and ticket stubs (and iPod) signed. He was amazingly, mightily gracious and very much obliging to everyone, despite having circulation to his legs, lower torso and organs restricted for two hours and enduring the embrace of local heat and humidity, in the face of limply flapping paper fans by British Council members, after the air-conditioning to the building was switched off. Not to mention the signing session in the afternoon prior to this one. And being held up at a restaurant for photographs, explaining his late arrival. Kudos to Neil!

Neil Gaiman was hilarious. And it was reassuring to see most of the crowd rollicking in good humour at his quips and dry observations. One of the most notable being his confession that one of his interview extracts in the Mirrormask package was hopelessly and horribly false: a tale of Dave McKean being weirdly tramatised in his early childhood (small beard included and all), manufactured as a better alternate to "I don't know." to the question of "Why does Dave McKean use many masks in his works?"

He swears he didn't know they were going to use that as their widely marketed preview. He also wonders why they included a 1994 clip of McKean with a different beard and more hair, talking out of context about art in comics was included. Bizarre.

He also mentioned how someone criticised Mirrormask for unoriginal because the artwork in the movie resembles that of the person who did the Sandman covers. Oh well.

We got to enjoy this short film called 'A Short Film about John Bolton', which is about John Bolton but really not, especially with Neil writing and direction. It's an ending you can guess a mile away but we love it because we love Neil. By the way, this blog's url is attributed to one of Neil's short stories, of the same name. You can actually check it out here.

It's past one and I hope Neil has escaped the less-punctual hordes of relentless fans (or beaten them away with a cricket bat) and has gotten some sleep and has tucked out his shirt and doesn't mind me throwing about his first name as though we're on an amazing first-name basis.

en at 11:58 pm

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