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Freelance cartoonist and illustrator Mike Spicer would like to “Spicer-Up” your Facebook profile picture with a custom made, Mike Spicer-original, cartoon portrait. Is this a fun idea or what?
The original photos are shown here for comparison and do not appear on the final artwork
It all started when Mike received complimentary reactions from his circle of friends about the cartoon style self portrait he created and was using for his own Facebook page. Positive comments poured in from both artists and non-artists alike.
He sat with the idea for a while to let it percolate in his noggin until it finally bubbled over and couldn’t be contained anymore. Fueled by his excitement and the prompting of his friends and online acquaintances he decided to pursue the idea. Mike floated the project out about a week ago and everything synched-up to make it "feel right".
Encouraged by the support he’s had so far Mike intends on building the project beyond his own online community in the hopes that others will also want these fun and unique likenesses as their social network visual identities.
Working out of Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada, Mike Spicer publishes newspaper editorial cartoons, book illustrations and creates humorous custom cartoons and caricatures for commercial clients as well as individuals.
With John McCain looking to wrap up the Republican Party presidential nomination, challenger Mike Huckabee is just looking for a way to remain relevant. Earlier this week, Huckabee tried going on the attack against a familiar target: the press.
At a breakfast meeting with reporters from the Christian Science Monitor, Huckabee decried journalists’ focus on his religious background, saying: “There has been an attempt to ghettoize me for a very small part of my biography. The last time I was in the pulpit was 1991.” (more…)
It's too late at night, so this is just to say that I went in to Minneapolis to to see Jonathan Coulton, in company with with Jen-the-dogsitter and Sharon-the-beesitter (although Sharon was actually and inexplicably on the Coulton Merch table). It was a delightful show -- Paul and Storm, the support act (and occasional backing vocals and badinage) were terrific and Jonathan was astonishingly good. They got a standing ovation at the end, and not just because Minnesotan audiences are nice and nobody wanted to go out into the snow.
I keep forgetting to post about Freerice, a sort of combination of it pays to Improve your Wordpower and the Hunger Site, and I really should, especially because it's more fun than solitaire when you're making a phone call and in front of a computer screen at the same time. Hundreds of people have written to tell me about it, but the first was Rachel Landau back in October, who said...
Hi, Mr. Gaiman! This website is probably far too distracting for you while you're busy writing, but could you post this link up?www.freerice.com Improve your vocabulary and save the world, all at one website!
Hey Neil,Been reading this blog for a long time. Always enjoy seeing how ordinary and absurd other peoples lives can be. While I love the pictures you post off the people, animals, and places that are important to you, I have noticed that you never put any up of your son. Is he camera shy like me, or do you omit him for another reason?
It looks like I'm not going to post the 3D Coraline trailer here (mostly because it was made to be seen in 3D). But the good people at Laika and Focus are putting their heads together, and a Coraline Christmas Present is Being Discussed....
Four films that would normally have expected to be cleared for release in January or February have been locked out: Disney's "Enchanted," DreamWorks' "Bee Movie," Paramount's "Stardust" and Warner's "Beowulf."
(I'll do a slightly dessicated version here, because I'm in the lounge at Narita and don't have long before my plane boards now...)
I was brought in for the Ad Congress -- I gave a talk about the imagination and why it is a good thing, and then, on Saturday morning, did a reading of the complete first chapter of The Graveyard Book, an interview and a signing for about 200 people (it was only meant to be for the first 100 in the line -- some of whom started lining up at midnight -- but I added in about an extra 45 minutes signing at the end). Then to Manila -- on the way I read the finalists for the Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards, and was really impressed by the quality of the prose stories. Fully Booked runs the awards, and on Saturday morning I found myself sitting in Fully Booked while stacks of copies of Expeditions were put in front of me to sign. These were the two collections (prose and comics) of winners and runners-up from the first Award, last year. Many interviews followed, and a mass press conference. And then, in the afternoon, I had the odd experience of being a magicians' assistant (for local magician Eric Bana) and awards presenter, in front of a large crowd (and despite the rain), and I announced the thing we're adding to the awards for next year (a short films category), and at one point I dragged Mike up on stage with me (when I was asked about being a children's author and having children), and I sort of promised I'd come back for the third round, and that I'd do a signing if I did...
(I loved the whole trip but it was made much more fun by having a son with me.)
Then dinner with the winners and judges from this year and last year's competition.
Back to the hotel, and up at 5.00am to leave Manila. And now I'm here.
Expect postings to decrease between here and Xmas. I have a book to finish, and I'm done gallivanting, I hope...
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Happy Thanksgiving -- an odd thing to be writing on the morning of the Friday after Thanksgiving, but time is different here in the Philippines, where it is already the future and they probably have flying cars and personal jetpacks.
So let's see...
First thing in the morning I gave a speech yesterday to about 3,500 people, who seemed to like it ("I haven't prepared anything," I said at the beginning. "So nothing can possibly go wrong." And then I burbled, hopefully helpfully. Later that afternoon another speaker learned he had the wrong powerpoint presentation on the CD he had brought, so didn't give his speech at all and floew back to England instead. Hah. Not-preparation wins again.) Then I did lots of press interviews. Then lunch, then I signed 1000 copies of the Beowulf script book that are going to be given to people on Saturday morning, and while signing the jet-lag started to hit. Then dinner. Then I was falling asleep between sentences, so fled to bed.
Mike is enjoying himself, I think. I love having him here.
(A couple of people wrote to say they don't think that that PDFs are currently supported by the Kindle. The version I used supported them, although not terribly well -- it was one of the things I told them about, many of which they fixed -- so they may have pulled it until they get the bugs out.)
"Boom-Boom was the world’s greatest juggling, sword - swallowing, tight - rope - walking, daredevil of the 1890s. She was also known to wrestle gators and climb skyscrapers. Rumor had it that she studied under Houdini, learned martial arts in Peking, and worked as a spy for the U.S. government. While flying biplanes in WWI, she disappeared somewhere over the Bermuda Triangle."
Boom-Boom was completely made up by me. I didn't expect so many people to think I was reciting historical facts rather than fiction. And while I dislike deceiving anyone, I must say, I was a little flattered that my character was so believable! Maybe it's because I want her to be real... amazing women are hot! :)
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
I did this one to look like a silk-screened poster. It could also be a book cover. This is Napoleon from George Orwell's Animal Farm.
Animal Farm is a novella by George Orwell, and is perhaps the most famous satirical allegory of Soviet totalitarianism. Published in 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era. Orwell, a democratic socialist, and a member of the Independent Labour Party for many years, was a critic of Stalin, and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism after his experiences with the NKVD during the Spanish Civil War. The plot is an allegory in which animals play the roles of the Bolshevik revolutionaries and overthrow and oust the human owners of the farm, setting it up as a commune in which, at first, all animals are equal, but soon disparities start to emerge between the different species or classes. The novel describes how a society's ideologies can be changed and manipulated by individuals in positions of power.
So this is the million words party post, and as with all good parties, I already feel faintly sick from devouring too many sweet things. (In this case, big lumps of honeycomb, the first from the hive. The Birdchick will tell you all about it. with photos, soon enough.)
(Celebratory Party Art above by the Wonderful Web Elf.)
But it's not just Million Words day. It's also Mike's Gaiman's 24th birthday. Mike, for the record, has a real job, at Google, and no longer looks like this: He is also no longer anywhere near as impressed by monkey-pony monsters as he used to be.
not a question as much as a statement. I just want to tell you that the beautiful new hardcover of STARDUST (which I'm very happy about and which looks absolutely amazing on my shelf) has some pictorial problems. I have compared only one image, and by memory only, but at least the picture of the Fairy Market is missing its edges. The slightly familiar-looking gentleman in the dark glasses in the lower left corner is missing in the hc; only his left shoulder and arm is left. So I'm glad I have both versions. :-)
Yr obt Servt,
That's pretty much the only change, and it actually dates back to the original 1998 hardback -- because the size -- and the ratio -- is different from the smaller version , the four double-page spreads, which are "full bleed" and go to the edge of the page each lost a little bit at the edge -- in three cases, you lost a little bit of tree or sky, but in the fourth you lost, er, me. So, to make up for it, you get the new drawing of the Fairy Market as endpapers with me (and Charles Vess, and even Maddy) in there.
why are you so concerned about your hair and makeup? HELLO; you're a master artist! No one expects you to be pretty, witty and wise, yes but not PRETTY! Besides you're a man, a manly man at that! And even though you are now more mature, most women (not me - I'm a shallow as dish water and a sucker for a pretty face) but most young women love an older man! So stop fretting about your looks, you're on a press junket not doing glamor shots!
If you do TV, you get made up for it. Otherwise you look washed out, and if you're me your hair covers one eye in a distracting sort of a way, or something similar. It's one of those sort of fact of life things that you just sort of get used to if you're on a junket, where the TV cameras are omnipresent, or if you're doing TV interviews in a studio. The make-up person doesn't care whether you're male or female, old or young; she cares about making you look human on screen. The hardest job in the last few days (for the make-up lady) was when I had to be interviewed in front of a green screen, and she had to make my hair lie down and behave, because otherwise it would have caused bizarre optical effects when they replaced the green screen with Stardust images. I don't fret about my looks. Mostly, I'm amused by them, and by the process of hair and make-up. It's one of those things you don't expect to have to deal with when you start out as a writer.
Since you've recently gone from two and a half cats to six, I was wondering if you'd like one more. We've got a feral called Thor who we took in back in January after a nasty injury. He is very likely the world's sweetest cat. The only problem is that we have two other cats, one of which (the 'alpha cat') won't accept him. Well, that and we're technically breaking our lease by keeping a third cat on the premises. We've been looking for a good home for him via both Craigslist and our local daily paper, but have had no luck whatsoever. He'd make either an excellent companion or an excellent barn cat. We're concerned that if we don't find him a home within the next two weeks, we'll end up returning him to the street after having gotten him a lot of veterinary care and habituated him to regular human contact--and it just feels wrong. So while I suspect you won't be able to take him, could I perhaps prevail upon you to ask anyone you might know in the Albany, NY area if they'd consider it? If they want more information, we've created a Xanga blog for him at www.xanga.com/thorstory.
Good luck finding a home for him...
Hey Neil, The Official site for Stardust, aside from being a really nice site to visit also has some music playing in the background that is QUITE nice, and I was just wondering if you knew if this was actually bits of Ilan Eshkeri's score for the film. I do hope it is as I find it quite lovely to listen to, and I can see it fitting the story well. Thanks Scott
That's Ilan's score in the background. ...
I just got the galleys of my short story in a book called FOUR LETTER WORD:New Love Letters (Here's the Amazon Uk link) to proofread, and find it rather disturbing that I can't see anything wrong with it. (Rereads again. Okay. I found a gives that should be a give. Whew.)
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So this is Holly last week at Bryn Mawr, getting her degree...
With her brother and sister in attendance...
And these are a few photos of Maddy and Mike from this morning, when Mike got his Masters from Brown.
And, in case you were wondering, this last one is a photo of me and Maddy last night and it's rather blurry, and I've just started growing a scruffy beard, and I'm not sure who took it, but there weren't any other photos of me on my camera, mostly because, well, it's my camera and I was taking the photos. I'm sure there will be lots of decent ones with me in as well on Holly's camera, mind you.
Also I am typing this with an 80lb dog asleep on my foot. He seems astonishingly pleased that I came back.
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I went to Philadelphia and watched Holly walk across the stage in a cap and gown and collect her diploma, and I was proud as any parent could possibly be. Then I came back again.
(Next week I do it again, only this time to Providence and to watch Mike get his master's. Slightly less thrilling, as he left in December and has been working at Google for most of this year, but I'm sure I'll be every bit as proud and happy.)
I only got online to tell you that if you take the dog for a walk last thing at night you can find yourself unexpectedly seeing the first fireflies of the year twinkling in the bushes, and what a fine thing that is.
But then when I got online I discovered that the Stardust Movie site is now live at http://www.stardustmovie.com, so I thought I'd mention it.
The second of four beautifully designed slipcased volumes, THE ABSOLUTE SANDMAN VOL. 2 collects issues 21-39 of THE SANDMAN and features remastered coloring on all 19 issues as well as brand-new inks on THE SANDMAN #34 by the issue's original penciller, Colleen Doran, and a host of bonus material, including two never-before-reprinted stories by Gaiman (one prose and one illustrated), a complete reproduction of the never-before-reprinted one-shot THE SANDMAN: A GALLERY OF DREAMS, and the complete script and pencils by Gaiman and Kelley Jones for Chapter Two of "Season of Mists" from THE SANDMAN #23.
Vertigo 616pg. Color Oversized Hardcover $99.00 US
(The illustrated story it refers to is what we old-fashioned types call a "comic", and it's the painted John Bolton Desire story that I was never able to persuade DC comics to do as a poster; the prose story is the short story that was on the box of the original Sandman statue.)
It does, doesn't it? (And the people at Google fixed the gmail bug for me, and did stuff to make up for it.) I have rather wonderful children.
Maddy, mind you, while still wonderful, has gone down with influenza, something that we've sort of been waiting for since her two best friends went down with it earlier this week. So we're watching Howl's Moving Castle on the sofa together right now, which is a sensible sort of thing to do when someone is sick and feverish.
Not really a question - I just saw your cuecat/readerware comment. I find for the older books that using the library of congress number works very well. You have to change from just the default amazon service, and you often have to muck with the edition more, but it's a great shortcut for getting author names and titles and whatnot in.Failing an LC number, Amazon also has a surprising number of old editions through their bookseller associates, as does ABE. I find trolling those sites a lot more productive (not to mention interesting) than hand-cataloging.
Good suggestion, and I was thrilled to discover it worked.
I'm finding entering books curiously addictive. I'll pick up a few books and nip into the library to scan them between doing other things.
I've got a sort of a theory about the library -- there are so many books downstairs and scattered around the house that the upstairs library won't really make much of a dent in them. So I've decided that the books I want in the upstairs library are simply ones that I (or someone else a lot like me) might want on shelves if I was just going to pick something up from the shelves and sit down somwhere comfortable and read for an hour. So right now I'm very aware that half the books we've brought up and scanned or entered will go back downstairs again.
Hello Neil, I was wondering if you knew the for sure, official release dates for "Interworld" and "M is for Magic". Amazon is showing July 1st, while Barnes & Noble's website is showing last week of June. Both are listed in the current Diamond Previews which would suggest more like May.Thanks, Cal
I had no idea, but I asked Clarissa Hutton at HarperChildrens, and she said,
The PUBLICATION date for both is 7/1, while the on-sale date is 6/26. So both Amazon & B&N are sort of right, they're just using different bases. Our official pub dates are always the beginning of the month, while release (when the books ship from the warehouse) and on-sale (when the stores need to have the books on-shelf) vary depending on print dates.
Hope this helps.
And this came in recently too:
Hope all's well with you. You might be interested to know that The House Called Hadlows will be out next month and that we've added an excerpt from the first chapter to the website - there's a link on this page: http://www.fidrabooks.com/forthcoming.html. I know this is cheeky, but we have had lots of interest via your support for the books and if you were to mention it on your blog that would be fantastic. And you never know - if we sell enough I might be able to wrestle the unpublished third book from Victoria's grasp!!
Hello, Mr. Neil Gaiman sir. There are some rumors that on the 17th of March you will be at the 7th Warszawskie Spotkania Komiksowe (which translates to Warsaw Comics Festival or something similar) in, lo and behold, Warsaw. It's not listed in the "Where's Neil" section but it's been reported by some Polish comic book news portals. Any luck it's true? Izydor Ingwar I.
It's true -- and it should be up on Where's Neil soon -- I'll be there from 5-7 pm, I believe.
Hi Neil, I've seen you mention the new third-floor library in several posts. As someone who is slowly infiltrating every corner of his house with books, I'm always interested in seeing other people's libraries, bookcases and the like. Any chance we'll get a peek at the new library? Blu
Good idea. I'll take some pictures when I get a spare minute.
Remind me not to post about breaking the Internet again: first newBlogger spams poor Livejournal on my first post back, and then my own internet connection goes down completely on January 1st, when there are no help people at the end of the helpline, and it's another full day until they can get it back online.
Obviously there are things one must not joke about. I am beginning to suspect that the Internet is watching us, and its feelings are easily hurt.
Small parental moment of proud happiness -- my son Mike, having obtained his Masters in, er, computery stuff, had to decide whether to accept a job offer from an unidentified computer company named after a fruit or a job offer from an equally unidentified search engine company named after a lot. Both were things he wanted to do. He made his decision, and will now be joining the ranks of the employed.
(I would have been happy with either choice, but was delighted with the one he chose, because I've been there to talk and sign books, and, frankly, the food's terrific.)
(The sharp-eyed among you might find a clue to his decision in this recent photograph.)
I formally gave him the framed Bernie Mirault/Matt Wagner page from the "Origin of the Riddler" story I wrote, as his Hurrah You Now Have A Job That Does Not Actually Involve Preparing Fast Food Present, and wrote that it was now officially his on the back. (Curious as to how fast I could find the page in question on the web, I googled "Mirault Riddler" and a couple of seconds later I was at http://goodcomics.blogspot.com/2005/12/its-festivus-miracle.html staring at
Sometimes if you leave a blog alone for a little while it'll come up with a whole crop of wonderful goodies, just ah-sittin' there, awaiting your return. I've always enjoyed the Drawn! Illustration and Cartooning blog, but it's not always a sure-fire source of kidlit info. When I happened across it yesterday, however, I found all sorts of goodies available for perusal.
For starters, Mary Blair did commercials, it seems. You may remember her from her Little Golden Book I Can Fly. Well, everything's come full circle, it seems. After all, Patrick McDonnell, sometimes cartoonist/sometimes picture book author, has made commercials of his own as well.
In other news, there's a blog out there called the Etch-a-Sketchist. Pretty much what it sounds like.
The greatest of all these? Five parts of the animated Doonesbury series are up on YouTube. It's very odd. Aired on TV in 1980 and hasn't been seen since. The strip of my youth. Definitely worth watching.