Log in

No account? Create an account
Neil Gaiman Speech & Talk (Part 1) - Body by Henson, brain by Seuss. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kelly J. Cooper

[ website | KJC Edits - let me edit you! ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Neil Gaiman Speech & Talk (Part 1) [May. 24th, 2008|01:28 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
[Tags|, , , , , , , , , , , , , ]

The Julius Schwartz Memorial Lecture Featuring Neil Gaiman went really well. If you're interested in the DVD recording of the event, keep an eye on that page. I'll try to remember to post details when it's available.

MYP's friend and liaison Geoff Long did a fabulous job organizing and introducing. Professor Henry Jenkins is a wonderfully thoughtful speaker and interviewer. And Neil was clever, charming, and articulate, as always.

I managed to see lillibet, muffyjo, and jason237 when I entered (just after they opened the doors - we'd already finished unpacking and arranging the books, comics, and t-shirts for the Million Year Picnic sales kiosk) and was looking around for a seat. They graciously offered me one of theirs. In the front row. Six feet from Neil. YES!!! Such nice people!

Right behind me was drwex and later, sweetmmeblue joined him. I don't know Amelia's LJ, but she was in that row as well. I actually got up and scanned the crowd, managing to see thespian, Drew, feste_sylvain, tamidon, hammercock, trowa_barton, sunspiral, and Sian. I think I also saw roozle and one of the spawn, but I'm not sure. I looked for laurenpburka, and her husband saw me, but I didn't spot them.

I knew lots of other people, but I'm not sure if my brain is full or I don't actually know/remember their names. There were also plenty of people who looked like I SHOULD know them, but I do not in fact know 'em.

We started with Geoff introducing Professor Jenkins and Neil Gaiman. Then Prof. Jenkins gave a short biography and impact statement about Julius "Julie" Schwartz, in whose honor this lecture series is named and presented. There were slides! And quotes! I learned a couple of things I didn't know about the history of comics and comics fandom, despite having read Comic Book Culture: Fanboys and True Believers (Studies in Popular Culture) by Matthew J. Pustz and Sense of Wonder by Bill Schelly (among other books; but most of the others were on the history of comics themselves rather than the culture around comics). I need to get my hands on Julie's autobiography (Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics by Julius Schwartz and Brian M. Thomsen).

Er, nevermind. Powells had a copy and they take PayPal now. Huzzah!

Then Neil gave a speech, which included reading out the essay Alan Moore wrote for Julie's funeral (which Neil was asked to read at the memorial), a wonderful piece that made me tear up, and discussing Linda Williams' book Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible", which is about hardcore pornography and which helped crystallize what "genre" is to him.

Next, Prof. Jenkins and Neil did a Q&A session, with Prof. Jenkins providing the Q's and Neil occasionally providing A's, but mostly rambling about topics related to the Q, without actually answering the Q.

Finally, they took a handful of questions from the audience.

The event ran from 7pm to 9:30pm, after which there was much lobby chatting and crazy comic, book, and t-shirt buying. (Prof. Jenkins, I think it was, had a huge pile of out-of-print Sandman t-shirts which we sold like the proverbial hot cakes.)

After the talk, at the frenzy of consumerism in the lobby, I saw a few of the folks above, more people I recognized but couldn't possibly name, plus metagnat and joev, but I only really got to wave at them.

Once we (Tony, Anthony [the new guy], and I from MYP along with muffyjo and Geoff lending a hand) finished loading out, we headed over to Senior House (where Prof. Jenkins lives) for the reception and got to chat with Neil a bit (yes, I checked with Geoff before I dragged Jo along; I'm not an evil glommer). Neil is still a very nice fellow (I've chatted with him a couple of times before). But, possibly more importantly, there was a huge pile of Indian food. As I hadn't eaten since lunch (and it being after 10pm), this was a marvelous thing. Also, Prof. Jenkins has a huge and fabulous library of books and comics that live on the bookcases which are everywhere in his quarters (shared with his wife). I love looking at other people's bookshelves.

After Neil left and we'd chatted ourselves out, muffyjo and I walked back to her car and she gave me a lift home.

Part 2 of this post will have quotes and references. (I took notes throughout the event.)

[User Picture]From: sweetmmeblue
2008-05-24 09:16 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting your notes. You took off before I could ask you for a copy. During the event I thought "Wow that's great, I'll remember that" and of course many of the things fell out of my head and I would love to have them back.

I missed that there were out of print Sandman shirts for sale. I'd have loved one of those. Oh well. Blood sugar needed attending to. It was great seeing you.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-05-25 05:34 am (UTC)
You're welcome. Sorry I took off so quickly, but I wanted to get back to the Million Year Picnic kiosk before the audience arrived en mass.

Geoff forgot to mention the kiosk and the t-shirts in his intro (he later said he was chanting to himself "don't forget! don't forget!" before doing the intro and afterwards, smacked himself because he forgot). So he put in a rushed comment about it at the end.

Good seeing you too!

Happy belated birthday!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cos
2008-05-24 09:57 am (UTC)
I saw you across the room. I was sitting with coraline's bunch.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-05-25 05:35 am (UTC)
Ah! I might've seen you & then promptly forgot... there was so much data that night that by the end of the evening, I couldn't remember what book I'd sold the moment after it left my hands.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: roozle
2008-05-25 10:13 am (UTC)
roozle is at WisCon, but I believe Gabriel was there.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kjc
2008-05-25 03:39 pm (UTC)
Hee! Yes, it must have been Gabriel!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: coraline
2008-05-26 04:11 pm (UTC)
*waves* also, the amelia you reference is oneagain in case you care :)
(Reply) (Thread)