Sunday, November 27, 2011

24 hour sale at Neverwear

for the next day, until midnight tomorrow night,
use the code:
to get ten bucks off any purchase of $20. --
go get 'em, tiger!

that's half-price, baby!
to see what we've got, go HERE.

stay tuned for a new Neil mailbox---

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CONJUNCTIONS has arrived...& meeting Olivia...

I went and picked up the new prints from my local printer late yesterday afternoon. The sun was most welcome after the shattering downpour of the day before. Sitting in the back of Ghosty, with his top down, you can see the rich blue hues...
The Jouni illustrations are stunning, the first frames of Cabal in the snow and the tree horizon line and the fish swimming...they just stir the mind. I thank you for your early orders, I think this will be a strong print and I will be happy to gaze upon it daily.



Speaking of supporting the arts...
Our dear friend Adriane is back in town on a break from the Janet Jackson tour, and I invited her time-zoned, jet-lagged person go get sushi with me to catch up on all things. After sushi, we stopped by the La Luz de Jesus/Wacko gallery to see the wonder that is Olivia.
She of the fine-art pin-up, she has done a painting in every Playboy for the last number of years, she of the one name, like Cher, she is so filled with talent. Now I know from speaking to her, she is also super sharp-witted and possessing a clever sense of playful humor.

For those that love the ladies and didn't attend her opening, you missed the crowd there, almost ALL gorgeous XX-chromosomes. She was selling her own prints, packaged and stamped and signed and sealed with authenticity certificates. I bought two (shhhh, don't tell Husband, they are for him) and would have bought several more if i had the dough. They are knock-out beautiful.
Her new book, Malibu Cheesecake is available HERE.

Here she is signing my copy:

and here I am with the lady herself...

hmmm, I wonder if she would ever want to do an illustration for one of Neil's poems....Can you imagine what she would do for the nudity poem of his that I love love love that has not yet been done...?

Lucky new year spirits, hear my wishes....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

a few Neil mailbox among them.

It's crisp fall out, i am living off homemade soup, life is busy, beautiful and good.
was laid out with some sort of sickness, but am on the mend, truly i get sick VERY rarely,
usually my Wolverine healing powers are excellent.

made some new comic book magnets while hibernating (will post them soon):


and opened a boatload of Neil fanmail.
It was his birthday week, so the Boss got some presents as well---

lovely package from our friend in Kauai, the macaw-toting Hindu monk, mister S.

this gorgeous book from Kevin in Florida, and he was sweet enough to send me a copy. I think it is so beautiful, from the title "The Bargain I Made for her Heart" on down--

a copy of mister Hodgman's book with Neil's observation on the back--


a little lucky rabbit engraving, from Robert in Kentucky...

a duo set of books from Michael Bull:

another reminder to people sending in things for the Boss, please please include an email address, so that I can let you know package arrived safely. While we try (we do) to answer everyone, things get shuffled about and with no email, I can't always answer right away. I do thank you! There are many more photos to post, but I want to get this up in good time.

two days left to get this at the $10-dollars-off price (they will go to normal price at midnight west coast time on Monday,November 21):

click here for more details!

meanwhile last week, I went to another Simpsons table read, brought the bass player from Zombie's band, mister Piggy D. Miss Bonnie P had come out to our show this summer in Portland and she took an amazing portrait of him outside before the show, she surprised him with a big print of it--


Patton Oswalt was the stellar celebrity guest in the table read, and Hank Azaria, to his left, was just stunning. (also apparently made of steel, those muscles-- Bonnie took a photo of us, will post when i get, she uses real film, bless her heart)


tonight is Neil's appearance on the show, please tune in! here is his blog post, i was with him at his read, and I cannot wait to hear which bad American accent bit they chose...he must have done 40 different bits, each driving Matt Selman into a frenzy of direction, once he saw what our Neil was capable of...:

Monday, November 14, 2011

NEW PRINT: Neil Gaiman's CONJUNCTIONS drawn by Jouni Koponen

I remember well the beginning stages of the courtship of Neil and Amanda.
Two artists, one big bang.

Winter 2008.
Amanda was on tour with her wild bunch and they stopped by Neil's while I was on a work visit out there.
Neil took them to a trout farm to pick out our dinner.
I remember they had to park their tour bus down the street, we trudged through the snow.

Neil and Amanda both wrote pieces about this time, this magic early time, and both had working title of Trout Heart Replica, in a tip of the hat to that delicious Captain Beefheart. Neil changed the title of his piece to Conjunctions.

here is a video of Amanda singing her side of the story:

When we asked our Finnish superstar, Jouni Koponen to illustrate Conjunctions,
I sent Jouni a few reference photos that I had taken from around the time Neil was composing this beautiful, heartwrencher of a poem.
Here is the treeline view of the actual conjunction of Venus and Jupiter that cold December night.


and here, Neil cleans a rainbow trout in his sink:


they signed the inserts for Who Killed Amanda Palmer? at the big kitchen table.

Here is our Fabulous Lorraine with her still-long hair and her backstage laminate, after we had returned from seeing AFP in Chicago and we picked up The Bengal Royals on the long drive home.

Amanda posing for the Graveyard Book tshirt that we had just put out (get the Graveyard Book shirts HERE.)

Limited numbered edition of 750 print run, these will be sold unsigned, I have a few signed by Neil. Get them HERE!

and here is Neil's poem:

Conjunctions by Neil Gaiman

Jupiter and Venus hung like grapes in the evening sky,
frozen and untwinkling,
You could have reached and up and picked them.

And the trout swam.

Snow muffled the world, silenced the dog,
silenced the wind...

The man said, I can show you the trout. He was
glad of the company.
He reached into their tiny pool, rescued a dozen, one by one,
sorting and choosing,
dividing the sheep from the goats of them.

And this was the miracle of the fishes,
that they were beautiful. Even when clubbed and gutted,
insides glittering like jewels. See this? he said, the trout heart
pulsed like a ruby in his hand. The kids love this.
He put it down, and it kept beating.
The kids, they go wild for it.

He said, we feed the guts to the pigs. They're pets now,
They won't be killed. See? We saw.
Huge as horses they loomed on the side of the hill.

And we walk through the world trailing trout hearts like dreams,
wondering if they imagine rivers, quiet summer days,
fat foolish flies that hover or sit for a moment too long.
We should set them free, our trout and our metaphors:

You don't have to hit me over the head with it.
This is where you get to spill your guts.
You killed in there, tonight.
He pulled her heart out. Look, you can see it there, still beating. He said,
See this? This is the bit the kids like best. This is what they come to see.

Just her heart, pulsing, on and on. It was so cold that night,
and the stars were all alone.
Just them and the moon in a luminous bruise of sky.

And this was the miracle of the fishes.

Jouni's illustration:


Here, to get his side of the story, I interview Jouni via email from the land of Vikings, Finland.

1. This is a very different style than your piece SAUCERS. How did you arrive here?

Pretty much the same way I arrived to Saucers before, or to The Study in Emerald before that, or to any other project before those... by stepping out of my comfort zone and wanting to try something else. I always felt that Saucers was quite light on emotion and relied more on "technical cleverness" both in text and in illustration. With Conjunctions I wanted to try doing something that would be as much as possible just "raw emotion" illustrated with some very basic techique.

2. English is not your first language. How do you go about translating Neil’s words to Finnish and/or do you?

Now that you mention it, it seems I do not conciously translate English into Finnish in my head anymore. So, in some extent I'm apparently capable of processing English data as it is in my head. Weird... However that DOESN'T mean my English is perfect or anything, merely sufficient.

3. Did anything lucky happen to you during the process of illustrating CONJUNCTIONS?

Lucky? Does the fact that Neil really seems to like the illustrations count as luck?

4. If you could meet any of Neil Gaiman’s fictional characters, who would you like to have a conversation with? (or a fist fight -- or any interaction?)

I really love Dream of the Endless, but I'm sure I'd end up seriously f***ed up after meeting him (somehow pretty much all interactions he had with mortals seemed to end up with the mortal dying, or bein' banished to hell... or both... or something even worse). Wednesday, perhaps... or Silas... or Matthew the raven... or Fiddlers Green... or...

5. Who would play you in the movie version of your life?

Hmm... The problem with "A-list" actors is that they are too good looking to play me. Of course it would be fun to have Johnny Depp doing the part. I'm sure it would do marvels to my illustrating career and it would be interesting to have Johnny crashing at my home for two months trying to get into the role, but there's not much of resemblance between the two of us, I'm afraid...

On the other hand, Edward Norton did a real good job playing a chronically tired and confused person in Fight Club... yes... Ed, you got the part.

I've also been told that In Return of the King, in the scene where the elves are re-forging Narsil, the one who is wielding the hammer looks like me. Personally I think he is too good looking too.

6. Did the success you met with on SAUCERS change your artistic outlook in any way?

I don't think the success did anything per se, but as an Illustration project, Saucers was/is definitely very significant for me. The whole visual idea of the poster (the zooming out thing) is probably the coolest gimmick I've ever come up with.

7. Can you share here some of the best advice you ever got as an young artist?

I personally think all visual arts are skills of the EYE more than skills of the hand. You have to train seeing... everything else is just making smudges on some surface with some technique.

8. What upcoming project on the Jouni-slate are you most excited about?

Right now I'll take a little breather and concentrate spending more time with my wife and kids, but in the deepest corners of my soul of souls I know Odd and the Frost Giants comics (a project I started couple of years back... and never finished) deserves another shot. I know I owe it to him.

9. Here is a chance for you to answer a question you wish that I had asked: (fill in blank!)

OK. The Question would be: “Is there any truth to the rumor, that as a young art student you once tried doing sigil magic after hours of reading Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles and drinking beer... and, that the results of the ceremony were quite dramatic and still affect your life?” And my answer is: “Who told you that? I... It didn’t... Umm... No comment.”

*note from Kitty, Jouni always signs off with Cheerio, which i have told him is an American breakfast cereal. He remains steadfast.

CONJUNCTIONS is now in pre-sales, while it is at the printer this week, I will have it at $38.00.

It is the same size as the SAUCERS piece, 10" x 28" printed here in Hollywood, US of A. on a creamy silk stock.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

catching up with mid-November...

It's Neil's birthday today and last year, at this time, we were all down in New Orleans for quite the bash.

i had these laminates made up for his birthday party, complete with Christopher Salmon's artwork:

cut to a year later: Christopher and I made the trip out to "Castle Gaiman" (Kyle Cassidy's nickname---but it shall always be the Addams Family mansion to me) for work on some behind the scenes footage for THE PRICE.
Here is a mini-clip I took of Mr. Salmon being white-German-sheparded, while directing Neil:


I especially love the way he has captured the little Halloween-town in his video, i got chills once I realized what it was.

The look of joy on Christopher's face when Neil presented him with the see-in-the-dark binoculars was worth the whole trip.

Meanwhile in other news, Mr. Jouni Koponen has been hard at work over in Finland to bring another one of Neil's poems to life in print. Hope to have the finished file this week, it looks so beautiful, in the spirit of his interpretation of SAUCERS (see below as Jouni and Neil sign SAUCERS) but heartbreaking in a different way. He has illustrated Neil's poem CONJUNCTIONS and as soon as it is available, I will share it with you all.
Happiest of birthdays to our Neil.

the men sign Saucers

Thursday, November 3, 2011

World Fantasy Con, Late Late Show & the Neil Gaiman/AFP tour...

I am sitting in a hotel room in Omaha, Nebraska, wishing that there was a bit more snow falling, but so far only blue skies.
Visiting the rehearsals of TSO, where Drew is doing lasers.
Finally have a minute to catch up with some of last week, so many things happened--photos galore.

As Neil was coming in, I decided to rent a car, instead of stuffing him into Ghosty, which, while amusing to watch him unfold himself in and out of, thought I'd drive him in some style:


A sparklepaint gun-metal gray Dodge Challenger, which I nicknamed Dodgey. On the way to LAX, i got that baby up to 100 mph without even a look back. I was in love...

our first stop was a mini-speaking engagement hosted by James Blaylock for his students (him what is said to be a founding father of steampunk movement...)


Neil did a reading of SAUCERS which knocked me off my chair, and then he read ORANGE, which, all i can say, I hope someone got on video.

(read SAUCERS here for yourself.)
here is Neil with lovely Serena & Tim Powers & James and miss Vicky:


We leave there and head down to San Diego, where Neil is guest of honor at World Fantasy Con.
The ride down was especially memorable, as Neil practiced some of his tour song numbers, and damn, he can actually sing.
We rolled up on Tom Galloway in the parking lot, and this was the nighttime view of the pool outside my hotel...

Lions greeted me in the morning as I went to get our credentials:



After the opening ceremonies, the San Diego Zoo did a terrific presentation, this isn't a great shot of the regal owl but the movie i took is not uploading...


everyone gears up for the big author group signing...


I spot Patrick Rothfuss in the corner, and that's it for that guy. I am attached like a moray eel! He was fascinating conversationalist, we talked of many things, including a Neverwear team up for his charity, Worldbuilders.
stay tuned for more on that!

Patrick shown to the right of Mr. Gregory Noveck of SyFy Channel, (wish you could read Gregory's badge, do ask him about it!):


why yes, i Did have Patrick sign my badge:


The ever-patient Les Klinger then helped me find Charlaine Harris (she of True Blood fame) and I made her sign Neil's nameplate, because while I had nothing else, these authors are my rockstars. She kept saying, but this is...Neil's sign...and I said, well no, now it is mine mine mine--she was so sweet, but she kept one eye out for any sudden movements by yours truly.

here, people are polite as they wait in a Very Long Line that goes Far Out The Door for Neil to sign their books:


We pull the plug exactly at 11 to take Neil to his wife's show down the road, leaving a few sad waiting book-holders, so he promises to do ANOTHER signing,
and when he does, I can't help but corrrect the signage with my handy sharpie (was that wrong?)
click here to see the photo, Neil pointed people to my Twitter post of it, 5000+ views!

Les takes us off to see the close of Amanda's show, where I get to meet mister Rothfuss' assistant, Valerie. Somehow I didn't get a photo of the lovely girl...but here's the marquee:


Merrilee, Neil's superagent, stands out on our balcony.


We drove to Ocean Beach very early to have breakfast and watch the surfers from the pier. Dolphins, seals and several pelicans greeted us. It was such a beautiful morning.


Every con I go to, my first stop is to see the art exhibit, and get in on the auctioning. It inspires me and reminds me to keep doing my own exhibitions, that art is alive, trying to set one up now. This sign was the best:


and this is the haunting mermaid I won:

When I went to pick it up, things were already down, so I sadly have no clue on the artist's name except a signature of Lee, can anyone put me in touch with this artist? write me: as I would love to do some work with this wonderkind.

Miss West McDonough and Mr. Jonathan Pendragon were in attendance, and Jonathan did many card tricks in the hotel bar, we had a great time watching his cards.


here with Sally, our New Zealand friend:


West invited me to the Castle for the Edgar Allan Poe event this Sunday night, amen't i the luckiest Baltimore girl in the world?

Let's have one more look at that delicious pool, I couldn't stay away from it:


Dodgey under the big con sign, what you can't see is the scratch i put on him, more than sad, I may need to do a Kitty benefit auction, as they are taking me to the cleaners on the repair...insert female driver joke here, but I was truly gutted to hurt such a gorgeous vehicle.


The con ended and we had to jam back up to LA, Neil played several songs for me on the drive up and each one that I made him stop and tell me who it was, the answer was always Stephin Merritt in some form/band or another. The new soundtrack to my life, his voice is can easily cure the sick. go here for more on Stephin, i am truly smitten.

We picked up Amanda at #Occupy LA and I dropped them at their hotel to have some time together before the tour kicked off..
Neil signs all the very rare LAST ANGEL hand silkscreened art-by-Craig Thompson prints, blog on them coming soon...


The next day Neil, Amanda, Moby and Mr. Merritt were to appear on the Late Late Show w/ Craig Ferguson.
Neil's mug from Craig, i believe he needs a new Sharpie...


I have long been a Moby fan, so of course I only died four deaths when after shaking my hand, he peers closely into my face and says, "you have...something your teeth...just there..." pointing, while Neil says "oh yes...i saw that too.." Lovely! But Moby was just a doll, we talked about the ups and downs of the touring life. (and it was cupcake, not spinach)
I thought miss SuperKate, Amanda's assistant would die her own four deaths when we met our host, who in his brilliant Scottish burr stated, "But these are not assistants, they are superheroes!" referring to us.
Here is SuperKate fanging the glitter devil horns that Neil would wear for his costume:


Neil goes on and we all go wild in the greenroom over the Simpsons clip they show:


The supergroup as they perform a song from Rocky Horror Picture show, my childhood refuge.


I went to pick up the flawless Allan Amato portraits that are being sold on the tour, lookit:


The Ebell Theater on Halloween was full of costumes, sadly mine, complete with glowy green contacts and superball wish-granter sequin cape stayed at home, too much running around to get it.
Drew sent me this of his contacts, man, i need a Halloween re-do!


look at Rod as Hunter S. Thompson:



Allan and his new bride, bookended by Belinda and Chuck:


Our dynamic duo on stage:


after the show, a crowd gathers:



the next morning, i see them before they drive up the coast to do their tour, Neil & AFP fanning his Craig winnings...
the last image i have: