Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I met Mr. Neil Gaiman while I was on Tori Amos’ Scarlet’s Walk tour in 2003. We kept in contact over the years, I wrangled him on some of his west coast events and helped his assistant, The Fabulous Lorraine, with her ever-growing work load... in between tours, I found myself drafted by Team Gaiman, becoming his Other Assistant. (Fablo wants me to add here, "to her delight" ...awwww, sweet.)
One of the projects we launched was NEVERWEAR the official Neil merchandise site, for all things original Gaiman and so our story begins...

When he asked me to judge the #100K contest (after forcing me to become a Twitter-er myself), I said, why sure, Boss...I mean who knew...? Days later, after trying to break my true Libra nature of indecision, weighing and balancing each of the nearly 6,000 entries, I enlisted the aid of @FabulousLorrain (her name says it all). Together, we found the glittery Twitters that slipped through my fingers.

Many thanks, miss Quiche, and thanks to all of you who entered, the level of creativity was stunning---
and to Neil, for thinking it all up.

The contest, for those arriving late, asked for captions for photo A:

and photo B:

As it happens, I went over the original limit of 20 winners---
winners should contact me @Neverwear to discuss how to redeem....oh the prizes...delicious...Neil tells me he is donating three WALKING TOUR OF THE SHAMBLES books, signed. Three CORALINE tee shirts, signed. Three CORALINE CDs signed. Neil also some signed Graveyard Book posters. Lorraine is donating some surprises, including one magical favor ticket (ask her about it @fabulouslorrain) and Neverwear is donating tshirts, stickers, mousepads, buttons, and a (signed by Neil) Jouni Koponen SAUCERS print. (of which we only have a few left...)

Without further narrative ado, I give you the 27 winners of the #100K contest, which celebrated @Neilhimself getting over 100,000 followers (and yes, he has 135,041 as of this blog publication).

(best rule breaker, it won a special spot by @Neilhimself):

vsivad: My entry for Neil Gaiman's #100K contest http://twitpic.com/2gx3w

(second best rule breaker, and apologies for the mix-up, some many tweets n' retweets flying around...)
SarahG42@neverwear my original tweet - http://tinyurl.com/d3wkax #100K

(best HARLAN ELLISON reference):

zbluesy: #100K A boy and his dog... hell, it worked for Ellison.

(best for making @FurrytigerKitty AND @Neverwear laugh):
jesteram: #100K Photo A: "Other Mother ... Jonas Brothers ... I beat all comers."

(best for making @FabulousLorrain laugh):
B) Neil is a bloke from Portchester. Cabal is a demon from Hell. Can this wacky pair run a Fish and Chips shop? Find out on BBC One.

(best use of poetic cleverness):
Dookyj_normaljustkyla: C is for Cabal, three years on a chain, Til’ his grim lord did claim him to stand in the rain.

(best use of sibling rivalry aka nanny nannny boo boo):
coralvfl: #100K A) Sibling Rivalry: "The fact of the matter is, furball, I got a movie deal and YOU didn't. So, obviously, I'M Neil's favorite."

(best ad for otherworld dentistry):
pixelz: "No, Cabal, down boy! Leave the fairies alone: they'll stick in your teeth!" #100k

(best Tori reference)
littleread: #100k B: Out of interest, where *is* Neil when you need him?

(best Clint Eastwood reference):
styromus: #100k http://twitpic.com/2jpcv -

(best way into our free speech hearts--a shout-out to CBLDF
Passeriform: #100K B "Boss, PLEASE let me be on the CBLDF board!" "No, Cabal. But I'll see if they need an enforcer.”

(best gentle mockery of Neil's mission statement):
mjolin: #100K A: Sure he SAYS he will eventually grow up and get a real job, but then he brings home a DOLL for chrissakes. I won't hold my breath

(Best LOTR mention was an even tie between these two):
MLopezC: #100k Photo A: And the beast wondered if the hobbit girl would taste good with some lembas bread.

joabaldwin: #100k b) Hey dog! merry dog! ring a dog dillo! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

christinahere: A) If that dog calls me Caroline one more time, it's gonna be him or me! B) See ya Caroline!!

pinkshirtfarmer: http://twitpic.com/2gzuj - Look what I found!

(best mention of chocolate cake):
cakewelsh: #100K I want royalties, Gaiman. In limeade and chocolate cake. Or I Button the dog.

(best short person joke):
gilldaniels: #100K A) The doll insists they are friends and the dog, politely but firmly, disagrees. He says, "We'll talk when you can reach the kibble."

(best Star Trek/Stephen King mash-up):
gavroche: #100K A spoonful of Gaiman helps the tribbles go down, in a most cujoful way!

(best for pandering to Kitty’s giant Henry Selick crush):
craig_church #100K A) "Tell Henry he forgot the wings on this one."

(best Doctor Who reference--and there were MANY):
dogeatdoug: My entry for Neil Gaiman's contest: http://twitpic.com/2hf30 #100K

(best use of a kindergarten joke that worked perfectly in this case):
Lacrimus: #100k What's black and white and read all over? Neil Gaiman and his dog!

(Kitty's favorite use of fewest characters with most punch!):
mysynergy #100K Mad dogs and Englishmen.

(Quiche LOVED this one so much it showed up twice on her list--two different times)
KristenIsKadu: #100K The dog wondered if he should eat the bubbles full of tiny beings. The man calmly took out his umbrella so none landed on his head.

(because Cabal think sticks are the end-all-be-all)
solo1y: #100K B: http://yfrog.com/0e100k2j

(this entry EVERY time was on both mine & Quiche's list, a real visual sentence, and compound to boot):
ferallon #100K Despite being armed with an umbrella and a spectral hound; a twinkle of will-o-the-wisps made short work of the man in the dark suit.

(best in that it absolutely got the whole point of this Twitter contest in the most succinct manner--well done!)
Pergamond: #100K B. Followed by 100,000. Led by one.

(this one may be made into a Neverwear sticker with Middlesmith's permission--
because it is closest I could find to A Grande Prize WINNER!!)

middlesmith: #100K There was a hand in the rain, and it held a milk bone.

Congrats all you winners, please contact me @Neverwear on Twitter.com
and I will give you an all new email contact for mailing addresses....

& give me a minute to reply---I just finished packing up all the buttons people won last week,
and I will be running an April special at Neverwear.net, any purchase of ten bucks or more gets a free set of 3 Neil buttons...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

some events of March 7th, 2009

It has been two weeks time since the Blueberry Girl event in Manhattan.

We were in a taxi heading downtown from Neil’s hotel when Lorraine called me, saying, please, have Neil call home now, as she couldn’t get through to his cell phone. I heard the alarm bells of worry in her voice. He rang home and was given the news of his father’s unexpected passing.

I directed the cab to take us to the closest park. We walked in circles and from time to time, he would pause, staring into the trees while speaking quietly with his family by telephone. His morning meetings, we cancelled. Paul and Suzan were so gracious and understanding. I was somewhat of a dolt, not really knowing what to do or say, and I repeated my own dear Dad's patented lines...maybe one too many times, because Neil eventually looked up at me, squeezed my hand and said softly and kindly, "...you're doing just fine, Kit." The measure of that man...

He was scheduled to do a signing at Books of Wonder, and although I was pressing for a cancel, he wanted to continue with his obligations to Charles Vess and to his readers. We wandered up the street in the general direction of the bookstore. There was a huge line in front, and people jostled and cheered as he came through. Michael Stewart greeted us in front

No one knew his news except a few friends, and he kept a silent vigil.

Merrilee, his literary agent and Elyse, his publicist were there, we all wanted to just take him away. Continuing on with the event, I believe, bridged the sorrow of the day for him, which he did later thank people for.
Neil went on to do a brilliant reading. He signed for nine hours, six hours longer than he was meant to, until every last person had gotten a signature and a part of Neil.

He signed elbow to elbow with the fine Charles Vess, you can see his original artwork lining the bookshop walls.

stacks upon stacks of the Blueberry Girl:

Neil wrote BBG for Miss Tash Hawley, Tori’s daugher.
I toured with little Tash and her parents when she was
still but a merbaby age of three:

(i made this magnet for T's birthday many years ago)

here, Neil answers an interesting audience question:

At the event, I met with talented young Alice and her husband, Michael-- shown here with her stunning portrayal of Death and Dream:

Meanwhile, back on the home front, THE FABULOUS LORRAINE worked her otherworldly magic on the airlines to turn much "no" into "yes", all dust into gold-- she got the airline tickets needed to send him to his family immediately.

I remain in awe of Neil’s decision, and his strength of heart.
This more-personal-than-usual blog stands as a memorial to Neil’s father, David, who raised such a son.

Friday, March 6, 2009

WonderCON! part two

been in travel mode, spent yesterday in an airplane to Baltimore, Charm City..
visiting friends and family on the way to New York City.

however, I did want to post this second half of the WonderCon happenings.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was responsible for two fascinating events:
on Friday night, the Drink and Draw Social Club, at 111 Minna Alley, patrons of the arts and supporters of free speech could come and watch artists do exactly that, drink n’ draw....


the Obama-Lincoln looks just like Nancye’s William, our Portland friends.


i made this bartender pose for me, just to get a shot of his shirt for my little brother :


the next day we were up bright and early for the call of duty,
look at these lovely volunteers. (and Bets bought one of “my” books”):


out on the floor, business as usual, look at this gun-toting fairy:
(maybe you can't see her gun in this shot, but it was as tall as she was--)


a huge and unwieldly (sp?) BumbleBee Transformer blocked our traffic flow for a bit too long, he couldn’t move...and neither could anyone else...Charles went out and solved the problem.


Saturday brought the most interesting two hours of the event for me.
CBLDF sponspored an ArtJam in which comic book legends drew on the overhead and narrated their techniques.
The resulting works were auctioned off to support the Fund.
Jill Thompson, Wendy Pini, Dave Johnson, Matt Wagner and the ever-popular Jim Lee participated.

here Wendy creates one of the Elfquest characters:


we watched until she finished up with this:


here she posed with some admirers, of which you can count me as one. Delightful lady:


Jill Thompson, she of Sandman fame, ended up winning the Wendy Pini auction, which makes her a double supporter of the Fund! (volunteering her time and money)
SHe decided to do a watercolor demo of the character Death, and I learned so much about shading and light:






amazing woman, pure talent.
we thank you, Jill.

During Matt Wagner and Dave Johnson's presentations, I was running around giving auction numbers and getting supplies for the artists. When Jim Lee came on, however, I was able to be front and center. I have been fascinated by his lines for about 15 years now, since he was drawing the Xmen books, his Psylocke was my alter-ego for a long time. Actually, she still is.

He drew a WOlverine crowd-pleaser, and made the hall laugh repeatedly with his antics, using props such as hotel key and water bottle top to dazzle us:



watch here in this little video clip I posted on youtube as Jim shows us his magic touch, that man is made of elven charm:

he also dashed off my favorite Batgirl:


that night we went out for tapas, here Drew and CBLDF Jill mack some teeny lamb burgers...(see Charles in the background)


now to catch my train up to NYC to give Neil an assist in his BLUEBERRY GIRL signing, with the gorgeously talented Charles Vess. more to report soon---

Gotham City, Kitty out.