NYCC: Neil Gaiman – Bringing Fans Together For CBLDF
I’ve been fortunate to see Neil Gaiman read many times over the years. He does an amazing job and it adds to his work if you can hear his voice narrating in your head. This year Reed Exhibitions added “Ultimate Experiences” to their lineup, events with separate tickets that allow access to superstar creators. Gaiman’s event was a benefit for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
The program was kicked off with an introduction by actor Bill Hader, who credited much of his success in entertainment to Gaiman’s work — from the quasi-mystical presence of Gaiman’s work while he was auditioning for Saturday Night Live to the conversation about Sandman he had with Seth Rogen that led to him being cast in Superbad. [By the way, if Mr. Rogen is reading this, I’ve slept in Gaiman’s basement and would love to appear in your next film.]
Gaiman began the reading by announcing that all charges against Gordon Lee had been dropped, ending the almost four-year legal battle. He then read some older work, including a piece that had been out of his regular rotation for 10 years and “The Day the Saucers Landed."
Gaiman also provided an excellent Q&A session, telling funny anecdotes including his childhood plan to become a writer by kidnapping writers and having them write for him. He also revealed stories such as his entrance into being a comics reader and rounded out the event by helping a pair of readers get dates. (One of the questions during the session asked if he could get the number of a girl dressed as Delirium.) The show closed with a reading of the third chapter of his new book, The Graveyard Book, the first time this chapter has ever been read.
The real treat about the reading was that I was able to peer-pressure a friend of mine who was not a Gaiman fan into attending. He was put off by the legions of adoring fans, mostly girls, who lavish hyperbole-laden praise upon Mr. Gaiman. However, we assured him the money was going to a good cause and that it would not be excruciatingly boring. He came out of the reading ready to buy Good Omens and American Gods — such is the power of hearing Gaiman read.