Just spent the day with Neil Gaiman in his hotel room, recording audio commentaries for the TWILIGHT ZONE blu-ray. What great fun!
For those of you who don’t know, Neil is the amazingly talented writer who wrote CORALINE, the Sandman comics, the recent Newberry Prize-winning GRAVEYARD BOOK and the Hugo-winning novel AMERICAN GODS. Not to mention he co-wrote INTERWORLD with my great friend (and “World Enough and Time” co-writer) Michael Reaves.
Neil was in town to speak at Royce Hall and take meetings. He’s a remarkable fellow, very down to earth, enthusiastic, bright, charming. And British.
But what I hadn’t realized until I saw him on the Harlan Ellison documentary was that he’s also Jewish. As am I. As was Rod Serling.
So I suggested that one of the TZ episodes we do be “Deaths-Head Revisited,” in which a concentration camp commandant returns to Dachau after the war only to find the ghosts of his victims have been waiting to mete out justice.
It’s a terrific episode, and talking about it with Neil was remarkable.
Then we did “In Praise of Pip,” which was shot at Pacific Ocean Park, a long-gone amusement park I used to attend as a child. In fact, I actually navigated the same mirror maze Billy Mumy is seen running through! It was old-home week. (And later Neil emailed me that doing that commentaries made him “ridiculously happy, too.”)
What was meant to be a two-hour recording session turned into five hours of great conversation ranging over many, many subjects (and pizza). Neil told me of the book he’s been working on about China and I related the plot of Love, Gloria, the memoir about my mom that I just completed and which my New York agents are now submitting to publishers.
Neil was fascinated by what I told him about the book, and I followed up by sending him the manuscript. Neil’s reading it now, which thrills me no end. I so look forward to hearing his reaction.
That night, Neil invited me to a cocktail party he was hosting in honor of Henry Selick, director of the marvelous CORALINE. I invited Henry to do commentaries on his favorite TWILIGHT ZONE, and also had great conversations with Heather Graham, Felicia Day (who is so remarkable in DR. HORRIBLE’S SINGALONG BLOG) and Stephen Fry. And oh yeah, comic book sensation Grant Morrison also said he’d like to do commentaries on TWILIGHT ZONE, too.
What a wonderful day – and the best part of all was getting to know Neil better.
All good thoughts your way,