Attention grabbing headline eh? OK perhaps only for those in the world who hero-worship Mr Gaiman as I do. Well sort of. OK yes.
Last night’s talk at Union Chapel was the fourth time I’d seen Neil Gaiman on stage, previously having met him in Portsmouth which I bragged about here, seen him read Fortunately the Milk on stage with lots of amazing helpers (including Sir Leonard Henry), and a couple of months ago I went to the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture where he was guest speaker.
This talk was actually a conversation between Neil and David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas not Peep Show) and it was organised because they hadn’t actually met in person before, despite being huge fans of each others work.
I was sure they must have met, so thought the evening was probably going to feel a little contrived and less natural than a conversation at the pub would have been.
Oh how wrong I was.
It was brilliant. They asked and answered questions we all wanted to know about each others work. When Neil announced the news that STARZ had green-lit American Gods, David Mitchell proceeded to ignore the question he had been asked and jumped in with questions about how many episodes there will be of AG.
I particularly enjoyed when answering an audience question about handing their books over to film companies, exactly what they could and could not say about said film. For example Neil can now say anything he likes about Coraline or Stardust, but is still restricted to make comments about Beowulf, which came out the same year as Stardust.
Despite the serious nature of some of the talk, it was reassuring to hear persons who I so admire and respect being able to be serious and eloquent on the scary nature of the world and what we rely on (oil). It’s a bit like when Ian Hislop on Have I got News For You starts speaking seriously about a topic, I absorb what he is saying and appreciate being spoken to like an adult. Then Paul Merton will ease the tension by saying something funny, as Mitchell did on stage last night.
All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening in a beautiful venue. And now I have a new author to stalk. You have been warned David Mitchell.
Oh and of course, you want proof Neil Gaiman looked at me: