Finally got to meet Arnold Arre! I bumped into him and Cynthia Bauzon on the way into the Writer's Forum/Press Conference with Neil this Monday. There was a standee of Mythology Class on display up front near the entrance.
By the way, he's releasing a trade paperback collection of his Mythology Class soon! Don't forget to grab one!
Being considered press, I was given the freedom to sit at the front row of seats. I took the task to taking as much pictures as much as I can. Sadly, my camera does not have the anti-red eye mechanism others do.
Neil answered every question with much frankness and an occasional touch of humor. There was no sign of the signature leather jacket this time, which I believe was a clear indicator he's finally gotten the hang of how humid the Philippines really is.
People lined up along four microphones in order to have the chance to ask Neil Gaiman their questions. A total of sixteen questions were asked by various fans ranging from simple to interestingly profound ones. I'll try to post my summarized transciptions of the questions and answers when I can.
Another shot of the Dream King. And again, the red-eye problem resurfaces. I could not believe how close I was standing the whole time there in front of the panel. Just a bit over an arm's reach away.
Standing behind the panel to take a shot of Neil, the three others and the audience of fans, thankful writers and press people. We got some glimpses on how Neil approaches his writing, what kinds of stories he had been juggling about in his head and even a few anecdotes about how posting in his journal about fanfiction has made him realise a thing or two.
"I wanted to do a story of someone who was changed more than he knows... The Morpheus who entered that glass prison was not the same Morpheus who stepped out."
- Neil Gaiman in reference to why Sandman comics seems to have an over-all theme of Change.
"Stay where you are and you'll get your orders!"
- Neil Gaiman humorously replying to the question on using his large fanbase for the greater good.
"I don't think I have anything left to prove."
- On whether or not Neil Gaiman will have another monthly title to write.
Neil prepares to leave for the book signing. Most of the audience wish he could stay longer, but like Sandman, all good things come to an end.
Some more quotes:
"I really would like to. But you have to understand, Answers will only just lead to more questions. I like that people wonder about things... that people can contribute to the stories..."
- Neil Gaiman on whether or not he'd like to go back and tell us more about the unrevealed stories in Sandman, such as Delight turning into Delirium, etc.
"Read everything you can. Read stuff that has nothing to do with what you like to read. Anything you can get your hands on. Non-ficiton is really good."
- One of the many advice Neil Gaiman shared on being a better writer.
Budjette and the endearing (No, He's NOT gay or hospitalized) Elbert Or.
Bryan Vallesteros, artistic God and idol ni Dave McKean (biro lang!) Girls, this pic is for you!
And finally, met Jonas Diego, Jac Ting Lim, Joel Chua, Adrian Martinez and Nabs. Wasn't able to catch Dean Alfar, Andrew Drilon, Patrick Salamat or other friends on film, but I guess that's just how it is. Most of us headed then to Dulcinea for some chatting, laughs and lots of churros. Talked about "Chuva Churros" as a marketing ploy, but I dunno if it would ever get off the ground.
I prepared a CD-R with my DILIMAN and BANGUNGOT comics in it, as well as a message to Neil Gaiman. Wrapped it inside an issue of WAN which Ner Pedrina and I released a few months back (or has it been years?). Thanks to the ever helpful Azrael, I was able to get it to Neil himself. THANK YOU SO MUCH AZ!!!
Thus ends the wonderful days with Neil Gaiman in Manila. Hope you enjoyed your visit Neil! Do feel welcome to come by and collaborate with any of us! You truly are one of the 1st raters in the world.