inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #51 of 97: Jouni (jonl) Tue 13 Aug 02 05:22
    
Email from Jouni:

Miss Mousey -- Have your rats totally forgot Wilkinson in the 'Game of
You'. He's a good guy (my favourite character in the book by the way) and
most certainly looks like a rat... :-)

Jouni
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #52 of 97: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 13 Aug 02 13:30
    
Martha -- Holly liked it. "Are you sure you're not too old for it?" I
asked. "I'm not sure you can be too old for Coraline," she said, which
made me happy.

Michelle -- I don't know, to be honest. I suspect at least initially
it's being driven by adults buying it for themselves. But I'm hearing
about more and more kids reading (and liking) it.

The Neverwhere rats weren't baddies. They were on their own side...

Jouni -- I gave him the book and told him to do one illustration per
chapter. That was pretty much it -- his first illustration of the Other
Mother was nightmarish and wrong for where it was (chapter 3)so I
asked him to make it more ambiguous, and he redrew it. Other than that,
he was on his own.

...

Off to England now for the UK tour. I may be slightly more sporadic
over the next ten days but will try and check in and answer on a daily
basis.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #53 of 97: Martha Soukup (soukup) Tue 13 Aug 02 22:41
    
Since you remark that your next children's book will be about a boy:

Would the story in Coraline have been very different if the child had been a
boy instead of a girl?
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #54 of 97: Mary Roane (the-roane) Wed 14 Aug 02 11:44
    
Hi, Neil.  Hope your trip is going well.  I was just wondering, is the
old man upstairs based on anyone?  Where did he come from, in terms of
the creation process?  He's an intriguing figure.

And I'm fascinated by the way the Other Mother's creations can quickly
develop a life of their own, outside of her control, like the Other
Father.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #55 of 97: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 14 Aug 02 15:36
    
Martha - I don't know how to answer that. If it had been a boy it
would have been someone who wasn't Coraline, who would have done things
that Coraline didn't do and not done things she did do. But not
because he was a boy, because he wasn't her. If your question was
"would the story have been different if the child had been a different
girl, not Coraline, someone else?" it would get the same answer. It's
not about gender.

Mary -- me too. 

And no, Mr Bobo turned up on the page (although I always thought we'd
see the mouse circus, not just hear them, when I was writing.)
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #56 of 97: la belle dame avec squeaks (miss-mousey) Thu 15 Aug 02 23:57
    
When did Mr. Bobo's name jump out at you? (Just remembering making
silly songs of peoples' names when I was little, and loving Coraline's
reaction to hearing Mr. Bobo's name because it reminded me of what my
own would have been at her age).
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #57 of 97: Martha Soukup (soukup) Fri 16 Aug 02 13:21
    
I want to ask about the illustrations, which of course I think are
wonderful.  Did Dave McKean see anything differently than you thought he
would?  Did you talk about the illustrations before he did them, or did he
just read the manuscript and surprise you?
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #58 of 97: Arlene Green (averde) Fri 16 Aug 02 13:28
    
There is someone claiming out there in the aether that this book was
*meant* to be read aloud. That it was supposed to be released as an
audio book first.

Any truth to that? 

It makes an odd kind of sense...it does seem to gain something from
being read aloud but I am a little skeptical that this was the
intention.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #59 of 97: Glen's attempt at wit (notshakespeare) Fri 16 Aug 02 13:32
    
Arlene - I know the answer there!  The CD did in fact come out first,
by a month.  The original plan was not to release the book until this
fall.  However, book sellers don't always bow to your great plan -
regardless of how great a plan it is.  So they push up the book release
and a number of them didn't order any CD's for the kiddies until after
the book came out.

- Glen
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #60 of 97: Arlene Green (averde) Fri 16 Aug 02 13:34
    
Ah. So this person wasn't just pulling theories out of the air.
Thanks.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #61 of 97: The Other (stagewalker) Fri 16 Aug 02 16:58
    
Well, kind of. Neil has said in the past that the whole reason for
bringing the audio book out first was to draw attention to how cool
audio books are. It's not so much that this book was meant to be read
aloud (personally, I think all of Neils' stuff... and Martha's too is
meant to be read aloud.) as it was that Neil really wanted people to
pay attention to the audio book as a groovy thing in and of itself, and
not an afterthought.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #62 of 97: Arlene Green (averde) Sat 17 Aug 02 00:31
    
Huh, well, that makes more sense even. Audio books are cool...but I've
been a convert since the mid-80's when I was married to that truck
driver. He still gives me the ones he is finished with. 

Thank you too.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #63 of 97: D. Snyder (jonl) Sat 17 Aug 02 15:45
    
Email from Davey:

Of course I'll defer to Neil (when he catches up), but I'd really like to
think that he -did- write CORALINE to be read aloud.

It doesn't seem to matter for most books, but there are some for which the
additional interaction of saying and listening to the words themselves,
the shapes they make in your mouth and the rhythms of the text, builds a
whole 'nother layer of association. CORALINE is paced for reading aloud;
it must be intentional. (And it's a different kind of creepy fun, even for
those of us who don't do all the voices. <g>)

Davey
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #64 of 97: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Sun 18 Aug 02 07:58
    
Mr Bobo was named after the author of the definitive book on Card
magic, whose name was Bobo, and there's a note in the back explaining
it's anglicised from, I think, Beaubeaux. I love the sound of Bobo in
your mouth.

(There's a Bo Bo Bo song on the new They Might be Giants CD, No!, so I
think they do too.)

Martha -- the joy of Dave McKean is that he always surprises me. Every
time. He sent me sketches, first. I suggested that he not draw the
really scary stuff -- the other father in the basement, the things on
the wall -- and draw before or after instead, to make people imagine.

Arlene -- not sure what *meant* to be read aloud means. I wrote it for
my children, and I do read aloud to them, which meant I was aware of
the sounds of the words and the beats of the thing, and I wanted to be
able to read it to them when it was done. 

But if it was only mean to be read aloud, I would have put that at the
beginning of the book, as a warning.

If it's read to you aloud you get one experience, if read to yourself,
you get another, if you do the reading aloud you get a third. 

(There are some things in the book which are only fun if you don't
read it aloud -- the backwards mirror writing, for example.)

The CD that I did gives one experience. I think the Dawn French
reading is much more subversive and disturbing than mine, as her voice
is so reassuring and comfortable, and I was as interested in the places
where she does what I do as I was in the places where she does
something else.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #65 of 97: Arlene Green (averde) Sun 18 Aug 02 19:08
    
Neil, by "meant" I meant (actually the person who put that idea in my
head meant) that it was one of those things that *should* be read aloud
to get the full effect.

Like poetry. You can certainly read poetry to yourself but it isn't as
complete when you do...

Something like that. I haven't listened to either of the CDs, to tell
the truth. I did read it to my children. I have six of them...only two
of which read it for themselves. The rest are either not readers or not
quite up to that level yet. I found that when I read it there were
things that became more *real* in the sense that I hadn't made a note
of them before. I also found that my non-pleasure readers sort of crept
up and started to listen as I read it. This is not something that
always happens...usually they aren't that interested when I play
childrens' librarian on story day. 

One of the reasons I wondered about this (or gave the theory any
credence) is that while no matter what book lover mommy tricks I played
I didn't get the bulk of them interested in finishing it on their own
but when I began to read they were drawn like mosquitos to a bug light.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #66 of 97: la belle dame avec squeaks (miss-mousey) Mon 19 Aug 02 00:14
    
The TMBG song is 'Wake Up Call' - and if you play the cd in your
computer, they've actually written up the words so you can sing
along... which is about the funniest thing I've seen in forever.

I heard Coraline before I read it, so I was pleasantly surprised at
little bits like Coraline typing up her own story. It is a different
story.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #67 of 97: Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 19 Aug 02 00:41
    
Neil, did you ever say where in England Coraline's house is?  Does it
matter?  Why do I want to know?
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #68 of 97: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 21 Aug 02 17:06
    
Arlene... well, my Uk publicist told me today it should be heard to be
*got*, after hearing me reading it day after day. 

Michelle -- Wake Up Call. Exactly...

Martha -- I don't say. It's basically my old house in Nutley, in
Sussex.
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?G2M?X=544000&Y=127000&A=N&Z=3

he added helpfully.  As to why you want to know... I could tell you.
But then I'd have to send people with buttons for eyes to stare at you.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #69 of 97: The Other (stagewalker) Thu 22 Aug 02 09:41
    
Just more proof that Neil is in league with dark forces and that his
stories are all mis-labeled as fictions.
Most people don't realize that Neil's really a troll, and that the
REAL Neil Gaiman is living under a bridge somewhere...

...

ok, I should probably keep my more obscure Neil jokes to the
Swapmeet... but I'm over-tired.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #70 of 97: Barrett Brassfield (willowfarm) Thu 22 Aug 02 11:57
    
I read Coraline to my daughter this weekend and it was a great
experience for both of us. Nice work Neil! 
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #71 of 97: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 23 Aug 02 12:42
    

Neil's work is a treasure, isn't it?

I want to thank you for agreeing to joining us in this topic specifically to
discuss "Coraline", Neil, and to let you know that we're delighted you're
giving so much of yourself here. I also want to thank the lovely and
charming Martha Soukup for so ably leading the conversation.

Our official two-week run is up, but that doesn't mean the conversation has
to stop, of course. Everybody's welcome to continue contributing here. Or,
if you like, move the discussion over to topic 144, where Neil et al have
been holding forth on all manner of things.

Thanks!
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #72 of 97: Martha Soukup (soukup) Fri 23 Aug 02 12:43
    
Thank you, Cynthia, and thanks as ever to Neil.
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #73 of 97: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Fri 23 Aug 02 17:21
    
And thank you all. I'm happy to answer strange Coraline questions here
as they come in...
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #74 of 97: Daniel (dfowlkes) Fri 23 Aug 02 19:06
    <scribbled by dfowlkes Tue 3 Jul 12 10:14>
  
inkwell.vue.156 : Neil Gaiman: Coraline
permalink #75 of 97: Jason Bergman (loonyboi) Fri 23 Aug 02 19:12
    
A question for Neil: I seem to recall your saying somewhere (possibly
at that CBLDF reading in NYC) that Coraline was originally going to be
illustrated by Edward Gorey.

Just out of curiosity, did he ever produce any sketches or
illustrations?
  

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