Thursday, April 15, 2010

Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess

There's a nifty little video over at Neil Gaiman's Journal (here) which is so nicely done that I can't resist posting it here, in case you haven't seen it already.  It's a trailer for Instructions, Neil's new children's book, which is forthcoming from HarperCollins in just twelve days.

Trailer is actually a pretty weak word for the thing.  The vid is a pencils-to-painting animation of the entire book with Neil's narration.  And since Neil reads extremely well and the paintings are all by Charles Vess . . .  Well.  That's all I have to say.

Except that I think it's going to sell a lot of copies, and not just to kids.

And that I wonder if it was Gaiman or Vess who decided to make the protagonist a cat.  Good call, whosoever's idea it was.



M.M.E. said...

This is wonderful! I can't wait to read it. As an admirer of Gaiman's work and an illustrator myself, this book is one I will have to add to my collection.

JJM said...

You, Michael, are a book pusher. First Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess, still sitting on the sofa from last time I leafed through it. Then The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals, which had me laughing out loud last night. And now Instructions. Gaiman + Vess. [pause to kerplunk same into Amazon basket] Could it get any better?? Nuh-uh. Not bloody likely.

Bad Michael, bad, bad! [grins]

Charles Vess said...

Hey Michael, thanks for your kind comments on the book.Working with Neil (or any good writer) is always a interesting challenge for me. You never know what those lovely words will drag out of you.

And since you were wondering: the idea of the sort of puss-in-boots protagonist was mine. It seemed more universal that way. Neil and I talk about that and more of the ins and outs of the book on a pod cast that's up at Here's the link:


Michael Swanwick said...

Yeah, you guys work well together. The cat protagonist is such a good idea. It universalizes the narrative in the same way that the original oral tradition was universal. Very crafty indeed.