An evening with Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman in Oxford

Last night was fun. I went to the Neil Gaiman event in Oxford where he talked to Philip Pullman. It was labelled as an interview but it was more a fireside chat between two people who grok stories in many forms. The evening was hosted at the Oxford Playhouse by Waterstones which was sold out.

It has been a while since I have gone out and been a fan, so I had been excited for most of the afternoon (after the late starting meeting).

The two talked about the Story Museum in Oxford,  English idylls in Kenneth Grahame, A.A. Milne and the campaign that Milne waged to make the Wind in the Willows better known though the pages of Punch Magazine. Children’s illustrations were also discussed, James Thurber (and the Ronald Searle and Marc Simont), Norman Lindsay and comics, including the Eagle. Both Neil and Philip read from The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Neil later read from Fortunately, the Milk . . .. There is something about listening to these two authors chat and slightly take the country route about stories, writing (though declining the chance to give an answer in interpretative dance on grounds of age) that make one look at their work again. Philip Pullman was a gracious host and gently guided Neil’s conversation but glossed it with his own experiences.

I did come away with a few things to think about and consider about stories and Neil Gaiman’s writing. I had bought Classics and Comics earlier that day, a collection of essays on comics and Classical literature, that has two essays that feature the Sandman and the well managed signing queue gave me time to dip into it (as I’ve been meaning to buy for the best part of a year). A fun evening and I am looking forward to the October event for Fortunately the Milk…

Update: Waterstones have put up a podcast of the event and an interview about Fortunately.

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