All About Mr. Neil

I’ve already tweeted about this, but having read it I thought it deserved a blog post too. There is a lengthy profile of Mr. Neil (a.k.a. Amanda Palmer’s guest at the Golden Globes) over at The New Yorker. It tells you a great deal about him, including were he got some of his ideas from. Personally I rather liked this bit:

Jon Levin, Gaiman’s film agent, says he recognized his client’s popularity only when he took him to a meeting at Warner Bros. and all the secretaries got up from their desks to ask for autographs. Someone said, “That never happens when Tom Cruise is here.”

I am impressed with the quality of secretaries they employ at Warner Bros..

8 thoughts on “All About Mr. Neil

  1. I’m pretty sure there are two mistakes in the article;

    1) The original DC Sandman did not kill people with a gas gun, merely rendered them unconscious or asleep.

    2) “Max Calderon, aged twelve, the great-grandson of the science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein.” Um, I’m pretty sure Heinlein had no direct descendants. A great-grandnephew perhaps, but not a great-grandson.

    1. I seem to recall Neil tweeting about having to fact check the story over the phone from a taxi while rushing from one engagement to another.

      1. But I thought the New Yorker was renowned for their internal fact checkers. Could be a case of budget cutbacks.

  2. Worldcon in the New Yorker. I knew it was supposed to happen but not when. Squee. Neil Gaiman is frosting, because frankly….Worldcon in the New Yorker! Even if they say it makes him feel like a “maggoty log”.

    Pathetically happy? Yes.

  3. As it happens, I just finished reading that article, and completely boggled over the claim that RAH had a great-grandson, since that’s a terrific trick to accomplish without having any children.

    I googled “Max Calderon,” and got more than a thousand unhelpful hits. I googled the name and “Heinlein,” and got this post….

    And, yeah, silly as it is for me to speak up on a comics issue when Tom Galloway has already mentioned it, but at the very least the Forties Sandman *generally* used his sleep gas pistol to, you know, put people to sleep. Thus that whole “Sandman” thing. He’s not “Death Man.”

  4. Heinlein’s “great grandson” mentioned in the article is the son of Amy Baxter and Louis Calderon. As a young girl with no grandparents of her own, Baxter wrote to RAH asking if she could “adopt” him and Ginny as grandparents. They wrote back and a friendship grew. There was never a legal relationship, but they became very close and Baxter is often described as their adopted granddaughter.

  5. Thanks muchly, Tom S. The article could have clarified this point, and I’d say it was worth doing, but I can at least see the argument that it would be too many words on too small a point of too little interest to anyone interested in reading about Neil Gaiman.

    But FWIW I’d still say it’s misleading to refer without modifiers to a “great-grandchild” when the default usage is, IMO, to mean a blood or legally adopted descendent, and if it’s too long a point to bother clarifying than perhaps it’s not a point worth making.

  6. I was amazed at the claim that Max was Heinlein’s descendent, since RAH was famously without issue. Glad to get the full story here. The New Yorker has long been famous for its fact-checking, but that does not preserve them from the occasional howler. Not long ago I read the astonishing assertion in an article they published about D.H. Lawrence that he had been born and raised in the county of Essex in England. For anyone who knows anything about Lawrence and about England, that is flabbergasting. And, of course, not true.

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