Friday, October 21, 2016

Matt's Toast

"I read Sandman when I was thirteen, in the wrong order, snuck out from the library out of sight of my mother. I didn't understand a bit of it, but it all merged together into some kind of wild-magic-soup in my head, thrilling and strange. I became a fan, and devoured everything he'd ever written, and at some point I even returned to Sandman and discovered that if you read it in order it actually makes a bit more sense.

But if you say 'Neil Gaiman' to me, the first thing that pops into my mind is a day three years ago. I had traveled to London with a childhood friend of mine; we had tickets to see Neil Gaiman do a talk at the Royal Society of Literature. Only it turned out, upon arriving there, that that was not the place it was actually being held. But we weren't the only ones to make that mistake--and so we found ourselves swept up in the wake of three others fans, equally lost. We christened ourselves the Gaimanites, and we set off on a quest across London to find the venue (which we did, with minutes to spare.) And as usual, Neil was spellbinding, inspiring and acerbic, and we left with the feeling of being able to put pen to paper. Our little handful of strangers reunited, and wandered into the dark together, with a night that took in London's oldest pub, climbing stone lions, mysterious street food, and a set of six foot tall M and Ms, amongst other wonders.

It felt for all the world like we'd fallen through the cracks into London Below, wandering the Neverwhere. But then that's always been Neil Gaiman's particular talent, to conjure that feeling of mystery and magic, following just behind at your heels, waiting for you to turn and follow it." - Matt

Matt and I were introduced on Facebook through our mutual friend, the author Paul Magrs. Paul was right in that we'd get along, both of us being graphic designers we have endless things to say to each other from the use of stock photography to why there's so much bad cover art on NetGalley. Though oddly we disagree on almost every single book out there, so I'm sure if you lined up my favorite Neil Gaiman books and Matt's they would be diametrically opposed. There's a podcast in there somewhere. Matt is also an editor and writer, if being a graphic designer wasn't cool enough, in fact there's a Kickstarter campaign right now for a Steampunk Anthology that has a story of Matt's in it! 


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