Of course, Mr Gaiman was funny and charming. For those unaware, his visit was a result of a contest that Winnipeg tied for first place with a city in Georgia for. The final decision was Neil's, and when he narrowed it down to those two, he couldn't pick one over the other. "I couldn't toss a coin," he said, "and I couldn't just pick one randomly because if I did it would definitely not be Winnipeg in December."
For those who can't truly appreciate that statement, allow me to show you what my kids wear every time they step out of the house:
The only thing showing is their eyes because it's so cold, any exposed skin will freeze after only a minute or two. You can, in fact, freeze through your clothes if they're insufficiently protective. The jackets are double-lined, as are the mittens and snowpants. They're wearing wool hats under their hoods, and thick wool socks under their boots. And under all that, they're wearing their regular clothes. And every single person we pass on the street is dressed like this, because that's just how it is out here.
Since we tied for first place, Gaiman also visited Georgia, which was yesterday. That's right, he came from Georgia to Winnipeg. Apparently there was fog and thunderstorms going on in Georgia, and they were all talking about how cold it was. Then he came here, and we were all delighted it had warmed up to -30C (that's -26F) for his visit. (Let's not discuss the weather from this weekend.)
After the reading (Odd and the Frost Giants) was the question and answer period, for which people had written in questions ahead of time and Gaiman read them off a paper given to him. Then he requested that everyone with children have their books signed first, which was met by grumbling from the adult contingent, but believe me, people, you would have grumbled much much louder had you been stuck for a couple of hours in line beside a tired and cranky six-year-old.
And now, photographic evidence.
Here's Neil Gaiman signing my book:
Here's the most stalkeriffic picture ever taken of me. Note the creepy lurking:
That photo says I'm about five seconds away from a restraining order. I swear he knew I was there and I wasn't just sneaking in and being creepy! The thing is, though, that with well over a thousand people waiting to have their books signed, he needed to get through as quickly as possible and while he can feasibly chat while signing, it's much harder to stop, pose, smile, and keep the line moving.
By the way, janicu, I totally touched him. Jealous?
Actually, my favourite part of that photo is all the hair. Seriously, I'm not sure which of us is fuzzier.
And now my daughter wants to read Coraline.