I don't think I can even manage a list of my favourite moments. It was all very, very fine. And as for as raising money for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, it was an unqualified success. Saturday night's auction netted more that $37,000 (a record, besting the CBLDF auction at the San Diego ComiCon), and after the art auction Sunday, the total had risen to more than $43,000! Take that, all you censorious right-wing tight-asses. My own contribution to the auction (besides my bidding war with The Fabulous Lorraine over the Desire Docs, which she won) was an offer to write one thousand words on any subject the winner's heart desired, fiction or non-fiction, and to give the copyright for those one thousand words to the highest bidder. I was absolutely astounded when my offer netted a whopping $1,000 after some furious bidding. The winner was Mr. Greg Ketter of Dreamhaven Books, who will be publishing the 1,000 words as a chapbook and donating all funds from its sale to the CBLDF to raise still more money for the cause. Details TBA. But the truly astounding event of the night was seeing the two-page Sandman story that Neil and I had conceived and scripted earlier that day, which Charles Vess and Jill Thompson had immediately drawn and Todd Klein had lettered that very same evening, go for $10,0000! Woot!
Later today, or maybe tomorrow, I'll post some photos that Spooky took this weekend.
And did the con lead me to a better understanding of my complex feelings about The Dreaming, as I'd hoped it might? Yes, I think so, in so far as anything ever will. Maybe, hopefully, I gained a little perspective, and I may even have learned that I am not "the most hated woman in Sandman fandom" (as I have described myself on more than one occasion). I am extremely proud of what I accomplished in The Dreaming, from 1996 to 2000, regardless of anyone else's feelings about the book, regardless of lackluster sales and Vertigo's failure to collect it in trade editions. Corporate decisions and the grumblings of a handful of loudmouth internet goons can be damned. It was good enough for me, and I know now, having remembered almost all the stories that I made myself forget, that I can look at The Dreaming years and years from now and know that I was given the chance to be a part of something very special. And my thanks to Rocky, for reminding me yesterday morning that "Empty barrels always make the loudest noise."
I almost cried three times yesterday, once during my reading, right in the middle of a passage from The Dry Salvages, that scene where Audrey and Zora are talking about Van Gogh and poetry and what will become of Audrey's three cats. I'm gettin' old.
This doesn't seem to actually be leading anywhere, so I'm just gonna say a few more thank-yous and then sign off for now. So— My grateful thanks to Bill Stiteler for ferrying me and Spooky from and back to the airport; to Mimi Ko, Squeaks, Rocky, Davey, Rain, Saint Nightwalker (you are just too frelling cool), Pat, and the ebullient Elizabeth Harrington; to the Fiddler's Green Committee, for making this whole thing happen; to Charles Brownstien for his work with the CBLDF; to Karen Berger for a great Thai dinner; to aRvin for showing up so I could finally meet a member of Nyarlathotep face-to-face; to Pat, for inviting me and Spooky to Whitby; to Greg Ketter and Dreamhaven Books, for getting copies of my books to the con; to Erica Vess, just for being delightful; to Maddy Gaiman, for informing her father that, while he was weird, I was cool; to Lorraine, for being a good sport; to Maureen, for being sure that The Green Fairy was in attendance; to Sheila Perry, for putting together a beautiful souvenir book and letting Maureen the Aforementioned see that my name had its fada throughout; to Kilted Coffee and the freaks who work there, for delivering us from the hotel's ass coffee and lousy, overpriced room-service breakfasts; to everyone who made it to Satellite 7-8 for my reading and stood in that really frelling long line at my signing and told me how much they'd enjoyed The Dreaming. And a blanket thanks to lots of other people I'm sure that forgetting, at least by name. Thank you all.
And you know what else? MirrorMask is going to frelling rock.