Thursday, October 19th, 2017 09:06 pm

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

Thursday, October 19th, 2017 07:04 pm
In a spirit of earnest enquiry, I downloaded The Egoist by George Meredith from Gutenburg. I knew that Meredith was much respected & admired at the time (Booker prize winner of the 1840s?) and I was curious. And I then tried reading the book.

Wow. Am stunned. Even gobsmacked.

I had forgotten what the Victorians could be like when they really got going. Our author is bent upon being "uninterruptedly sublime", and it hasn't worn well.

Have a taste )
Thursday, October 19th, 2017 07:30 am
Circa 1930s London: Katrine, the actor sister of a trio (journalist, actor, student) has her end-of-term show at Dramatic School. The narrator is her older sister, Deirdre.


* * *

The end-of-term shows at the Dramatic School were so funny that my nose began to bleed, and I had to grope my way out and yell it off in the cloak-rooms. But mother, shuddering with giggles, sat it all out so as to be able to say what there was to say to Katrine. Her roles included Polonius, and she'd just got to "costly thy habit" when her beard came half off and swung like a pendulum for the rest of the scene, and in The Professor's Love Story (Oh! what a bad play!) the gate stuck, and pinned that whimsical recluse to his own fence.

And later on, mother told me, one of the girls (as a farmer) had to fill a pipe and smoke it, and she stuffed the bowl so full that a man in the audience said "Christ" out loud, and of course it wouldn't draw, and the girl pulled nearly all of it out again, and mother said "The stage was knee-deep in shag. That girl ought to get on."

* * *

Reading it, I barked helplessly like a hoarse hound.

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 11:07 pm
On the one hand there's a ton I want to post about, but on the other hand it's mostly unfinished thoughts, so I haven't posted anything, which seems very reflective of my current state of mind. But I'll get better! I also have flatmates who bake me stuff.

There are many things I read/watched that I want to write about but then somehow I don't get around to it (books, Critical Role, Bright Sessions, The Good Place etc.) and other stuff that I can't mention right now because it's for Yuletide. Yuletide will be fun! DD signed up for the first time and we'll do writing sessions together. We started today, writing stuff we should finish before we get started on our Yuletide stories. Quote by DD: "Instead of cannibalistic torture they're now going to drink a glass of wine and I'm very confused what happened." Meanwhile I'm writing awkward hugs. We balance each other so well. And Sunday all three of us are planning a day of baking/cooking/eating/studying/writing/playing boardgames together, it'll be fun.
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 05:21 pm

What I read

Ingested two David Wishart Corvinus mysteries, Trade Secrets (2016) and Foreign Bodies (2016) - Severn House having finally decided, it seems, to come down at some point to a price for their ebooks that is more or less comparable with mass market paperbacks rather than hardcover. These were pretty much the mixture as usual - combination of what seems to me pretty solid knowledge of what Rome and its Empire was like at the period, with upper-crust Roman sleuth cracking wise and somewhat anachronistic as the bodies pile up. There is probably a rule with extended series like this that if you haven't given up somewhere along the line, you will as a matter of habit pick up succeeding episodes as they come along.

Tremontaine Series 3, Episode 1. Interested to see where this is going to go.

Discovered by entire chance that there is an ebook of short stories about Rosemary Edghill's Bast, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works (2012), which I had not known about and gulped down. This led me to a binge re-read of the 3 Bast mysteries - set in the world of contemporary Wicca/Paganism of the 1990s - :Speak Daggers to Her (1995), Book of Moons (1995) and The Bowl of Night (1996). I thought these held up pretty well, though possibly more for their evocation of a particular time, place and subculture, and Bast's own moral ambivalence, than for the mystery plots. In an essay appended to the shorter works she wonders if these will be what she is remembered for, eventually: she's written quite a lot in various genres under various names. I see that when I reread the space-opera trilogy Butterfly and Hellflower, written as eluki bes shahar, I felt it had rather lost its shiny. There were also, I think, some rather generic fantasy works and collaborations with Mercedes Lackey which have pretty much faded from memory, and I'm not sure I ever read any of her romances.

On the go

Only Sexual Forensics which got a bit back-burnered lately.

Up Next

The next episode of Tremontaine Season 3. Maybe Ruthanne Emrys, Winter Tide, which I have heard good things about, and is at present very briefly a giveaway from Tor. Also, have received some more v srs books from An Academic Publisher for reviewing a proposal (when offered this, I specifically look for books which are hideously expensive destined for university library editions that I would not buy for myself).

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 11:14 am
From now to the end of October 20th, Publishing is offering a free ebook download of Ruthanna Emrys' Winter's Tide when you sign up for their monthly newsletter.

Winter's Tide is one of several recent books playing with Lovecraft's toybox and turning his ideas on their head. In this one the narrator is one of the creatures of Innsmouth. I've read the previews and have been havering about whether to buy the ebook or the hardback.
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 08:19 am
Pretending to be Batman, or Bob the Builder, or Dora the Explorer helps kids stay on task.

I love this. From BPS Research Digest and via [personal profile] andrewducker

Psychologists have reported in Child Development that when four- to six-year-olds pretended to be Batman while they were doing a boring but important task, it helped them to resist distraction and stay more focused.

But the researchers aren't really sure WHY this works - many theories, not enough data, more research needed.

Also, does it work for adults as well as it does for the four to six age group? Enquiring minds want to know.
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 08:27 pm
I couldn't include any pictures in my posts from Kendal, because my notebook had decided to log me out of Flickr, and Yahoo declined to log me back in. For once this wasn't because I had forgotten my password (I didn't get that far) but because Yahoo didn't recognise either of the e-mail addresses I offered it. The sensible course of action would be to return to the attack, armed with a note of my password and ID, and I will, but first, here are the pictures I would have posted - and maybe one or two more, because I can!

Under a cut, because pictures! )

We listened to the weather forecast, which told us that Storm Ophelia would hit the north of England around midday, and decided to cancel the visit we had planned to make on our way home, which would have delayed our return until the early evening. But we wouldn't take the fast road, either; after all, it is both high and exposed. Instead we took the scenic route - and scenic it was, until we hit thick fog as we descended into Weardale. But the road out of Kendal was lovely, and we stopped in Melmerby for lunch at the Old Village Bakery (no longer the bakery, which seems to have been taken over by a toymaker, but still a good café). As we stepped out of the Bakery, the clouds thinned just enough for me to see the disk of the sun, clear and red - and then it vanished into cloud again. (The Guardian blames this phenomenon on Ophelia bringing in sand from the Sahara). We crossed the green to visit Andy Goldsworthy's Washfold (part of his Sheepfolds project):


And then we came home.
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 07:25 pm

Last week I had the pneumococcal vaccine, courtesy of what is still, mostly, a beneficient National Health Service.

Unlike the flu shot, it is a one-off and should, as they say, See Me Out.

However, while I tend not to have any repercussions from the flu shot, this one gave me a sore arm, like, really sore for 2-3 days and still quite tender after that, as well a day or two feeling Vaguely Crap, that well-known unspecific medical condition.

Thought this was All Over, but this morning, discovered I had a Sore Armpit. Don't know whether this is a final repercussion, a muscle I pulled and didn't realise, or, since partner had something yesterday that might have been a virus and involved various aches and pains, whether it is that, though on the whole I would say I feel a good deal less Vaguely Crap than a few days ago.

A general condition of Slob-Out was declared and has not yet quite terminated.

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 09:18 am
Happy birthday, [personal profile] susanstinson!
Monday, October 16th, 2017 08:43 am
Lately I've started reading Anita Brookner, and the experience was a little like reading Barbara Comyns -- thinking at first that I didn't really like her novels, but then realizing they yielded more as I thought about them -- that they were less like literary gardens, already prepared for my wandering pleasures, and more like those paper seeds you drop into a glass of water, where they unfold slowly into complex blooms.

Impatient reading is dangerous reading.

Brookner's gift is for taking the humiliating social situation, the mismatch of desires between the protagonist and those she loves, and making of it something more profound. The crisis becomes an occasion for insight that rescues these books from simply being torture chambers for the extra-sensitive spirit. I find I usually have to put each book down multiple times during an awkward scene because I don't want to live through the whole agonizing experience -- and she does tell the whole thing through -- but Brookner, I've found, can be trusted, and she always makes something more of these scenes; the protagonist, no matter how unhappy, always gains from the loss.

A Misalliance
shares the arc of many Brookner novels, or at least the ones I've read so far...

Spoilers, but only if you've never read any Anita Brookner novels )


(Cross-posted from Goodreads)

Monday, October 16th, 2017 03:55 pm

There has been the most ominous-looking light over north London for several hours now - a sort of copper colour. The sky is covered by a greyish cloud with wisps of whiter cloud drifting across it.

No rain, a bit of a breeze wafting through the trees in the street, but so far, nothing stronger.

The effect is somewhat John Martin-esque, or possibly requiring figures to run through the pocket park behind the house crying 'Heathcliff!' 'Cathy!'. Or at least, the foreshadowingly brooding overture to such.

I assume this is something to do with Hurricane Ophelia, even if so far this part of England is not supposed to be affected. This morning when I went shopping it was sunny and unusually warm, but I put that down to the Little Summer of St Luke.

Monday, October 16th, 2017 09:14 am
Happy birthday, [personal profile] desayunoencama!
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 09:54 pm
Two panel-type events today, both in the Council Chamber, which left us well placed for a little light retail in between. But first, a technical note. Two, in fact. The first is about sound, and it returns to an issue I've already mentioned, but which is exacerbated if the event is in the Council Chamber. If you are organising an event, you need to know this: deafness is a disability, and you must do what you can not to exclude people who have this disability. Kendal's Council Chamber actually has a hearing loop, which is great, because it means that [personal profile] durham_rambler can tune his hearing aids direct to the sound system, and this gives him optimum audibility. If a speaker says "Oh, it's OK, I have a loud voice," they may well be right. But if you aren't using the mike, you aren't going into the loop. At one point this morning, I wanted to say something to [personal profile] durham_rambler and he couldn't hear me, because he was listening to the speakers on the loop. (The specific problem with the Council Chamber is that the microphones are positioned as if for a Council meeting, and we don't use the room that way, so saying "Please use the mike!" is not a simple request.)

My other technical takeaway from this festival - and I don't suppose this is going to come as a surprise to anyone) is that being able to project images is all well and good, but being able to project the actual images you are talking about is even better. I became somewhat frustrated by this morning's session on 'Telling the Truth'. Darryl Cunningham introduced his 'Seven Amazing Scientists You May Not Have Heard Of' (it's not called that, but I don't know why not), Fumio Obata talked about his (LICAF-commissioned) work in progress on the nuclear accident at Fukushima and Hannah Berry introduced her new book Livestock (which I had seen in preview at Wonderlands, of course) and each of them said something which I thought could be illustrated by one of the images that - oh, no, sorry, you've just missed it! The unending repetition of the sequence of images gave me plenty of chances to confirm my suspicion that that was indeed a rather prominent typo, which probably wasn't the intention. Not an actual typo, in that the three books all appeared to be hand-lettered, and I could have gone total geek and asked about that, but instead I asked another question suggested by the constantly cycling images, about the use of colour (and was relieved to discover that this was a good question, in the senae that all three artists and moderator Alex Fitch had something to say about it).

Commercial break: time to tour the dealers' rooms and buy things. Including Myfanwy Tristram's Everyone Loves a Puffin postcard. Because it's true. That's the only one of the things I bought that I've really had a chance to read so far.

Then back to the Council Chamber to hear Benoît Peeters explaining why Rodolphe Töpffer is the father of the graphic novel: short version, because in the first half of the nineteenth century he was publishing narratives which consisted of both words and pictures and arguing that both were equally important. For future reference, here's Töpfferiana central, and here is Töpffer's Essai de Physiognomonie (on Gutenberg Canada), a title which seems to have one syllable too many, and I noted that Peeters was having trouble pronouncing it. The Festival has published a new translation / edition with the catchy title How to Create Graphic Novels, but it's worth clicking through to Gutenberg to look at the original, just to see what the nineteenth century could achieve in printing. 'Autolithography', says the scribbled note on the margin of my programme: well, that makes sense. But I can't remember the reasoning behind: "Töpffer v. Umberto Eco - Töpffer wins!"

Time for an all-day breakfast at the Farmhouse Kitchen: [personal profile] durham_rambler is traditionalist, mine involved generous amounts of smoked salmon and watercress. Then we headed out in search of all things Finnish. I loved the Archipelagogo exhibition of mad felt sculptures by Felt Mistress Louise Evans (this always makes me think of my friend F, who claimed to have found a shop advertising 'You can get felt here!', and threatened to go inside and demand 'Feel me!' - but I digress) and beautiful, intricate watercolours by Jonathan Edwards. It seemed to me something that was genuinely inspired by Tove Jansson while still being genuinely original, and I took pictures. Many pictures.

Our visit to the Finnish village fizzled out in a darkened room. We came into the Box in the middle of a showing of Moomins on the Riviera, which demonstrates all the things I don't like about the Moomin comic strips (as opposed to the books) - and wait, what was that, right at the end of the credits? Was Mymble really voiced by Alison O'Donnell? Our - that is, Shetland's - Alison O'Donnell? IMDB is no help here... Anyway, he venue closed at four, so there was only time for the first half of a documentary about how the Moomins conquered the world, before we were sent out into the night with nothing but a piece of salty liquorice in compensation. I'd have liked to see the rest of the film. Obviously, there's an element of self-justification in explaining why it's a good thing to merchandise characters to which people have an emotional attachment; equally obviously, it's a good thing to keep the books in print, and for an income to flow to Tove Jansson's family. I'd have liked to see what the film had to say. Oh, well.

And that's the Comics Festival for another year.
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 08:18 pm

This week's bread: the Blake/Collister My Favourite Loaf, white spelt/wholemeal/einkorn flour, made up with the remains of the buttermilk.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft roll recipe, 4:1 white spelt/buckwheat flour, maple sugar, dried blueberries.

Today's lunch: New Zealand venison loin medallions, panfried in butter, served with sweet potato oven fries, cauliflower florets roasted in pumpkin seed oil with cumin seeds (I think these could have done either with being cooked a bit longer, or broken up into smaller pieces), fennel cut into thinnish strips, healthy-grilled in olive oil, and splashed with elderflower vinegar.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 12:51 pm

Oh, David Mitchell, I normally like and approve of your columns, but this one?

Our forebears’ unquestioning belief in a higher power gave them a confidence that it’s hard not to envy.

Which made me think of pretty much all societies, 'throughout history', where just because there was a belief in a higher power didn't mean that there wasn't massive conflict over: who was the real higher power and how best to worship that higher power. And even when there was a generally accepted overall belief system, there are differences within between schools of thought and practice (cf persecution of Christians or Muslims who are not of the predominant category within a particular nation). Heretics get persecuted at least as much as infidels.

And you may like to think

I know in my heart that had I been brought up in such a setting – say, in Anglican Victorian England – I wouldn’t have quibbled with those answers and would’ve been comforted by them.

That would Anglican Victorian England which a) pretty much invented the concept of honest doubt and b) within the C of E, massive conflicts between High and Low Church, no? Not so cosy.

Paging Mr Blake and the Ever-Lasting Gospel. Written at the same time that a large number of actual clergymen had gone into that line of work because they were the third son and it was a living, and why would anyone trouble themselves over the 39 Articles? and it gave them plenty of time off for hunting.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 12:19 pm
Happy birthday, [personal profile] akuchling, [personal profile] brithistorian and [personal profile] mamculuna!
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 07:13 am
I am on the island now, and relishing what is for me dead of winter weather (i.e. sixties, rain) -- in fact, it rained all day yesterday, whereas SoCal rain tends to rush in for ten minutes, then it's gone again for weeks or months.

My one day in New York was splendid, except for the part where I managed to get onto the subway going the wrong way Every Single Time. Once it was not my fault. The woman in the info booth told me that the train to our right was uptown and it was downtown. That was mean.

But I had a great dinner with the DAW team, many of whom are young, smart women, giving me the feeling that publishing will be in good hands.

A very pleasant drive through Brooklyn (which is much larger and more varied than I'd thought) and then along the coast to Wood's Hole.

Yesterday afternoon it was good to sit with tea and laptop listening to the rain as I tried to do some catchup work. Today more catchup, then the workshop begins.
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 11:58 am
Tom Holland is best known to me for writing utterly conventional popular history books away from which I periodically have to steer my students, and nowadays also for behaving as though this somehow makes him a uniquely insightful commentator on world affairs on Twitter. (It doesn't.) But it turns out that in the mid-'90s he wrote a really rather splendid book about Lord Byron becoming a vampire. I only found out about it after the DracSoc Diodati summer bicentenary trip to Lake Geneva (LJ / DW), so missed out on reading it as part of my pre-trip prep, but probably reading it afterwards steeped in everything else I had read and seen was the best way anyway.

The start feels very, very mid-'90s, in a way that I never realised while living through it at the time that that decade could. I don't think Holland actually says that Rebecca, his wordly and professional yet nervous red-headed heroine, is wearing a scrunchie, but, metaphorically, she is. By chapter 2, though, we have moved on to a vampire Lord Byron telling her the story of how he became what he is, and that is where things really take off. Holland had obviously researched Byron's real life history very thoroughly, and blends that together with the gothic motifs of his own literature, eastern Mediterranean history and vampire lore to create something absolutely magical. We have storms and bandits in the mountains, disturbing local superstitions, a beautiful young person of ambiguous gender… and then we meet the Pasha. Vakhel Pasha, whose huge castle in the mountains stands over an ancient temple to Hades, deep beneath Byzantine, Venetian and Islamic superstructures; who has read and mastered all the teachings humanity has to offer; who can walk among the stars and call to Byron in his dreams; and whose castle and its village are peopled with dead-eyed ghoulish disciples. He is essentially Dracula with a little more historical and cultural depth, and I absolutely loved him – so ancient, so powerful, so loathsome, so malignant!

Byron's time with the Pasha, (involuntary) transformation into a vampire by him and eventual escape take up almost half the novel, and had me absolutely captivated. I really felt like Holland had seen the full potential implications of the Romantic tradition and vampire lore, and brought them to their beautiful apogee. After that, though, I found the rest of the novel a little disappointing. The fundamental problem which Holland faces is, having transformed Byron into a vampire c. 1810, how does he then carry him through the remaining fourteen years of his well-documented human lifetime while maintaining that conceit?

Now, in fairness, if you are going to do this, Holland has approached it quite cleverly. His vampires can walk around in the sunshine, eat food and father children, so Byron can pass for human without difficulty: he just has some special powers, thirsts for blood, and will burn up in the sun if he doesn't get it. Holland also draws on Byron's own vision in The Giaour of a vampire fatefully driven to drink the blood of its own family to create a tragic secret for Byron and explain much of his real-life behaviour: that he particularly craves the blood of his own descendants, and now also needs it in the present day to restore his beloved yet shriveled and ancient vampire bride to youth and beauty. This is fine and makes for a pretty decent second half of the novel, but the obligation to chug through all the main known events of Byron's lifetime alongside it does lead to rather a lot of scenes which don't serve the vampire story-line very effectively, and certainly wouldn't be in there if Holland weren't constrained by his historical framework.

Still, as I say, I think Holland handled the basic conceit of Byron-as-a-vampire about as well as he possibly could have done, and the first half of the novel in particular very much justifies the whole. It's one I will almost certainly read again at some point in the future, and would highly recommend.
Saturday, October 14th, 2017 08:15 pm
We continue to explore routes between our cottage on Greenside and festival venues in the centre of town. This morning we picked up Captain French Lane (the internet won't tell me anything about Captain French) and followed it all the way down to Highgate; this evening, having shopped at Tesco (microwavable paella for dinner) we climed up the side of Wainwright's Yard,and so directly to Beast Bank. In between, there were comics-related events. For the first time, the Festival offered - and we bought - passes which give access to all daytime events. This is great, because we didn't have to decide in advance what we wanted to do, and it's an encouragement to try an event we wouldn't have paid separately for. The downside for the organisers is that they don't know in advance when events are oversubscribed, and they have tried to counter this by scheduling events at quarter hour intervals, so that if you can't get in to your first choice, there won't be too long until another event starts. Which is clever, but means that events may clash, not because they are scheduled at the same time, but incrementally, because they overlap. I would have found this very frustrating, had Peter Milligan, a guest I had looked forward to seeing, not had to cancel - which was a disappointment, but made life simpler. Now, provided I gave up any idea of getting books signed, or enjoying any of the restaurants and cafés of Kendal, I could attend all of my first choice of panels.

We split up for the first event of the day. [personal profile] durham_rambler went to see Tony Husband, whose work he knows from Private Eye. Verdict: couldn't hear, speakers were too far from the mike. At the 'Chip on Chip' panel (Chip Zdarsky interviewed by Chip Moser) I had the opposite problem: Zdarsky held the pair's single mike too close, causing distortion and breaking up. Unlike, I suspect, the majority of those there, I've never read Sex Criminals, though people keep recommending it. I'm a fan of Howard the Duck, both Steve Gerber's original and Chip Zdarsky's reboot, so I knew it would be a fun panel, and it was (though maybe even more fun for the panellists than for the audience): typical of the flavour of the thing is that when Chip M asked Chip Z for some images, he was told Oh, just use whatever comes top of a Google image search. This news story provided one of those images, which confused me because I was convinced that what I was seeing was a man dressed as the Marsupilami (no, it's Garfield).

I'd identified a promising source of all-day breakfasts at the Farmhouse Kitchen, but we didn't have time before our next event, so we bought pasties and hog roast at the market, and headed back to the Brewery to hear Bryan Talbot talk to Peter Kessler about the final chapter of Grandville. This was just an opportunity to eavesdrop on a really interesting conversation, while admiring images from all five volumes of Grandville blown up on the big screen. There were things that seemed to bother Peter Kessler which I didn't find puzzling (like why you would use a computer font for your lettering) or where I saw what the issue was but not why he was so concerned about it (these people are fish! and they are eating fish!) but he was an interested and intelligent questioner, and drew out some interesting remarks from his interviewee. We didn't follow them across the road to the signing, as we wanted to go to the next event (and although I did buy the book an hour later, the signing queue was still ridiculous)ETA.

The panel on the life and work of Tove Jansson was titled 'More than the Moomins', and consisted of Paul Gravett in conversation with Sophia Jansson (Tove's neice) and Tuula Karjalainen (her biographer). It was illustrated by a slideshow of photographs of Tove Jansson, a few of her paintings and plenty of Moomin drawings: I wished that instead of the cycling images we could have had the one that was relevant to what was being discussed at any given moment. Then again, it was warm in the theatre, and I slept badly last night, so it's no reflection on the panelists that I was tending to drift off. If I came away from the event thinking that I'd have liked to know more about the more than the Moomins, it may be my own inattention that's to blame. (If I really want to know more, we might be able to get to the show at the Dulwich Picture Gallery). Meanwhile, Jonathan Edwards was making a pretty image while we watched (doing things I didn't realise you could do with watercolour), and I hope to see more of his work at the Wildman Gallery tomorrow.

Finally, a fun panel on 'the greatest comic book cover of all time', introduced by Peter Kessler again. This was absolutely not about the greatest cover of all time, but a fascinating glimpse of practitioners talking about specifics, and often at its best when they cut in to comment on each other's choices. Duncan Fegredo proposed his copy of Halo Jones, because it was signed with kind comments about his portfolio; Chip Zdarsky proposed Aunt May's wedding to Doc Octopus, because seriously; Mariko Tamaki praised Lumberjanes and The Wicked + The Divine - which was on my list, though she chose the first sequence, the big portraits, and I prefer the more recent ones... Actually, what's brilliant about the Wic+Div covers is the way they work as a sequence. There was no discussion of whether covers of trade paperbacks work in the same way as singles. Other things not discussed: Watchmen (another brilliant sequence of covers) although it was included in the opening montage; Duncan Fegredo's own cover work; Brian Bolland (his name was mentioned, but that's all); Dave McKean's Sandman covers. It's the mark of a good panel, I think, that you emerge wanting to continue the conversation...

But not now. It's been a long day, and there'll be more tomorrow, for which I'd like to stay awake.

ETA: In fact, having decided not to pursue Bryan Talbot across the road in pursuit of a signed copy of Grandville: Force Majeure, I went to Page 45's room after an hour-long event, to discover that people were still waiting for signed copies. At first I thought I would join them, but realised that it was once again a choice between a signature and the next event, so I bought my book and left. Good decision. This morning Bryan told me he had been signing for four hours.