Edinburgh International Book Festival Part Zero - Secret Origin

A comics news article


The Edinburgh International Book Festival is a thingy that's been going on for some years. Boring details sorted? OK. I'm mostly attending events related to STRIPPED, a small comic fair that's part of the festival. There are hundreds and hundreds of authors all trying to say smart things. There are tons of non-writer humans and aspiring humans hoping to hear some smart things. I am an aspiring human. I hope to hear smart things. Maybe I'll become smarter as a result.

I have my backpack, which I under-packed because I was rushing when I left. Also, because I'm an idiot. I spent the last 5 days in Amsterdam; my brain is mush and my thoughts are in outer space. I've been missing my mom a lot lately. I had a dream about her. I'm staying with the world's sketchiest dude from Couchsurfing. I don't have any money.

All this certainly spells tragedy, but what would any story be without an inciting event of horror and pain and rape from a Couchhoster? My backup plan is to sleep in a maintenance rail car. You know where I got that idea? St. Swithin's Day. I figured, "If this worked in a story twenty years ago, then surely it will work again today." The reference to St. Swithin's Day is a nice segue to discuss the main event of this book festival. Yes, there are many nights and many things happening, but my main event is Grant Morrison. I don't think he's going to start with an earth-shattering scream that could scare Kanye West humble, but I do think he's gonna say some smart things.

Edinburgh Book Fair

Another thing I'm looking forward to is Neil Gaiman. Gaiman has written a bunch of stuff. You may know him from: great things. He'll be speaking at a number of different times, but I may have to miss one to hear Poetry of the Egyptian Revolution. That sounds incredible. I love poetry. My poetry teacher at Uni (I'm in the UK now, this is the type of shit they say) wouldn't be very happy if I missed that. Gaiman will be speaking about Sandman on Sunday.

Sandman: Overture is a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Gaiman's Sandman saga. I am 22 (and a half) years old. This Sandman story is older than I am. I'm sure it will live on long after I die, but it began right at my birth. Isn't that strange? Overture is a prequel to the Sandman story, so before now, it was just an idea. An idea that's older than I am. And that will reach more people. So what am I? There are tiny specs of nothing on this Earth older than I am (indeed, those seem to be the oldest things), but I suppose it's my infinite youth and infinite arrogance that seem to make these facts noteworthy. Also, hopefully they debut some killer new artwork from J.H.Williams III.

Morrison will be talking about superheroes. Interesting, as this seems to be something he's transitioning out of at the moment. After Batman Inc. #13 (which seemed to view the "neverending story" as an eternity within a hell-scape of eternal pain), I'm interested to see what he has to say, but if I know Morrison, he won’t fail to impress.

Thank you for coming along on this adventure in gonzo journalism with me. Tune in tomorrow for more fun, more idiocy, and my obituary. Hopefully I'll corner some writers in the bathroom and get a weird interview. Maybe someone on the street will sell me plants that make me feel funny. I'll definitely get caught stealing food. This is gonna be hilarious.

- Tyler Gross

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