Third time’s the charm

I first read about it last month, on Neil Gaiman‘s blog, while he was writing about cats, and Lush, and missing Amanda.

To say that I was excited is an understatement. But then all he said, in passing, was this:

(She’s on a plane to France right now, for the Midem Conference, then on to Australia. We rendezvous in New Zealand, mid-March…then I’ll go to the Philippines without her for two days and rejoin her in Poland. And, between now and then, I will miss her.)

Imagine how giddy I became yesterday afternoon, when the husband’s FB friends started posting details about the event. Apparently from Neil Gaiman himself. Via his FB. I really should get an account now, if only for that.

Neil Gaiman in Manila poster

It’s but natural that Fully Booked is bringing Gaiman here for the third time; it did so on the first two occasions. So it should probably have not come as a surprise that there’s a caveat to have a couple of books signed.

Four years and eight months ago, anyone who wanted to have a book signed needed to buy a Gaiman book. One book, one pass. One person, maximum three book passes. And then all hell broke loose so about three weeks before the event, restrictions were lifted and everyone who lined up early enough and got a numbered stub had one item signed.

The book signing at the Rockwell tent was scheduled for 3 p.m. Distributing the numbered stubs? 10:30 a.m. What time did I drag my then-boyfriend-now-husband’s butt to the tent? Probaby 7-ish. With three book passes. What did I get as proof that I was there?

My first photo with Neil Gaiman
A really crappy photo.

Two years and four months later, we (Abi and I) found out that he’ll be in Subic for the Ad Congress. No book buying needed here. We just needed to hire a van and hie off our non-advertising-industry selves to Subic. We (me, Abi and the husband) were perhaps the only crazy fans from Manila who drove a couple of hours before daybreak just to see and hear Neil Gaiman. We were there before 6 a.m. But we still weren’t first in line. I think we were in the 80s. (We were 61, 60 and 62.) I don’t remember. I do remember sitting close to this guy, who did go to the Ad Congress and brought his two Absolute Sandman volumes only to be told he can only have one book signed.

But I got a big, warm, oh-so-satisfying hug.

I gotta hug!
Now, Fully Booked wants loyal fans to buy PhP2,000 worth of Neil Gaiman books to get one pass, which then entitles you to have two books signed. One person, maximum one pass.

But what if, being a loyal fan, you already have all of Gaiman’s books, be it his graphic novels, adult fiction, young adult fiction or children’s storybooks? Why can’t one have the option to just buy a book pass, even at a slightly higher price?

Of course, you can go the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards Night and hope you can win in the raffle for an exclusive book signing. One hundred names will be drawn. How many books? Ad doesn’t say.

Sigh. I’m ranting now, but you’ll probably see me at a Fully Booked store sometime soon, scouring for titles I still don’t have, that are not as pricey as the Absolute volumes.

Neil Gaiman will announce the winners of the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards 7 p.m. on March 17 at the Rockwell Tent. Book signing will be on March 18, 4-8 p.m. at the North Court, Power Plant Mall, but registration starts at 2 p.m.