Author Neil Gaiman sends “Postcards from the Dreaming” with the Lomo LC-A+.
For the past two decades, Neil Gaiman has had a more profound impact on the science fiction/fantasy genre than perhaps any other writer of his generation. Author of seven novels including American Gods and Anansi Boys, over 100 comic books including one of the genre’s defining works, the epochal Sandman series, plus dozens of children’s books and film and television scripts including the amazing Coraline and the screenplay to 2007’s Beowulf, Neil is a true renaissance writer. We were thrilled, awed, and honored when Neil agreed to shoot a few rolls of film with the LC-A+ and share some words with us about his experience.
REAL NAME: Neil Gaiman
CITY: Near Minneapolis
How long have you been a Lomographer (or are you new to this whole thing)?
New. I started this summer.
Describe the LC-A+ in five words.
Tough, simple, sensible, foolproof, cool.
The strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest photography encounter that you had.
So far, still making friends with the LC-A+ — it was a delight seeing the pictures that came back. Suddenly got the idea of what they did and what they were. Mostly, loved the confusion on people’s faces when they realized they couldn’t look at the back of the camera to find out what i had just shot.
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be (song title and artist please).
Julee Cruise, “Kool Kat Walk”
Gothic Archies, “City of the Damned”
Timbuk 3, “Standard White Jesus”
Of all the amazing characters you’ve created over the years, which of them do you think would be the best Lomographer and why?
Shadow in American Gods. Mostly because he’s not in the limelight, but standing off to one side, and he’d quietly take photographs, and nobody would ever notice.
You’ve written stories, novels, graphic novels, comic books, films, and probably the most popular collaborative novel of the century. You’ve collaborated with an incredibly wide range of people, yet your style is always so present in everything you touch; is writing just that easy (kidding) or is there something about your approach that allows you to be so versatile while consistently exceptional?
Argh. I have an allergy to any question that seems like “Hey, tell us how cool you are”. I’m lucky, I love what I do, and I love collaborating, mostly because I enjoy what other people do, so collaborating allows me to make work that I enjoy a lot more than just crafting a sentence.
Your film Mirrormask is one of the most stunning visual films in recent memory, and we can’t help but notice that the entire film looks like an LC-A+ multiple-exposed cross-processed image come to life. I guess the question is just if you see anything in the Lomographic aesthetic that appeals to you or reminds you of the way you’ve imagined other visual worlds you’ve helped create?
That’s ALL the wonderful Dave McKean – a man to whom you should give a lomo and some film, and see what you get back. (ed. note: Stay tuned for a gallery and interview with Dave McKean!) I talked about lucky in the answer to the last question: the luckiest I ever got was getting to work with Dave McKean when we were both young, and to keep working with him for almost a quarter of a century now.
But I love the interface between low and high tech, and the capacity for accident — happy accident — in the Lomo aesthetic. And loved that the best photos I took look like postcards from the Dreaming.
Ok, here’s the scene: you’re somewhere right now with your LC-A+ camera and a sack of film, surrounded by people you love in the most inspiring location you can imagine… where are you?
On the west coast of Scotland, on one of the rare sunny days, or one of the frequent sunny hours.
When your name is mentioned at Forbidden Planet in New York City, the air in the room seems to change. There is a reverence and awe usually reserved for royalty. So honestly, what happens when you walk into a comic book store? Has anyone ever bowed?
Strange things happen in the oddest places. In London a man came over to me and said, “Please. Let me shake the hand that wrote Sandman.” I shook his hand, but not before warning him that it had done a lot of other things too.
If you could shoot any person alive or dead (or imaginary) with your LC-A+, who would it be and why?
I’d love to shoot someone really huge. Goliath, or Glumdalclitch. Of course, I’d have to get far enough away. I love how it shoots people, and how it shoots landscapes, and would like to combine the two…
What’s coming up on the horizon? New books? New films? New creative endeavors? What’s in the works and what’s on your mind?
I’ve a silent film (STATUESQUE) coming out on UK TV around Xmas, starring Bill Nighy. Right now I’m gearing up to write a partly non-fictional book about China and the Journey to the West.
Your advice to future LC-A+ shooters.
The strangest shots are often the strongest.
Take a look at Neil’s Lomographic gallery: