I recently started following Neil Gaiman on Twitter and discovered something fantastic – his Blackberry project called A Calendar of Tales.
I’ll be honest (and probably get into big trouble – by everyone except Mr Gaiman, whom I think appreciates people who know their own minds) I don’t like all of his work but I enjoyed every single one of these tales. Of course, Gaiman’s ability to make a story sound simple yet mysterious is evident in each one. They are genuinely beautiful.
First I read them, then I listened to them, then I looked through the art that is being added each month. I’m enthralled by this process – the more layers added, the more I appreciate each story.
What makes this collection so interesting is that from the beginning the Tales have been a collaboration of Gaiman fans and Mr Gaiman himself.
He began his stories by asking questions on Twitter and waited for fan’s replies… Then he took the most interesting (or perhaps the one most inspiring to him) from each month and turned them into tales.
Once the tales were written they were given away for free. Mr Gaiman leant his own voice to recording audio versions of the tales (absolutely intoxicating) and asked to people to send in art inspired by each tale.
The result is a collection of 12 stories created by the world… It’s astounding. Five years ago (maybe even less) this would never have been possible… Now, it’s as easy as signing up for a Twitter account.
I love the idea of collaboration (see my post on overlapping art forms) but this is particularly fantastic. What’s more is that Mr Gaiman has given this all away for free. Incredible.
I hope you go read and listen to the tales… and find yourself inspired!