Whoot! I took an evening off Tuesday to go to the Neil Gaiman signing/reading at the mall. They'd won a contest based on a Halloween party, and you'd never realize how popular he is until you walk into a mall with a line already snaking through it!
My friend Vanessa and I went, go there around 4:30, checked our coats in the mall and got in line. At 5 they let us into the store (closed ahead of time to set up) and found a spot. I brought my Coraline Box, and bought a copy of 'The Graveyard Book'. Very crowded - he signed for 869 people -- this is on a day that meant facing -40 temperatures just to get there!
Around 6pm he came out, talked about the contest and the round setup of the area (he rotated periodically), did a reading from 'Odd and the Frost Giants' and answered some fan questions. Very entertaining all around! Then, the signing line started. Wow. We were divided into 7 quadrants (not sure how that math works!) and given numbers. Everyone under 12 went first, which is good since the signing went until 1:30am. We were section 3, and the mall had closed by the time we got into line. Probably 2 hours standing, following a winding path through the store. Great advertising - we spent quite awhile looking at those shelves! Aside from the standing (and lack of foresight to bring food!) it really was fun - we had some great conversations with the people around us. Like minded people make for great fun, especially when the tired-hungry-sleep-deprviation humour starts kicking in!
Getting the box signed was really cool - he asked what my site was, and if I'd played with the arms at all (I have!) and thanked me for promoting the movie. Overall super cool! Got home around 12:30 - my friend and I both staggered through work the next day, but was well worth it!