Four Days in Seattle – Part One

This past weekend I took a short trip to Seattle, to see my favourite author, Neil Gaiman, do a talk. I also saw David Sedaris, but was mostly excited to see Neil Gaiman. The events were in the evening, so I had the daytime to explore Seattle. I stayed in a hostel called the Green Tortoise (excellent hostel, would recommend it). They had a kitchen for people to use, and fridges to store food in. Nice common area to hang out in, and the front desk staff were super helpful. The hostel was right by the Pike Place Market, and across from the original Starbucks, so that was cool to be right in the tourist hub.


Saturday – Day One

I arrived in Seattle around lunchtime, and had a few hours to kill before checking into the hostel, so I explored the area around the hostel a bit. Pike Place Market was crazy busy, so I didn’t spend too much time there that day. I went down to the waterfront (a block or two away from the hostel) and walked down the seawall. Saw the famous ferris wheel, and walked down to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Also checked out the Gum Wall (literally walls covered with gum, not sure why this is a Thing).


This is a watercolor painting of one of the sculptures in the Sculpture Park.

Sunday – Day Two

Sunday morning I went to the Museum of Pop Culture. They had a special Marvel exhibit on, which was amazing. Costumes that the actors wore in the movies and TV series (Iron Man, Daredevil, Captain America, Black Panther, Thor, etc). There was also a lot of original comic art, which was probably my favorite part of the exhibit. Some of them were from the 1950s. I saw artist’s work that I learned about in my History of Illustration class in university, like Jack Kirby. There was also comic work from Frank Miller, who I admire. It was neat to see the original work, because it was pre-digital era, so everything was literally pasted together, and there was a lot of white out used, and notes in the margins for the press people.

These are some watercolor sketches from the exhibits at the museum. Iron Man costume, and Gimli’s axe from Lord of the Rings. There was a Fantasy exhibit too, which was really interesting. Movie props and costumes from LOTR, Wizard of Oz, Princess Bride, to name a few. There was also an original Dungeons and Dragons book, which was cool. I learned that Dungeon and Dragon characters were originally based on LOTR characters, like hobbits. Then it was changed because there was a conflict between LOTR and Dungeons and Dragons.


After MoPop, I wandered around for a bit and stopped for some beer at Seattle Beer Company, which had all Washington craft beers. I tried Bruski Patrol Dark Lager, Lucky Envelope Raspberry Sour, and Pyramid Coffee Ale. My favorite was probably the coffee ale, although the sour was really good too. I also discovered a letterpress shop, and talked to the shop attendant there about printmaking. She also does etching, so we exchanged instagrams.


Then in the evening, was the Neil Gaiman talk. It was AMAZING. Neil didn’t really do a talk per se, but instead answered audience questions that had been collected beforehand in the lobby. He also read from some of his books, including Good Omens, Norse Mythology, and Trigger Warning. He talked a little bit about his writing process, which I found interesting. He said if he is writing a particularly dark book, he will switch to writing a children’s book for a while, then go back to the dark book, so his mood doesn’t get too dark. He also mentioned he uses different color fountain pens, and writes his first drafts by hand in a notebook. He uses different colors so he can see how much he has written on a particular day. His second draft is done by transcribing his handwritten writing onto the computer, and this is where he starts his editing process.

Sunday was a full day, but by far my favorite day of the trip.

Stay tuned next week, for the last two days of my trip.


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