Amanda Palmer Animates & Narrates Husband Neil Gaiman’s Unconscious Musings

Accord­ing to singer, song­writer and crowed fun­der extra­or­di­naire, Aman­da Palmer, there’s an “epi­dem­ic of mild-man­nered British men who say weird shit in their sleep.”

Her hus­band, author Neil Gaiman, is no excep­tion.

Neil Gaiman is a total weirdo when he’s half asleep. in a GOOD way, usu­al­ly. you know all that cray shit he’s been writ­ing for the past 30 years? it has to come from *some­where*. the guy is a fleshy repos­i­to­ry of sur­re­al strange­ness, and he’s at his best when he’s in the twi­light zone of half-wake­ful­ness. he’s the strangest sleep­er I’ve ever slept with (let’s not get into who I’ve slept with…different ani­ma­tion) not just because of the bizarro things that come out of his mouth when he’s in the gray area, but because he actu­al­ly seems to take on a total­ly dif­fer­ent per­sona when he’s asleep. and when that dude shows up, the wak­ing Neil Gaiman is impos­si­ble to get back, unless you real­ly shout him awake.

She’s made a habit of jot­ting down her husband’s choic­est som­nam­bu­lis­tic mut­ter­ings. One paper­less night, she repaired to the bath­room to recre­ate his noc­tur­nal state­ments on her iPhone’s voice recorder as best she could remem­ber.

As some­one who’s sore­ly tempt­ed to get incon­tro­vert­ible proof of her bedmate’s errat­ic snor­ing pat­terns, I won­der that Palmer wasn’t tempt­ed to hit record mid-rant, and let him hoist him­self on his own petard. Revenge does not seem to be the motive here, though. Palmer uses the device as more of a diary, rarely revis­it­ing what she’s laid down. It’s more process than prod­uct.

That said, when she redis­cov­ered this track, she felt it deserved to be ani­mat­ed, a la the Blank on Blank series. (Brain­Pick­ing’s Maria Popo­va urged her on too.) The ever-game Gaiman report­ed­ly “laughed his head off” at the prospect of get­ting the Janis Joplin found text treat­ment.

The finan­cial sup­port of some 5,369 fans on the artist-friend­ly crowd fund­ing plat­form, Patre­on, allowed Palmer  to secure the ser­vices of ani­ma­tor Avi Ofer, who reen­vi­sioned the cou­ple as a New York­er car­toon of sorts. He also man­aged to squeeze in a deft Lit­tle Prince ref­er­ence.

Per­haps his ser­vices will be called upon again. Gaiman reports that his very preg­nant bride is also prone to non­sen­si­cal sleep talk. (“I want to go danc­ing and i don’t want them to take the sheep, Don’t let them take the sheep.”) Turn­about is fair play.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Neil Gaiman’s Free Short Sto­ries

Where Do Great Ideas Come From? Neil Gaiman Explains

Watch Love­birds Aman­da Palmer and Neil Gaiman Sing “Makin’ Whoopee!” Live

Aman­da Palmer’s Tips for Being an Artist in the Rough-and-Tum­ble Dig­i­tal Age

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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