Today, Maddy, my youngest daughter, graduated from High School. I was asked if I'd like to deliver the address, but declined. I wanted to be a dad, and sit in the audience with my family and beam proudly, and wander around taking photographs afterwards of Maddy and all her friends. And that's what I did. It was great.
When I started this blog, she was six. 
I love you Maddy Gaiman, and am so proud of you.
Soon there will be nothing keeping me in the midwest except inertia, and this is where my stuff is. And my bees. I'm hoping to spend more time on the West Coast with my two older children, and much much much more time on the East Coast with my wife, when she finishes her 2013 world tour, at any rate.
In the meantime, I'm reposting this cartoon.  You'll need to click on it to read it at its home page, as the way Blogger software is set up these days does not agree with it, and I can't get it readable here. It's from  It's by Gavin Aung Than, and I hope I get to thank him personally for doing it the next time I'm in Melbourne. He's taken a bit from the middle of my UArts commencement speech and made it into a comic.
The speech has been, I was bewildered to learn, viewed over 335,000 times on Vimeo, and is now captioned in English, Czech, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish at . It's still in its original vanilla form at And it's even crept onto YouTube -- which may be useful for people in countries that have blocked Vimeo.

Labels:  make good art, Maddy Graduates, Maddy
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Published on June 03, 2012 18:27 • 3,403 views
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message 1: by Cassandra (last edited Jun 04, 2012 06:54AM) (new)

Cassandra That cartoon appeared on 9GAG as well - loved it!

Also, congratulations to Maddy and a now very proud dad, as well as the family.

message 2: by Jess (new)

Jess Congratulations to Maddy! I still remember the first time she hijacked one of your blog posts, it was delightful. And while we've never met, the Midwest will miss you - enjoy the family time!

message 3: by Drix (new)

Drix I loved it! Funny images to amazing words... Make Good Art : )

message 4: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Ward Sniff. I think there's something in my eye . . .

message 5: by Don (new)

Don Wonderful. Congrats to your daughter! :3

message 6: by Fran (last edited Jun 06, 2012 09:11AM) (new)

Fran Friel Thank you for this today, Neil (I loved the address) and Gavin (marvelous interpretation). Ray Bradbury died today, and I am uncommonly heartbroken. In a strange twist of synchronicity, I found this post today, as you and Mr. Bradbury (and Doctor Suess) are my muses, my inspirations for being a writer.

So today, I make art with my full heart, and dedicate it to Mr. Bradbury.

And for dear Maddy, it's been a privilege to watch her blossom through the lens of your journeling. I wish her joyful success and gentle failures. And Neil, may the empty nest be filled with happy visits and excellent adventures.

With Love and Gratitude for Years of Inspiration,
Fran Friel

message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Congrats to Maddy! I'll be sending my own daughter off to college in the Fall. Her graduation ceremony is on the 23rd. I'm already preparing the tissues.

Still, what a magical journey it's been...


message 8: by D.M. (new)

D.M. I was on holiday when this was posted, so I'm a bit late to offer my congratulations to Maddy, but there they are. It's strange: we were just watching her on the Coraline disc a couple weeks ago, and wondering what she was up to now. And there that is. I know we all wish her the very best.

message 9: by Vaughn (new)

Vaughn Congratulations Maddy! And well done to you Papa Gaiman for being a good Dad :D

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