Braunbeck's nephew's birthday party is tomorrow. The kid's newly 11, and he's been looking forward to this weekend for quite a while. However, I'm supposed to be on panels at a local SF convention, Context, until about 3 p.m. Hopefully after that I can drive out to the party.

His nephew is a huge horror movie fan. I have qualms about exposing young kids to excessively violent and gory movies -- but his own parents let him watch all manner of slasher flicks when he was barely out of kindergarten. His favorite movies include the Children of the Corn series, so at this point Braunbeck and I are going to focus on trying to introduce him to good horror movies. It might take a few years, though; when he put in The Exorcist he immediately wanted to fast-forward to the puking-and-head-spinning scene. He objected to our wanting to watch the first part of the movie, saying, "It's just boring blabber! The puke scene is cool!"

Well, with luck he'll think the present his uncle got him is pretty cool: we found an 18-inch-tall Leatherface figurine, complete with chainsaw. It's a wonderfully gruesome figure (a McFarlane creation, of course) though it takes batteries and the box doesn't say what kind.

We had all kinds of fun wrapping it tonight. I found some butcher paper, and we put the box in that, and then I found a dark red candle and flicked wax spatters over the paper to simulate blood sprays. A rusty-red marker let me put some bloody-looking prints on it. My other housemates oohed and aahed over the result, so hopefully le nephew will also get a kick out of it.

Speaking of McFarlane, Neil Gaiman recently won his lawsuit against Todd McFarlane. Gaiman had created the popular "Spawn" character Angela, and McFarlane had claimed all rights to the character and had not credited Gaiman on books he'd contributed to writing, had deprived him of deserved royalties, and had used other materials without his permission. The jury found for Gaiman on all counts, and the case is now entering the damages phase.

The biggest irony in all this is that in the 1992 contract between Gaiman and McFarlane (which McFarlane later violated), McFarlane said he would treat Gaiman "better than the big guys".

Yay, go Gaiman!