Design Neil Gaiman Footwear

Coraline shoes

NOTCOT posted something that I thought, at first, was a joke: Coraline shoes by Nike. Not that there’s anything wrong with Coraline shoes, but when I first read the book, I had no idea that we’d be seeing Hardee’s tie-in toys and…well, Nike products based on the concept. And as much as I appreciate Neil Gaiman, and have thought many things about him–never was one of my thoughts “This is a man who needs a high-top basketball shoe created for him.” Scents, sure. But shoes?

But now that precedent has been set, I thought that it would be relatively simple to create a list of other shoes that would be based on Neil’s work. But before I set upon creating some sort of list of Top 10 Footwear Based on the Work of Neil Gaiman, I had already gotten bored with the idea. Then I had a better idea.

I’m going to get you to do it. Conceive of/design a pair of shoes based on something Neil Gaiman has created. If you can actually draw: draw them, upload them to Flickr (or wherever) and send me a link. If you can’t draw (like me), write a detailed description of what they would look like. This isn’t a guessing game–tell me what you’re basing the shoes on. Also “Black — based on what Neil wears everyday” is not sufficient. So throw that out right now.

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Now, I’ve tried stuff like this in the past and been disappointed by the lack of participation. We get megascads of people entering our contests where all you have to do is fill in a form, but ask you guys to identify a poem and you freeze up. So to counter this, two things:

First, I’m giving away $250 worth of stuff out of the prize closet. It’s not all Neil Gaiman-related because, frankly, I don’t have a lot of extra Gaiman stuff to give away. But we’re talking the Coraline unabridged audiobook, Henry Selick‘s (Coraline director) Nightmare Before Christmas on Blu-Ray, the fourth series of Doctor Who on DVD (the series which Neil frequently doesn’t deny being involved with because it amuses him), and the complete series of The 4400 on DVD. That last bit is included only because it’s a $100 boxed set.

Secondly, the more participation we get, the more that prize list might increase. If I feel like this is actually successful, then I’m more likely to go and dig some more stuff out of the prize closet. So send in your entries–and mention this wherever–your blog, your LiveJournal, your Twitter, your MySpace, whatever. The more this works, the more I throw on the pile. I’m not going to say at one point we reach Level 2 or anything, because I’ll just know when we get there. In the efforts of the honest Widge you know, I’ll tell you up front: I’d like to see some traffic off of this, considering the amount of swag involved. If it doesn’t work, we’ll wait another year before trying another stunt like this.

Other rules are as follows.

1) Send your entry to shoes contest at need coffee dot com with the subject line SHOES. Don’t send attachments–if you have images, put them somewhere and send me a link. Your entry should include your idea/link and your name. Update: If you’re having problems sending it there, you can send it to me, widgett, or to our normal address, loonies. As long as it gets to me, I’m cool with that. Just have the right subject line so it doesn’t get lost.

2) We are not going to give away or sell your address or e-mail address or anything without your permission.

3) Just like our normal contests, you can only enter once a day. A day here means from midnight to midnight, Eastern Standard Time. For this contest ONLY, if you and your wife/son/daughter/hamster named Rhino are all budding artists, I want you all in on this. So it’s once a day PER PERSON. The whole per household thing is suspended for THIS CONTEST ONLY.

4) Contest is open to anybody who is 18 or over who lives somewhere where I can mail you a package.

5) Contest ends at 11:59PM EST, on March 2, 2009.

6) At the end of the contest, I and possibly some of the rest of the staff (again, depending on turnout) will judge the entries. The entry we like the best wins. While you can enter once a day, I urge you not to send in thirty entries but a few that are well thought out and clever. Use of non-obvious Gaiman works in your entry–in a clever way–will earn you bonus points.

7) This contest has absolutely nothing official about it–Neil Gaiman is not involved, nor is his publisher, nor nor nor. We don’t have elvin cobblers standing by to make your shoes nor will we get Neil to wear the shoes we’re not going to make. It’s just me, trying to drive traffic to the site. And you know, bored and too lazy to make my own list.

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