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.

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.

Good luck.

By | 2017-09-24T23:06:27+00:00 February 2nd, 2009|Contests|21 Comments


  1. Heather February 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Too bad I’m not very imaginative this sounds really cool. Are you going to put the best ideas on here for everyone to see or atleast the winner?

  2. Widge February 2, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I’m sure we’ll come up with something suitable.

  3. Kimberly H. February 3, 2009 at 5:47 am

    I keep trying to email you my idea, but it keeps saying that it has failed to send the message.Can you send me the link or just the email in Email format?

  4. Widge February 3, 2009 at 11:10 am

    You can send it to if nothing else works, Kimberly.

  5. February 3, 2009 at 1:00 pm


  6. Timothy S February 4, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    thank you 4 the giveaway

  7. larry kimble February 4, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    would love to win this

  8. Widge February 4, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Larry: Would love for you to win it too…but if you sent in an e-mail with your entry it hasn’t arrived, so please try again.

  9. Laura February 5, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I love this idea! Time to bust out the pencils…

  10. Jack Davis February 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Hope I win.

  11. Kimberly H. February 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    The email address given for the contest submissions doesn’t seem to be working for anyone,so just contact them at:

    and put the subject SHOES and it will get through.That’s what I had to do to get my entry in and it worked,so yeah.Do that if ya want to enter.

  12. Widge February 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    That is weird, because I AM getting entries through the e-mail address. But yes, if it’s NOT working for you, use any of our addresses. Loonies or Widgett will work. Thanks, Kimberly!

  13. Widge February 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Laura: Excellent. Bring that noise. :-)

  14. Kyra February 7, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Hm, well, I can’t particularly draw, but I think I’m gonna have to enter this. (I will also need to resist the urge to make Converses the base for each shoe.)

  15. Widge February 7, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Nothing wrong with Chucks. I used to wear them all the time.

  16. Sheryl February 9, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the contest! Just contemplating ideas is a ton of fun. I have enlisted the help of the small people here since they frequently have lovely ideas.

  17. camille ludwig February 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    nice items

  18. Paula Simecka February 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    You get my link to mine on my Facebook?Sent it quite awhile ago to you.If nothing else (don’t know about my entry)I gave people a plug to the contest.

  19. Widge February 22, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Paula: Problem is I can’t see it…can you e-mail it to me?

  20. Paula Simecka February 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    will do Widge

  21. Paula Simecka February 24, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Widge-Let me know if you got it -came to my msn just fine.

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