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Neil Gaiman + panda = an adorable photo op. I am quite jealous, both of Neil and the panda. Neil because he gets to have a panda in his lap and the panda because it’s on Neil’s lap. Okay, the latter seems a little dirty. I’d be content with sitting next to Neil with a nice cup of tea discussing the fibrous nature of bamboo. Or something. Click here for more pictures.

YouTube turned up the extended trailer shown at Comic-Con for “The Golden Compass”.

Well, doesn’t that look pretty? I, for one, am looking forward to this movie. I’ve been reading the series and it is quite good. It’s a bit more graphically violent than, say, Harry Potter, and there’s certainly a plot that could be perceived as “anti-religious” though reports say the movie tones that down. We wouldn’t want half the nation to boycott it, now do we? Of course, the folks in Jesus-land didn’t do so well in trying to bring down the Harry Potter franchise. Then again, Harry Potter didn’t discuss a revolt against an entire belief system…or did it?

The movie’s set looks amazing and I’m thrilled at the whole “steampunk” look of it. I have to say, Nicole Kidman is perfectly cast as Mrs. Coulter. Of course, if you haven’t read the book, you wouldn’t know. Go read the book.

[youtube=”>She blows Jessica Simpson’s “tuna or chicken” question right off the map…provided she could find where it is first.