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Mulan
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As per the direction of the silly :D here is a thread just for all of you to name your favorite Sandman Arc.  None of that new Dreaming stuff.  How's that series going anyhow?

 

*Spoilers*

 

 My favorite story arc is Brief Lives with art by Jill Thompson and Vince Locke.  I finally got me a 1st edition hardback copy and I enjoyed rereading such great writing.  This story arc is Delerium's (the youngest of the endless) search for her MIA brother Destruction.  Classic story really.  I really like when she gets really serious in Destiny's Garden.  And when the Lady calls her a person.  There a comical stuff and serious stuff.  But I really like how everything comes together.  You get to know more about Morpheous' only son and see some stuff on Joanna Constantine.  Gaimen is a great writer.  It's ashame that he dont' writes much comics these days.   One day I'll watch Neverwhere and read American Gods I swear. :D

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Neverwhere's tricky to find, :kitty:.  As for my personal, id go with...

 

**FUCKIN SPOILERS, BUT THEN YOURE AN ASS IF YOURE READIN THIS & HAVENT FINISHED SANDMAN ANYWAY**

 

 

...Season of Mists, where Lucifer screws over Morpheus with the most sought-after piece of interdimensional real-estate existing: the key to hell.  

"Its yours, but i doubt it shall bring you much pleasure at all..."

Watch Gaiman bring in representatives of almost every known mythology & effortlessly weave them in with his own.  It's a thing of beauty, and one of the more popular arcs - the Key to hell is an actual Vertigo prop, and the original hardcover of this book went upward of $200 on Ebay before bein reprinted.  Good pick on Brief Lives, but I'm still with Mists.

 

"To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every man always give the devil his due."
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Ah, didnt think id get Athena or Brigit down here to comment on Sandman...

anyway, if it was single favorite issue, while #50 (Ramadan) is high up there, i still prefer # 74.  Not only was it the first issue i read, oddly, but it helps show the range of the book: no other single issue is like that one, and i rather liked it style.

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit."

 

"Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.

(Only the phoenix rises and does not descend)"

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  • 9 months later...

Sorry... the Thinking Man couldn't make it. I'm filling in.

 

Besides the poncy, and the pretentious, and the titular character, this was a good story. Granted, I only read the first book.

 

 

But there are a couple things that really bug me:

 

 

-The titular character, Sandman, (or Morpheus, or Dream, or a few other names), isn't approachable. The reader doesn't have any grounds to relate to him on. He's a god, immortal and nearly all powerful within his realm of influence, so we can't relate to his sense of vulnerability once he's gotten his powers back. He has no sense of humor, nor any real recognizable human emotions with the exception of revenge and angst. Not even existential angst... "I'm bored of being a superpowerful being" angst. In the first book, Preludes and Nocturnes, I find myself identifying more with the "antagonists". Sure, they're patently insane and bent on destroying the world... but at least I can understand their motives.

 

 

-Just about all the other characters in the book lent themselves to sympathy better. Even Death, another of the Endless... I read her little story and thought, "Wow... now I understand what all those goth girls I knew were trying to do. She just does it better." (And the gargoyle was kyoot! Not intellectual at all, but it bears mention.)

 

 

-While I'm willing to allow some artistic license, some of the mythological and religious misreferences irked me. Cain and Abel refer to themselves as characters of "the first story". There were a few chapters of Genesis, a fall or two from grace, and the creation of a world before you, guys. Sorry to tell ya.

 

 

 

There's more, but I think that should get a conversation rolling. Don't get me wrong... I'm currently reading Good Omens, so I don't doubt that Gaiman can write, and well at that. I'll definately be picking up American Gods when I'm finished with this one. I just didn't see too much development in this comic, and I doubt I'll be picking it up again unless someone can assure me these issues were just the victim of growing pains.

 

 

-Your Local "Comical Literary Critic" DG

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I might merge this with Mulan's "Sandman" thread....

 

Yeah, youre really not entitled to much of an opinion so early on, but here goes:

 

-Yes Morpheus is enigmatic and less approachable, to a lesser writer he'd have to be fuzzied up to work, but give him time - he's not without faults & such if that's what youre lookin for, and he'll grow on you.

 

-Death is a highlight of the book, for everyone. Keep readin.

 

-"artistic license"..hah. This isnt a christian novel. It's a book in which Gaiman, a student of many, many mythologies combines elements from some you havnet heard of and weaves them into his. Dont hold your breath for the 12 apostles.

 

But yeah, although i like the first trade for Sam Keith's art (and Morpheus' battle in hell), its not one of the stronger ones and really gets into full swing a bit later....my personal favorite arc is "Season of Mists", lemme know when you get there...i assure you, you'll know. Enjoy, and keep postin bout it here.

PS "American Gods" is also reviewed over in Culture.

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  • 8 months later...

from here

 

Sandman: Endless Nights Makes New York Times Best Sellers List

First Time For An American Comic Book Publisher

 

October 03, 2003

Neil Gaiman's Sandman: Endless Nights debuted at number twenty on the New York Times Best Sellers List For Hardcover Fiction. This marks the first time a book published by an American comic book publisher has earned a spot on New York Times' list. The strong debut of Gaiman's latest Sandman graphic novel is the result of a successful multi-media publicity campaign that was all DC promised and more. The question now becomes. "Will Sandman: Endless Nights have 'legs' -- will word of mouth lead to a steady growth in sales that will last through the coming holiday season?"

 

10 years after it ends, this one still breaks records. Its $17.47 at Amazon, i hear Barns & Nobles might get it at 35% off....damn i gotta get me a copy.

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  • 1 month later...

Newsarama interview

 

Sandman.jpg

 

 

So...some are chompin at the bit for more Sandman hardcovers & love that this year saw the release of this book & Endless Nights. Some say its beating a dead horse: Sandman was, too many, some of comics' finest works, but Alan Moore doesnt revisit Watchmen, should we still do side-stories and await Gaiman on this one, or should he move on, like Ennis from Preacher? If so, what does Veritgo, or any other label, hold in its place, or at least up to its quality? Some say Fables, i only read the fist trade so im not certain. Just wanted to see what the rest of you thought, i know a few that frequent here have read & were/are big Sandman fans.

In any event, the following is an interview with the writer of this Sandman reader's companion, enjoy.

 

ALISA KWITNEY & THE KING OF DREAMS

It’s the reader’s guide to end all reader’s guides. Sandman: King of Dreams by Alisa Kwitney, published by Chronicle Books looks at the series from all sides, reliving the Sandman experience, and showing off loads of art. Newsarama spoke with Kwitney for more.

 

For long-time Sandman fans, Kwitney’s name should sound familiar – a former Vertigo editor, Kwitney worked on Gaiman’s Sandman series, as well as other, related projects and ultimately did some writing in Morpheus’ world herself.

 

Since Vertigo, Kwitney has moved on to, at first look, would look like the polar opposite of the DC imprint – novels with, as she describes them, “disconcertingly girly covers” (the secret connection between the oil and water mix can be found on Kwitney’s website).

 

But on with King of Dreams.

 

Newsarama: Starting off with a little history - you were the third assistant editor on Sandman, right?

 

Alisa Kwitney: I have to check Neil’s forward for this…yes, Art Young and Tom Peyer preceded me. Tom was hugely helpful in training me, and used to reassure me when I went into panic mode that “it ain’t food for the hungry that’s shipping late.” Art once sublet my apartment when I wasn’t in it, along with Garth Ennis, and Art’s cat. But I digress…

 

NRAMA: So - is a situation where you can take the editor out of Vertigo, but you can’t take the Vertigo out of the editor?

 

AK: As for leaving Vertigo – I can’t seem to do it. I’ve quit two or three times now - to have babies and write books - and have always wound up coming back in one form or another, either as a part time editor or as a temporary editor or as a freelancer.

 

NRAMA: So, while you were there, how much did you do with Sandman and related projects?

 

AK: Well, Sandman and Shade the Changing Man were the first monthly books I worked on as an assistant editor, back in ’91, before Vertigo was Vertigo. And Neil’s original Books of Magic mini-series was one of my first prestige projects. So I spent a large part of my day talking to Neil on the phone - in those days, he was living in England and worked really late.

 

When Karen Berger went into premature labor with her first child, I was still a pretty new assistant editor, and we were about to go into Sandman month. So I would talk to Neil and he would basically tell me what he wanted me to do and then I would go off to marketing and try to sound all authoritative. I think Paul Levitz thought I had a lot of chutzpah at the time, which I didn’t. But I did know what Neil liked and what he didn’t, such as Morpheus having a purple cape in the poster.

 

When I became an editor, I wasn’t working directly on the Sandman, but I was editing the spin-off series The Dreaming, and - pre Sandman Companion’s Hy Bender, I was known around the DC offices for my ability to recall Sandman minutiae. I was also doing all these Sandman-and Dreaming related projects that we wound up calling Sandman Presents.

 

In addition, I did some Sandman related comics writing…including a bit of The Children’s Crusade, in which I was trying to write like Neil, with the instructions to leave hints for the ending, which Neil said he didn’t know yet.

 

NRAMA: Since you’ve left though…this is you’re second or third Vertigo project, right?

 

AK: I did Vertigo Visions: Art From the Cutting Edge of Comics before this Sandman book. But there’s a new edition of the Vertigo Visions, so maybe it counts twice.

 

NRAMA: What keeps you coming back? What is it about the mythology that you can’t leave behind?

 

AK: Well, at some point, Karen and Neil went from being colleagues to being friends, and I like to find excuses to talk with them. But more than that, there’s a big, big part of me that’s a comic book fan girl, and the Vertigo books in general and Sandman in particular are just the kind of books I love.

 

NRAMA: Speaking specifically of Sandman then, what elements of it attracted you so strongly?

 

AK: Growing up, I was a huge fan of the House of Mystery and House of Secrets books, and of fairy tales. As an adult, one of my favorite prose writers was Angela Carter, who turned out these jewel-like short stories about Little Red Riding Hood and Lizzie Borden and a young girl who happens to be an executioner’s daughter. So when I discovered that Neil was tapping into folk and fairy tales and writing these stories that were as home set in Revolutionary France as they were set in a comic book store, I was utterly, completely hooked. He does these lovely, simple stories that aren’t simple at all, they are just perfectly, darkly intelligent, and that’s just the kind of writing that steams my clams.

 

And as for new reasons to love Sandman, well, it’s just a taste that hasn’t lost its appeal for me, even after more than a decade. Which means that its layered, and nuanced, and that you can find different stories in it at thirtysomething than you did at twentysomething.

 

NRAMA: So – about this book in particular, did you come up with the idea for it, or was it something that Karen or DC approached you for?

 

AK: I believe Steve Korte approached me with a rough idea, and then I went to Neil, and we talked together and he helped me see just how to think of it: As a Sandman 101 for new readers, and as a loving insider’s look at the series for devotees.

 

NRAMA: From the outset, what did you envision King of Dreams would be like?

 

AK: The book basically is what I wanted it to be, but it was a bit of a struggle along the way. I had three editors: First Steve Korte, who is great, then Rich Thomas, who has since left DC but was unfailingly patient and kind, and then the Chronicle folks, who would talk to Rich and Steve but not to me directly. And while Steve and Rich trusted me, I think being at a remove made Chronicle more inclined to want to move the furniture around. Some of their changes I accommodated, such as supplying more personal recollections of working with Neil, and some I argued with – I didn’t want to describe the art selections, for example, because it struck me as redundant, unless I had a particular point to make. In the end, I just had to say, Listen, I think this works fine, and I’m not going to change things any more. And that was that, no one asked me for a single other change.

 

One of the things I did refuse to change was my bit about Ramadan, and how the cities of imagination that fill our dreams and inspire us to greatness or violence are as important as the ones that exist on maps in the real world. I think that sentiment struck someone as being possibly a bit too sensitive, given the current political climate. But I said I really wanted to keep it in, and in it stayed.

 

NRAMA: With what you just said, this wasn’t a simple, “ “Lyta did this, Dream did that…blah, blah, blah…” - you were really going to it on a deeper level for an audience that wasn’t worried about continuity or the comic bookiness of it all, right?

 

AK: Basically, I just riff on the arcs. I try to supply the bare bones of plot to ground the reader, and then I just talk about how I think the stories work and what makes them resonate, at least for me, and how I think certain stories and arcs hint at things that have gone before, or at things which will come after.

 

NRAMA: So, in doing that you had to go back through the arcs in details - c’mon – fess up – which is your favorite arc?

 

AK: Every bit of excerpted story in the book is a favorite moment of mine; that was part of the fun of the book, being able to just pull out whatever I liked. I am a huge, huge fan of the short stories, too. But for an arc, I guess I’d have to say that “The Kindly Ones” and “The Wake” are probably my favorites. It’s rare to love the end of a series as much as the beginning, let alone more, but the Sandman ends with a wonderful interweaving of all the themes and motifs that have gone before.

 

NRAMA: In looking at everything again, did you find new facets and aspects to the series that you’d missed before, or were able to see more clearly now thanks to the vantage point time allowed?

 

AK: No one had ever gotten me to sit down, read the whole series through, and then gather all my thoughts before, so yes, I had more and deeper Sandmanish thoughts than I ever had before. And my main insight was this; it doesn’t pall over time. Sandman hasn’t become dated or less evocative. Which, I believe, is the true test of literature.

 

NRAMA: What was Neil’s response when you told him you were doing this volume? From his introduction, where he sais he can get worried about blakieting the world in too much Sandman – was he somewhere between flattery and embarrassment?

 

AK: Nah, I think he was just happy. It was fun to talk about the series again.

 

NRAMA: You worked on the series, you know the comic book market…will there ever be another Sandman? Not a specific return to the character, but something that reaches across so many borders and reader bases and appeals to such a wide swath of people on as many different levels?

 

AK: I’m not sure that I do know the comic book market, or that I ever did. I hope there will be another Sandmanesque success, as I’m sure a lot of people do. But you know, there are a lot of sexy blondes out there, but not so many iconic sexy blondes. It’s hard to know when the iconic types are going to make an appearance.

 

KoDreams1.jpg

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  • 8 months later...

Funny...i just finished that Sandman tribute that i posted back there, it was really well done. That and the Dust Covers books are excellent bookends.

 

Holy shit, Endless Nights is amazing, that's one of the finest pieces ive read overall in a very, very long time. It's a beautfiul look back on the series, with deep examinations of each of the endless throughout. The artists Gaimian went with - Russel, Fabry, Quitely, etc - were dead-on for their given chapters. I cant even point out the weak one of the lot, though Death, Destiny and Despair's stand out in my head, especially "Death and Venice", i wonder if that one took the Eisner?

If youve enjoyed Sandman in any way, Endless Nights is a must-have.

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  • 1 year later...

Hell yeah i noticed, that was amazing to see her again.

 

Ive got an autographed version of the hardcover of "Doll's House", belive it or not, that was a freebie with some vertigo auction i got years ago. But this series, tragically, still stands out in my head as the finest one ive never replaced in trade: i once envisioned getting the whole thing in their original hardcovers, but the cost of Season of Mists alone daunted me.

They reprinted it all, of course, in varying colors of the same cover, basically. Now i hear its getting DC's Absolute treatment....can anyone confirm that:

1) the whole series will one day be released this way?

2) what the difference is between this and the other HC's, specifically?

3) how much each volume'll basically cost?

 

cause that'd really be awesome, even if i cant pull it off for a long while to come.

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:howyoudoin: Ah, the nostalgia. Sandman was my first comic love...started reading it when I was 13, before moving on to other Vertigo titles like Preacher and Transmetropolitan. As for favorite story arc, I have to go with 'The Dream Hunters' a collaboration between Neil Gaiman and my favorite artist, Yoshitaka Amano. In fact, I probably owe Amano's artwork for finding Sandman in the first place.
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They reprinted it all, of course, in varying colors of the same cover, basically. Now i hear its getting DC's Absolute treatment....can anyone confirm that:

1) the whole series will one day be released this way?

2) what the difference is between this and the other HC's, specifically?

3) how much each volume'll basically cost?

 

 

Absolute HC are oversize with better paper and the artwork looks great plus some of them come with a book with all the extras but if they do this with sandman be ready to shell out some carzy cash cause it will cost between $75 to $100 for each book.

 

 

 

Absolute Watchman=$75

 

Absolute JLA/AVENGERS=$75

 

Absolute Crisis=$100

 

but if you have the money it's worth it.

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An excerpt from Neil's journal:

 

Monday, February 27, 2006

Lorraine and I spent some of today going through various tubs and boxes in the attic and the basement, looking for Sandman stuff for the forthcoming Absolute Sandmans. Back when they shot the original art to make the black plate for the comics, sometimes it was over- or under- exposed, and either the blacks would join together and fill in, and we'd lose detail, or the finer lines would vanish completely, and we'd lose detail. Luckily, I kept everything I was ever sent -- or tried to. Lots of stuff has been sent back to DC Comics over the years for the various Companions and suchlike, and it hasn't always returned safely, so some things have disappeared. But the photocopies of the issues have mostly been kept, and they are, on the whole, good, clean, crisp black and white photocopies of the art, with clean black-on-white (as opposed to the white on black in the comics) Morpheus word balloons which means that we don't need to redo the ones that have closed up. But finding them, that's been the challenge...

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Alright, cool, so itll be the whole series, and hopefully by then ill have a career and can afford it...its one of hte few series id really indulge the finest edition for. Newtype, you got any Absolutes? I think you said you have Crisis....what kinda extras did it bring?

 

ps Ly - how's Neverwhere on DVD?

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I have Absolute Watchman, JLA/AVENGERS, and Crisis.

 

The extras are the making of the book, rejected ideas, and a shit more of stuff. Once I'm done with the remodeling of the house and you can come over an I'll show you. No way are they leaving my room.

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  • 2 months later...

This from the Vertigo panel at the Philly con this year:

 

Wayne said that Vertigo Executive Editor Karen Berger told him yesterday that a softcover version of The Fountain would be coming out in October, in time for the film's release.

 

The first of a four volume set, Absolute Sandman Volume 1 is due out in November, Wayne said. The book will collect the first 20 issues of the series (which are bring completely recolored - and Wayne showed slides to illustrate the difference between the original and recolored versions), and will also include extras, such as the original proposal for The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, a gallery of Gaiman's own character designs, and more. The volume will retail for $99.

 

Asked if there are new plans for Sandman, Wayne joked that, "After you pony up your $99 for the Absolute Edition, we can talk." Dennis, who clarified that he's not the editor of the property, said that he's not aware of any new Sandman plans.

 

Here's what the difference is looking like:

 

SandmanP_Npg42.jpgsandmannewp42.jpg

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YEAH! Neil posted about this in his journal....

I'm literally salivating over the Absolute Sandman...

 

Over at Comic Book Resources they show side by side an example of the old colouring side by side with the new ABSOLUTE SANDMAN recolouring and reproduction....

(Leaving aside the crispness of the reproduction here, one thing that's impressed me over and over as we've worked on ABSOLUTE SANDMAN is the number of places where what seemed like poor storytelling on an artist's part turned out to make perfect sense once the colouring was fixed. Danny Vozzo coloured 80% of Sandman anyway, so he's fixing Preludes and Nocturnes and two issues of Dream Country. In addition to the first 21 issues, we're also reprinting the thumbnails, script and pencils for Sandman #19, "Midsummer Night's Dream". And there will eventually be a box-case large enough to hold all four volumes of Absolute Sandman.)

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