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BEHOLD: Dave McKean’s First ‘Sandman’ Cover In Years And A New ‘Overture’ Page By JH Williams III [SDCC 2013]

Vertigo’s The Sandman prequel by Neil Gaiman and JH Williams III is DC Comics’ biggest publishing story of the year, so we can expect more and more items like this Entertainment Weekly piece in which one or two tantalizing images are released over a period of months. Normally this would be kind of annoying, but the truth is it is very good news that Gaiman and Williams are revisiting the early Sandman era and telling the story about what the titular lord of dreams was actually up to before his capture at the start of the classic series, and every teased image will be beautiful — especially if they happen to be created by classic Sandman cover artist Dave McKean.

EW notes that The Sandman: Overture is Gaiman’s first Morpheus story since 1996, which is of course not accurate. The last Gaiman wrote a story featuring the original Sandman of his perennial series was in the 2003 graphic novel The Sandman: Endless Nights — which was also the last time McKean drew painted illustrated photographed manifested a Sandman cover. McKean’s Overture piece invokes the multimedia collage effect and logo remix treatments of his many, many creations for The Sandman’s 75 issues and numerous compilation volumes, but with a modern sheen that seems to catch the eye and tell the reader to get ready for something weird.

“There is something special about Dave McKean that makes it feel real,” Gaiman told EW. “I get the same thrill I got 25 years ago seeing his covers…”

Also released was JH Williams III’s first page of the first issue, which while revealing little about the story does express the kind of visual approach the artist is taking with this most anticipated story.

The Sandman: Overture #1 goes on sale later this year from Vertigo.

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