Making its debut on November 29, 1988, author Neil Gaiman's The Sandman ran for seventy-five issues, and by its conclusion in 1996, it had sucked in several audiences that typically didn't read comics, including academics, bibliophiles, and even comics' hardest get; women. What is it about The Sandman that makes it such a crossover success?
The things about The Sandman that I recall the most fondly aren't what most others think of. In my experience, an overwhelming percentage of readers are quick to talk about the characters, or the strength of writer Neil Gaiman's voice. I definitely can't argue against either of those, but what I really appreciated about The Sandman was Gaiman and his artists' ingeniously subtle tricks with symbolism and structure. The big points were always echoed in some very clever ways that never disrupted the natural flow of the story to point out how ornate the plot actually was.
Gaiman and J.H. Williams III have managed to condense pretty much all the major themes of the seventy-five issue run of The Sandman into The Sandman: Overture.
The DC foothold on TV isn’t losing traction anytime soon, as now that CBS Supergirl has her pilot marching orders, so too does FOX’s Lucifer series, derived from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series, now have a greenlight. Not only that, but Jerry Bruckheimer and Len Wiseman have been added to the talent pool bringing Lucifer to the screen.
Warner Bros. has been trying to adapt Neil Gaiman’s classic ‘Sandman’ graphic novels into a film for years with little success, but now that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is set to direct and David S. Goyer is involved, the project is picking up steam. Gaiman himself has been working closely with Gordon-Levitt, Goyer, and writer Jack Thorne on finally bringing ‘Sandman’ to the big screen, and he thinks Tom Hiddleston would be the perfect leading man.
While most of us have been very occupied with the more major superhero movie news out of Marvel and DC, we haven’t forgotten about another DC project in development over at Warner Bros.: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman,’ which has been in development for quite a while now. First announced late last year, it’s been a while since we’ve heard any news about the project, but Gordon-Levitt and writer David Goyer finally have an update for us.
UPDATE (11/12/13]: Sandman: Overture writer Neil Gaiman has accepted the majority of blame for the delay. He wrote on his blog:
We’re both really sorry about the delay. It’s unprofessional, and is mostly due to the giant signing tour I was on from June, and me not getting script written on the tour, with knock-on effects. We’re hoping it’ll be the only delay though.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES:
From all indications, the first issue of Sandman: Overture, the much-anticipated return of writer Neil Gaiman to the character he co-created back in 1989, has been hugely successful. Drawn to great acclaim by JH Williams III, the issue came in at No. 8 on the October sales charts, giving Vertigo a rare top-ten book.
Which makes it all the more disappointing that the six-issue series won't be making its announced bimonthly schedule. ComicsAlliance has confirmed that issue #2, which was scheduled to come out in December, has been pushed back to February of next year.
Among its many other honors, Vertigo’s The Sandman has the distinction of being the portal through which a huge number of readers got their first look at a theretofore mysterious and unseen artifact: an actual comic book script. Available in numerous editions and formats now but Initially published in 1991 as a supplemental feature in the Dream Country paperback, writer Neil Gaiman’s script for the Shakespearean “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” chapter revealed the writer’s deference to his artistic collaborator Charles Vess. Gaiman’s words expressed a deep understanding of comics as a visual medium and Vess’ strengths as a master illustrator, with panel descriptions reading less like mechanical instructions in a script and more like helpful suggestions in a letter. The process, overseen by Sandman editor and Vertigo imprint founder Karen Berger, was a resounding success, winning the issue (#19 in The Sandman’s original run) a World Fantasy Award.
Throughout the history of The Sandman, Gaiman has maintained this close collaboration with artists; always challenging them with his variously dark, funny, intimate and horrific visions, but always building in opportunities for strong storytelling and the delightful idiosyncrasies that define the best comic books and comic book artists. Some of them include P. Craig Russell, Chris Bachalo, Milo Manara, Sam Kieth, Dave McKean, Marc Hempel, Matt Wagner, Jill Thompson and Bill Sienkiewicz. Even the great Japanese illustrator Yoshitaka Amano was drawn to the Sandman’s realm of the Dreaming (albeit not in the form of a comic but an award-winning illustrated novel, The Dream Hunters).
Gaiman understands how much of The Sandman’s -- of all great comic books’ -- power comes from the image, so it was honestly not a surprise to hear that Gaiman’s collaborator for The Sandman: Overture, a 25th anniversary celebration of the enduringly popular series, would be the great JH Williams III. It was, however, a surprise to see just how far Overture exceeded expectations.
Diane Nelson is rolling into San Diego's Comic-Con with some real momentum thanks to the enormous commercial success of Warner Bros. Pictures' Man of Steel film directed by Zack Snyder. By all accounts the hit film based on Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster's Superman character has galvanized the DC Entertainment division, which Nelson leads as President, and everybody wants to know what's next for the company. To that end, Nelson sat down with The Hollywood Reporter in an interview that focused mainly on DC's Hollywood prospects (no news on Man of Steel 2, although an announcement is rumored to come later this weekend in San Diego), with Nelson confirming her wish list of properties to make the jump to the big and small screens, addressing concerns about Wonder Woman and the future of Vertigo.
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.