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  • Sandman

    As you can see from my avatar/name, I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. I've recently dug up my collection from the early 90's and am re-reading them all again. Wow. Different impact now that I'm in my late twenties and not an angst ridden teenager (not that I was very good at that angsty business).

    Any fellow fans out there? Favourite stories/characters, etc? I've just bought a lovely hardcover version of the newest book 'Endless Nights' A Sandman film?? (although it would never do it justice, *ahem* LXG *ahem* - I can just imagine them casting Sean Connery as Destiny, shudder) Any views on the subject, then please post here!

    My favourite characters are the lovely inhabitants of The Dreaming Lucien, Matthew and Mervyn Pumpkinhead - gotta love the schmuck. There's somebody like that in every work place. Actually two at mine.

    Swearing ravens, broody pale folk in black (sounds like a familar Albino actually, mind you Elric's a bit luckier with the women... although both he and Morpheus have sent their lovers into Hell, Elric by mistake and Dream by design), lots of talking animals, serial killers at a convention - How do you like your Sandman??? Let's talk.

    Over and out
    Dreamy (as Chaos likes to say)

  • #2

    Yes, I love 'The Sandman'. I originally borrowed all of the graphic novels froma friend, back when I was also an angst-ridden teen, but since then I've picked most of them up for myself. I read the collected self-contained stories every couple of months, just to give my own dreams a bit of a boost!

    Favourite character? Tricky, very tricky. Personally I'm a big Death fan, although I've always had a weakness for goths so that isn't too surprising. On the other hand Delirium always makes me laugh, and I'm always happy to see her pop up in a story... so, either of the two. If I'm not allowed one of the stars, then I'd have to go for Prez, if only because a world in which people like Prez could actually be elected would be mighty fine.

    Favourite issue? That would probably be the one where Dream inspired Emperor Norton with the madeness that kept him sane. Aside from the notion of a little craziness keeping you on track, or perhaps driving you to creative heights (always an appealing concept to weird geeks like myself), there's the fact that much of the story was actually true. And Death looked really cute in his top hat...


    Vote Prez!
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild


    • #3
      Sandman Rocks. I got my Hardcover First edition of "The Wake" signed by Neil Gaiman a few months ago. He's a cool ass guy.


      • #4
        Ah, I recognise that signature. That's a great quote. Merv getting in trouble again!!

        'The Wake' is one of my favourites - I love the artwork.... but I think my fave is 'Brief Lives', for many reasons...Delirium's driving, wet dreams and the shedding of family blood (don't want to be too specific unless I spoil it for anyone)

        A weakness for Goths....hmmmm, have to be in agreement. Dream is very cute too. But I wouldn't like to be his girlfriend, seeing his past history of failed relationships - the fact that he seems to be quite useless with women generally! I love how Death always tells it like it is to him!


        • #5
          Fav issue #50 - it might be called "Ramadan" (I can't be sure right now).

          I love Craig Russell's work on that one.


          • #6
            I got into Sandman late and don't collect comics anymore,
            but I enjoyed the Kindly Ones a lot. I like the art. It's different,
            quirky and yet skillfully communicates Neil's story.

            Neil hooking up with Dave McKean must have been by the
            Hand of Fate or the Fates whatever you believe :)
            McKean is amazing.

            I enjoyed the first Death limited series as well. Who was
            the artist for that one? It's good.

            \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
            Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


            • #7
              I've actually not read the Death books yet... It's definitely on my of 'things-I-would-like-to-buy-but-my-new-flat-is-eating-up-my-money' list.

              'The Kindly Ones' is definitely one of the standouts in illustration style. One panel towards the end is so beautiful (Dream and Matthew the raven in side profile as Morpheus regards the green dreamstone) I'm half tempted to ask Neil Gaiman if I can use it for a nice patch of wall in my aformentioned, pain the ass flat. It'll look great in a frame, as it's a work of art in my eyes. Don't give me this nonsense that comics/graphic novels are somehow a 'lesser' art... (thinking of the other day when I asked an assistant in Waterstones whether they stocked Graphic novels and he looked at me like a was some smelly substance on the bottom of his boot)as you have mentioned Jerico, Dave McKean's art is astounding, as worthy, if not more than the rubbish currently taking over half of London's 'Art' scene....

              Soapbox rant over. I am now off to put the roast potatoes in the oven for lunch.


              • #8
                I've never been to England, but
                all the info I read from you, Michael, and other "UKians" ;)
                allows me to learn bit by little bit about it!

                I can do a real good cockney accent though.
                I used to work in a neuroscience lab with a British Post-doc
                and also at a college radio station that had a British student
                and I could do it just about perfect!


                I think the first death mini-series is quite good. I can't say for anything else that's been done after it.

                Sandman is legitimate art. I can understand people's low opinion of comics in general. A lot of it isn't high-quality but there are certainly others that are. Some that I can say are legitimate art include Sandman of course, World Without End (Jaime Delano), and others that I mentioned in my favorite comics thread. I thought highly of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (I believe? It was the Frank Miller limited series where bat man was older and slower, but wiser such that he beat superman).
                Elektra: Assassin. (I don't mention the Watchmen because I never read it) Martial Law (the first series) by Kevin O'Neil. ok enough for now.
                I know that I don't like movies as much if I consider them "comic book" or "superhero" movies. Spiderman and the Hulk will never make my top 10 list, maybe not even top 20. Van Helsing looks superheroish so I prob. won't like it that much. Will watch it though. My friend thinks the plot looks like Castlevania (Isn't that a video game?) Hellboy is supposed to be comic bookish, but I wish it kind of wasn't, translating it into film. I certainly hope the Elric saga doesn't end up comic bookish!!!! I'd say it would help by using as little CGI as possible. To avoid that, use animatronics and other old-school techniques for close ups of big monsters. No monsters like in Van Helsing! bad! bad! bad!
                LOTR looked good. Treebeard was a mixture of animatronics and CGI.
                I'm in no way saying copy LOTR. I'm saying consider using the techniques used. It did win only 11 oscars recently. (Not necesarily saying the Academy Awards means anything, except maybe that your movie has made good money and will continue to make very good money thereafter). Ok i'm rambling time to shut up! ;)
                \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


                • #9
                  I think there are all kinds of categories for art - from the most base design of a tool all the way through to high art. Just because the purpose for the artifact may be ultilitarian doesn't mean it's not art (even high art at times), and just because it is designed with pretensions or just as "art for art's sake" doesn't automatically make it high art. Does that make sense?

                  Consider the lowly sunday comic strip:

                  Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland" (c. 1905, a full page sunday color comic) is thought by some to predate surrealism - esp. his walking bed strip (see: and also: ). Whatever one's assessment, McCay was the kind artist that would have been thought a genius in any era in any graphic media. Anything truly cool in modern comics owes an enormous debt to McCay. Disney probably owes McCay the shirt off the company's back - in my view there is no Mickey without first having had McCay's interactive/animated "Gertie the Dinosaur". McCay was bending the rules when there were no rules.

                  Consider the lamp (if done by Tiffany!):

                  Then one sees this:

                  And I dunno - it looks like pretentious crap to me. Conceptually, it is slightly interesting, but I wouldn't even want to hang it in my home. I wouldn't spend $20 to own a book about Warhol.


                  Anyway, I liked Watchmen. It wasn't amazing, but it had truly great moments. Actually, some of the Dr. Manhattan sequences seemed like nods to "Little Nemo in Slumberland" - one scene in particular, where Manhattan's fantasy landscape appears to be rising from the ground itself, which imitates almost exactly a McCay Nemo strip.

                  Apparently, Watchmen is to be made into a film - but who knows? Looks like some fans have an idea or two about it: also

                  Hilarious! Cusack is too young. Ed Harris as Dr. Manhattan is crazy genius though! What a trip...


                  • #10
                    Please no.......!

                    Did Alan Moore not say that he didn't want any involvement with a 'Watchmen' film?

                    Just look at 'From Hell' which nicely ties in with Jerico's comment on the cockney accent, here beaten, mutilated and chopped into little pieces by both Heather Graham and usually brilliant Johnny Depp (actually, I also thought his accent in Pirates Of The Carribean was pretty awful as well, but as I am under the impression that I am the only person in the entire world who didn't like the film it doesn't matter that much. I think I am also the only person (and my one mate) who also despise Coldplay with a passion)

                    Gosh it's easy to ramble when you're posting... ramble, ramble...

                    ...Oh, I certainly agree that there are some truly dreadful examples of comic book art. I was having a rant, particularly about the latest of Saatchi's 'enfant terribles' - can't remember her name, the 'artist' who has recently produced some god awful canvases based on Princess Di and a girl who very publically died of a heroin overdose over here. Frankly, when art becomes offensive and damn well sick... well, what's the sodding point?

                    I will now put this thread back on topic. I think my favourite Sandman artist has to be Mike Drindenburg (spelling's off there, I'm sure!) I think he pencilled 'The Sound Of Her Wings' (in the Preludes and Nocturnes volume) He has Dream down to a tee.

                    Off to do some work and retrieve an e-mail that I spent ages on but now lost. Grrrrrrr...

                    MD x


                    • #11
                      On the subject of movie adaptations, I always wish that some comic books could become animated features rather than live action. The Japanese do this all the time, and you certainly can't knock the quality of their output! Perhaps the biggest disappointment for me was the Tank Girl film, which is good as a film in itself, but terrible as an adaptation. The most annoying part is seeing how exciting the animated segments look in between secenes, and wondering how much cooler the whole thing would have been as a cartoon. I understand that there's a certain thrill to seeing a character you've created become flesh and blood, but the West could really do with some decent adult animation and classic comic books are the perfect foundation for that. In my humble opinion. I'm long past feeling bitter about the Tank Girl thing, but it's always a shame to see the original appeal become "lost in translation".

                      Back to the topic, I probably shouldn't comment on favourite Sandman artists, because mine are all artists I loved before they worked with Gaiman... but, for the record: Chris Bachalo, Mike Allred and Marc Hempel.

                      "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild


                      • #12
                        Goodness...... Tank Girl. Saw it once. I'm not familiar with it, but didn't it have a kangeroo in it, or was that something else? Perhaps I imagined it.

                        Animation would certainly be an interesting medium for Sandman. How else could the shifting nature of his world be imagined? I shudder to think of how it would be ruined by the overuse of CGI all too frequently used in the fanatsy/Sci fi genre nowadays.

                        Blimey, all I seem to be doing is moan in this thread! I'm honestly not that opinionated on a day to day basis. Well maybe... :oops:

                        Jill Thompson's another..... loved her work in 'Brief Lives'

                        Ok, another question. Which of the Endless most resembles your family or friends... even yourself? I reckon that my best mate is Death - sensible, sarcastic - maybe I could hook DeeCrowSeer up on a date with her - but she has a boyfriend already, shoot. I don't the advantages of being best friends with Death though....or maybe it is an advantage?

                        I think my work colleague is Dream. He takes his responsibilities extremely seriously, feels guilty taking holdidays.... he hasn't been off sick since he started here, back in 1898... I do love him to bits though.

                        Hmmmmmm........ running out of steam..... bye bye....... :?


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MissDreamy
                          Goodness...... Tank Girl. Saw it once. I'm not familiar with it, but didn't it have a kangeroo in it, or was that something else? Perhaps I imagined it.
                          You're not imagining it! It had several kangaroos actrually... one of them was played by Ice-T. No, really. Rap stars in kangaroo costumes. Oi vey!

                          Originally posted by MissDreamy
                          Jill Thompson's another..... loved her work in 'Brief Lives'
                          I wanted to mention her too, but my list was too long already. Her At Death's Door book is genius. As a fan of both Sandman and manga, it was heaven for me.

                          Originally posted by MissDreamy
                          Ok, another question. Which of the Endless most resembles your family or friends... even yourself? I reckon that my best mate is Death - sensible, sarcastic - maybe I could hook DeeCrowSeer up on a date with her - but she has a boyfriend already, shoot. I don't the advantages of being best friends with Death though....or maybe it is an advantage?
                          Thanks for the thought! That's very sweet. I have a friend who is probably a little Delirium, and another who might be a little Dream (he is partial to a bit of brooding). I'm probably a bit Delirium myself, but with a side order of post-retirement Destruction.

                          Although Death is exceedingly, unbelievably cute and funny (and has fantastic taste in hats) I'm not sure if you'd want her for a friend... every time she turned up at your door you'd be wondering if she was there on business. Unless you agreed on a secret knock or something. That might work.

                          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild


                          • #14
                            if i remember correctly there was also a subtle tip o the hat by neil in one of the early issues of sandman.

                            when dream goes to hell in order to retrieve his helmet he finds that lucifer no longer rules hell on his own, but with Beelzebub and Azazel,
                            three kings in darkness...
                            (don't have it with me to confirm tho)

                            well, i've always thought it was an MM reference to the elric story
                            Kings in Darkness (where he meets Zarozinia).



                            • #15
                              Just some quick points of interest before sleep.
                              The first artist to draw Death was Mike Dringenberg in issue 9, i believe is the issue.
                              I heard Neil say some of his inspirations for Dream were Robert Smith of The Cure and you guessed it Elric in specific from the EC series in general.

                              You might want to read Neil's Elric story "One Life Furnished In Early Moorcock" published in White Wolf's "Elric-Tales of the White Wolf"

                              Good Morning and Good Night to all.

                              "It's skin is as pale as smoke. It's eyes are tawny and sharp as yellow wine. Desire is everything you have ever wanted. To see her {or him} is to love him {or her} passionately, painfully to the exclusion of all else."
                              "But I'm tryin', Ringo, I'm trying real hard to be the shepard."