Introducing Sandman: Overture

overtureIt’s a horribly hot, windy-and-rainy Monday here in New York City, and I cannot think of a better way to improve my dark mood and think cool thoughts than to contemplate the new Sandman comic book series coming from creator Neil Gaiman and new artist J.H. Williams III this autumn.

Gaiman’s epic return to the character that made his bones in comics back in the 1980s has a new name — instead of Sandman: Zero, it will now be called Sandman: Overture — and an official release date: Oct. 30.

The bimonthly Vertigo miniseries will explain bow Morpheus was so easily captured by Roderick Burgess way back in The Sandman No. 1. The series will alternate months with a “Special Edition” version of each issue that will showcase sketches and commentary.

Gaiman had this to say about revisiting the Endless universe:

“The most peculiar thing for me about returning to Sandman is how familiar it all feels. When I was writing Sandman from 1987 to 1996, I never had the feeling at any point that approximately 50 million people were looking over my shoulder, scrutinizing every word.”

I remember seeing house ads in DC Comics back in the day promoting the new Sandman series featuring an image of the first issue’s cover and the line, “I will show you fear in a handful of dust.” This was, of course, a reference to T.S. Eliot’s epic poem The Waste Land, and I wanted to read more. So when I stumbled upon the actual first issue of the comic, I snapped it up, and the rest was history.

Karen Berger Leaves DC Comics

karenbergerThis is momentous – and momentously bad – news for DC Comics: Karen Berger, the editorial genius responsible for nurturing the talents and stories that became the Vertigo imprint, has stepped down from DC. Her tremendous influence will be missed.

If you love Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, or Jamie Delano‘s Hellblazer, or Grant Morrison‘s Preacher, or titles like Y – The Last Man, Fables and so many more, you owe thanks to Karen Berger. It was Berger who put Alan Moore on the struggling Swamp Thing title and let him completely revamp the character; she guided his growth from British wunderkind to comics phenomenon on the title that made his bones in the USA. And, along the way, she midwifed the rebirth of the horror comic in America. Swamp Thing became a phenomenon, and so did Moore, paving the way for Watchmen and more.
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Vertigo Plugs “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” Adaptation

What we have here are two TV commercials promoting a two-volume graphic novel that adapts The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson’s runaway best-selling prose novel and first installment of the “Millennium Trilogy,” originally released in 2005. The graphic novels are being published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics that concentrates on material that is more mature than run-of-the-mill superheroes and adolescent power fantasies.

Take a look, and then we’ll discuss after the jump…

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Neil Gaiman Will Revisit the Sandman

The best news to come out of the early days of Comic-Con International: San Diego 2012 was, by far, the announcement that the legendary Neil Gaiman is returning to Sandman — the character that made Neil’s bones in the industry — with a brand-new story to be drawn by J.H. Williams III.

The tale — which will appear in November 2013 — will be a prequel that explains what happened just before the original Vertigo series The Sandman kicked off waaaaay back in November 1988. Neil himself said:

“When I finished writing The Sandman, there was one tale still untold. The story of what had happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in The Sandman #1, and why he was returned from far away, exhausted beyond imagining, and dressed for war.”

The picture here is the teaser bit of art J.H. did to promote the project. It’s offbeat, and I think I like it. (One thing about Morpheus: His appearance does tend to… well, morph…) BTW, November 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of The Sandman No. 1, so that’s auspicious timing.
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