Cue the interesting music.
It’s been 10 years since Neil Gaiman wrote his signature character The Sandman. On October 30th that hiatus will come to an end with the release of the first of six issues of “The Sandman Overture.” And it is an overture, i.e. an introduction to something more substantial (thank you Google dictionary). It will tell the story of how it was possible for Morpheus to be captured by Burgess.
“2013 seems like a particularly good year to tell that story,” Gaiman said in a video shown at last year's Comic-Con International in San Diego. “To get together with one of the finest artists in comics today, and actually explain what Morpheus had been doing before ‘Sandman' #1 began.”
There has been a lot of excitement over the series, negative feelings as well as positive. “The Sandman” was such a masterpiece that fans entertain fears of a shortcoming. From my research I can tell you that Gaiman is at the proverbial top of his game in the coming series.
Vertigo executive editor Shelly Bond said that there is something “unprecedented” near the end of the first issue by the two Eisner Award winners (Gaiman and illustrator J.H. Williams III) — which from a distance looked like a four-page gatefold, but is apparently something rarer still: “I’m sure you’ve all seen gatefolds,” she continued. “Well, there’s something in ‘Sandman: Overture’ No. 1 that has never been done in comics before and it is going to blow your mind.”
We at EYC trust Vertigo’s artistic integrity in their visual storytelling, so our faith in Ms. Bond’s statement is 100%.
And if we can’t believe the executive editor of Vertigo, then perhaps some business statistics will testify to the book’s high expectations – “The Sandman Overture” cover A and cover B are at the top of the Top 25 Advance Reorder Comics/Graphic Novels/TPs list for the week of October 30th, which is not a dead week in the comic book world.
We’ve all heard of the comics event of the season, but there are few comparisons to what is coming for Sandman fans. If time has done anything for Neil Gaiman it has improved his ability to tell a really good story. And we at EYC appreciate a well-told, and well-constructed story.
“From the birth of a galaxy to the moment that Morpheus is captured, The Sandman Overture will feature cameo appearances by fan-favorite characters The Corinthian, Merv Pumpkinhead, and the Dream King’s siblings: Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, and Destiny” (Filipponi, 2013). Just in case you weren't excited enough. Strong characters, strong storytelling, and some amazing illustrations to tell a powerful visual story equal the most in-demand comic of the year. Speaking of which . . .
As with all ambitious projects the book will also act as a marketing tool, and bargaining chip, admonishing retailers to support the CBLDF, The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund by a special offer. Those retailers that have memberships with the fund will be able to order a special edition variant cover by “Superman Batman” illustrator, and comics legend Jim Lee. The variant has so few printings that with the maximum membership of $1,000 the comic retailer will only be able to secure 10 copies of the variant. I think we can bank on this special edition cover as being one of the most coveted, and drooled over variant of our day.
Says Betsy Gomez of www.cbldf.org (2013) “Copies of this exclusive variant cover are ONLY AVAILABLE through the Diamond Previews membership drive. Copies are available for retailers who sign up during the campaign, with additional copies available at higher membership levels.”
Any way you look at it there are going to be some satisfied fans out there (probably inevitably clamming for more) once this bimonthly series gets going. Gaiman put himself in a marvelous position, exiling himself from comics to write books, movies, and some epic television shows. It was like “The Sandman” couldn’t help but garner a bigger fan base as the years went by. And now, there’s a shining new story for us to enjoy.
Let the countdown begin.