Neil Gaiman Briefly Talks About His Return To The World Of Sandman
Neil Gaiman recently appeared at the Alex Theater in Glendale, California for a talk about his new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The fan-favorite and multi-award winning writer talked about a number of topics regarding his impressive body of work, including the upcoming and highly-anticipated prequel The Sandman: Overtures miniseries from Vertigo. CBR was on hand to catch everything the prolific scribe had to say.
When the conversation finally turned to the realm of Dreams, Gaiman talked about the challenge of coming back to a world he hasn’t visited since 2003 in the Endless Nights graphic novel:
When I began writing ‘Sandman’ in 1987 — dear God, that was so long ago — everything was new. I had never done anything like it before and I didn’t know how to do it. Each panel was a new experience for me. Every time I turned the page, it was something I was doing for the first time. Now I’ll go, ‘OK lets do this,’ but then I get caught up because it’s been done already. It’s a weird feeling of desperately trying to find a challenge to do something new, to make it different and interesting. Or to discover how to revisit things and make it fresh — this is ‘Sandman’ for me.
Gaiman eventually found his footing and started to plot out how he would tell the Sandman story before the story, as it were. He discussed how things started to fall into place. I leave CBR‘s words here to provide his quote with context:
I love Dickens,” Gaiman stated, pointing out how he can recognize Dickens’ method of writing. For instance, the manner in which Dickens introduces characters to obviously fill space but would then unexpectedly draw on them later to better serve the story. “In the new ‘Sandman,’ I just wrote a scene where I needed a character of a certain shape. Then I realized I had that character already — she was in ‘Sandman’ #3. People are going to go, ‘Boy he’s clever!’ but I have no idea if I’m clever or not.
Gaiman concluded the segment of his discussion about Sandman by revealing the end of the miniseries- a splash page from Sandman #1. The author joked that nobody would buy the prequel now that he revealed the ending. One other Sandman grain worth mentioning is an answer the author gave when it came time to answer questions provided by email. Gaiman relayed an anecdote about how he had horrible nightmares into his 20s. When he started working on Sandman, he would wake up and write the nightmare down because they worked great with what he was doing. He said the “great nightmares” went away pretty quickly after that. What do you think about Gaiman returning to the world of The Sandman?