Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman was a groundbreaking series when launched in 1988, and later came to also break a few longstanding rules in comics.
Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman was a groundbreaking series when it first launched in 1988, breaking a lot of longstanding rules in comics. But not all of those rules were broken without a fight with the publisher.
“We had this huge fight on our hands right in the very beginning when we told DC that the title character Morpheus would not be on every cover,” Gaiman said at the virtual DC FanDome event Saturday. “I remember them coming back and going ‘How will people know this is Sandman?’ We said, ‘Well, because the word “Sandman” will be on every cover.'”
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“And having lost that battle they never fought again,” Gaiman continued. “They were like, ‘Okay, well obviously we don’t know what this thing is and they’re going to break all the rules, because you have to have the character on the cover, and they aren’t, so … they’re just doing their thing.’”
Created by Gaiman and artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, The Sandman ran for 75 issues over the course of seven years. The dark fantasy series received nearly universal critical acclaim, and some of the collected storylines were among the few graphic novels to make the New York Times bestseller list. The comic helped launch the long-running Vertigo Comics imprint, which itself spawned other critically acclaimed series such as Hellblazer, Preacher and Y: The Last Man.
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