Sunday, June 04, 2006

Several Answers

Dear Neil,

the new coloring for the new Absolute Sandman looks great.
I have a couple of questions regarding it:
1) Who's supervising the new coloring, and who's doing the coloring?
2) Were the new reproductions made from the orignal inks/art?
3) Do you feel that the new coloring better represents your original vision, the artist's original vision? is it a matter of technology?
4) will the Absulote Sandman be your "Artist's definitive version" in terms of coloring?

thanks (and very much looking forward to seeing you in Israel),


1) Danny Vozzo is doing Sandmans 1-8, 17 and 18. Lee Loughridge is doing The Doll's House (9-16). It's being supervised by Karen Berger, Absolute editor Scott Nybakken, and me. And I'm signing off on every panel.

2) No. Most of that stuff was sold 17 years ago. We got a few pages, although the most useful thing was a cache we found in my attic of photocopies I was sent for proofing purposes, and some of the artists had clean photocopies of some pages. There are only a couple of pages now, in Sandman 16, where the black line leaves something to be desired. I bet the originals will surface as soon as Absolute Sandman Volume 1 comes out.

3) Yes, to all three. The original technology means that with every new printing on cleaner paper with sharper inks, it looks worse. There was never the time or the money to fix anything in the old days, and stuff simply went out as it was, sometimes to the detriment of the story. As things went on, we got to computerise the colour, and the technology gradually made things better. Compare Preludes and Nocturnes to The Kindly Ones, just from a standpoint of colour and you'll see what I mean.

4) I very much hope so. Maybe in 30 years the technology will have advanced to the point where we have to do it again, but probably it won't.

(I did look in the FAQ and your blog archives, but I didn't find an answer, so sorry if it's there and I missed it).
Is there a publication schedule, even tentative, for the Absolute Sandman? When should I start looking for it in shops, or dropping heavy hints to my relatives and friends that they should buy me copies?

I believe Volume 1 comes out in November 2006.

Hi Neil,

I know I shouldn't trust much of anything I find on wikipedia, but, well, color me gullible. I was reading a bit about the Justice League animated series and how they have essentially banned all Batman characters from the show to prevent liscensing issues with the movie. Then I stumbled on this:

"-Bruce Timm stated in a Wizard interview that they considered featuring an appearance of Neil Gaiman's interpretation of the Sandman character but they weren't sure how to incorporate that character into the tone of the show. He went on to say "But now, it's not even an issue. The whole Vertigo universe is closed off for us . . . ." (Wizard 173, Mar. 2006, p. 69). This is partially due to Gaiman's deal with DC Comics, that no other writer may use the characters he created without his permission."

Now, I can't remember if I read it on your blog or not, but I know that when you had a conference call with my Graphic Novels class last fall, I asked you specifically how you felt about other people using your characters. It certainly does not seem like you to do something like this.


I think that goes from an actual Bruce Timm quote to silly editorialising by someone writing the Wikipedia entry.

I always loved the idea of doing a Sandman/Batman Animated cartoon episode, and we were definitely talking about it in '93, after Vertigo came into existence -- I remember talking to Paul Dini about what actors could do Morpheus's voice, and had voted for, I think, John Hurt, although I may be misremembering.

I'd assumed that they lost interest. But there was definitely some kind of Vertigo/DC divide that came into existence in there somewhere, imposed from DC/Vertigo editorial and above, worried, I was told, that a kid would feel pressured by continuity to pick up a "For Mature Readers" title and the world would end.

Either way, nothing to do with me, guv.

Hey, As you've begun The Eternals I realized I had a (somewhat) relevant question for someone who has been in the comic book, graphic novel, whatever we seem to be calling it nowadays world for a while. What with the amount of comics that are out nowadays and the increase in distribution and interest due to comic book based movies and games and the like. Does it phase you at all that the latest releases of the newest sparkliest issues are becoming just as easily-and illegally- available as the mp3? I only ask because a quick search on any bit torrent search engine for V for Vendetta or Hellboy, or xmen will brign up VERY large compendiums of scanned in comics. My question therefore is do you think that in the future this will start causing problems? Do you think someone will step up as comic book equivalent of the drummer from Metallica? Your journals, a great diversion from what is normally a boring graphic design class. Keep it up and keep us informed.

I think mostly people rather like legal things, and tend only to go for the illegal versions when they can't easily access the legal ones. I wish that you could get Sandman, say, through, f'rinstance, iTunes, or just download your monthly comics, if that's what you want to do. It'd be an additional income stream for publishers, and also, I trust, for creators.

Me, I'd still read the paper version. But that's me. I don't download the eBook versions of my novels, either, but I'm glad they're out there for people who want them. (Here's a link to a free sampler --