Neil Gaiman returns to his beloved “Sandman” series, a fantastical blend of myth and magic. The second issue of the new series, “Sandman: Overture” is set for release on Wednesday. CNN talks to Gaiman, who, aptly and simply, owes his return to “joy.”
If you haven’t picked up a Sandman book yet, this is a good excuse to get acquainted with Gaiman’s rich and surreal world of dreams and immortal archetypes.
Why return to a favorite story 25 years after it began?
For author Neil Gaiman, the answer lies in one word: “joy.”
In speaking with CNN, Gaiman used the word more than once to describe his experience with “The Sandman,” the comic book series that started in 1988 and achieved widespread acclaim, originally ending in 1996. The story was a revolutionary reboot of a superhero character from the 1970s. Gaiman was given free rein at the time to make him completely different and ran with it.
Now, Gaiman is back with the new series “Sandman: Overture,” and the second issue is set for release on Wednesday.
Gaiman has since written many popular novels including “Stardust,” “Neverwhere,” “American Gods, “Coraline” and most recently, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” But for many fans, “Sandman” — an oftentimes surreal story about the realm of dreams, which originally ran 75 issues — remains his best known work. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fan, and he’s producing a possible “Sandman” film.
“Overture” is Gaiman’s first new “Sandman” story in 10 years (2003 saw his last “Sandman” follow-up, the graphic novel “Sandman: Endless Nights”).
The “Sandman” series primarily follows the character Dream, who appears with various names and forms and has control over the dreams of everyone and everything.
CNN has an exclusive look at several pages of artwork from “Overture,” and Gaiman spoke to us about the return of some of his most popular characters, and why they’re back now.
(DC Comics is owned by CNN’s parent company, Time Warner.)
CNN: What made you resurrect “Sandman?”
Gaiman: It was a combination of things. The joy of stopping “Sandman” at the time was I didn’t tell all the “Sandman'”stories I could ever tell. But I did finish the story I started in “‘Sandman” No. 1.
The joy was if I wanted to I could go back and do more. That was where (1999’s) “Sandman: Dream Hunters” came from. That was where (2003’s) “Sandman: Endless Nights” came from and now “Sandman: Overture.” It was the idea of going back and telling all these stories and all these things that I know and other people don’t know. So why don’t I tell them?
While that’s all true, the other thing that drove it was I originally wanted to tell this story back in 2008. It would have been “Sandman’s” 20th anniversary. For various reasons, DC (Comics) couldn’t make it happen. So when (DC Comics president) Diane Nelson came in, she asked is there anything you want to do? And I said I’d really love to do the story for “Sandman’s” 25th anniversary. It seems huge and a great thing to mark. And she said, ‘What a great idea!” And we set out to do it.