Just when I thought I had every possible version of Sandman, this monster arrived. It’s a stunning collection of SANDMAN original art from Graphitti Designs and Vertigo, about 13 by 20 inches and over 270 pages on thick, archival paper. Leo the cat for scale.
Inside are beautiful and revealing images of the original art for SANDMAN #1 by Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, or at least as many pages as could be found (missing pages are filled in with large images of the black line art from printer film I think), about 65 pages of original art from a range of issues throughout the rest of the series, mostly one or a few per artist and story, a complete DEATH short story by Jeff Jones, then the complete art from THE DREAM HUNTERS, as adapted by P. Craig Russell (about half the book) and a gallery of pinups and commissions.
It really is odd for me to look at these pages of art that I worked on, mostly without any thought of posterity but simply doing my job of lettering. Here’s a small marginal note from me on a page from issue 25, I think the first Dead Boy Detectives story, where I offered some alternate Latin words that weren’t used. You can see so much of the process in many of these pages that goes unseen in the final printed books. Some pages, as on SANDMAN #1 are full of notes, corrections, things pasted on, all manner of information you can’t see elsewhere. At the other end of the spectrum are P. Craig Russells immaculate inked pages with his pencilled lettering and notes, pristine and lovely as if delivered from the gods. He was so great to work with, even if he didn’t like the fact that I lettered DREAM HUNTERS digitally instead of on the art. A little of that has been used in the Sandman balloons.
This is a cool book. I don’t know where I will put it, but very, very cool.