2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the first publication of Neil Gaiman’s seminal Sandman comic series and to commemorate it, Vertigo held a panel overlooking the classic series and previewing the forthcoming mini-series Sandman: Overture.
Although originally slated for Sandman’s 20th anniversary, Gaiman didn’t have space in his schedule to write the series. As the author was writing the series initially, every so often there would be space for a Morpheus story that Gaiman didn’t quite have time or room in the existing story to tell. Overture is one of the larger of those notions, explaining where Morpheus was before the events at the beginning of Sandman and just what happened to make him so exhausted that a human magician could successfully capture one of the Endless.
At first Gaimain wasn’t certain he could write the characters again. “There was definitely a worry with the characters that they would’ve gone away. The first five pages I wasn’t sure if they were right, and then I got page six. There was Death and there was Destiny, and they sounded like themselves. It was wonderful.”
The Morpheus we see in Overture is not the Morpheus to which readers are accustomed (he’s hidden in a flower on the first page, as can be seen throughout the post), but Gaiman says that this is essentially the point. “There’s the [Morpheus] who escapes in Sandman #1, and then there was the one before Sandman #1. He’s much prissier, much more hidebound. In many ways, the entirety of Sandman is a meditation on how his years of imprisonment actually changed him.”
Overture is, of course, named thusly because it comes before Preludes & Nocturnes chronologically.
According to Gaiman, J.H. Williams III approached the author to let him know that he’d love to work on a project with him. Gaiman had loved his work on Alan Moore’s Promethea and kept him in mind for Overture. “It was a short list. A short, short list. J.H. was the only one on it.”
Sandman: Overture begins release in October 2013. Check out the below video from SDCC of Gaiman discussing the series.
Chris Lough is the production manager of Tor.com and once asked Jack to draw him like one of his French girls.