SDCC 2012: Neil Gaiman To Write Brand New SANDMAN Prequel


Remember all those jokes you made when Before Watchmen was announced, saying, “What’s next, Before Sandman?” Well, guess what: as officially announced at today’s Vertigo panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Neil Gaiman is returning to his most famous creation – The Sandman – one more time, for a prequel miniseries to be released next year.

Granted, of course, there’s a couple of key differences that should wash away all controversy with this project; the biggest that Gaiman – the guy who created the character, and one of the most beloved and important comic book series of all time – is making the decision to return. He explained as much in the video shown at the panel, which, lucky you, we have for you to watch right here:

After that little bombshell, Vertigo Editor Karen Berger welcomed the artist for the book out on the stage, none other than J.H. Williams, III the critically acclaimed artist (and writer) of Batwoman. Which, in our humble opinion, given Williams brilliant use of layouts and design, is a perfect fit for this series, and the Sandman aesthetic in general. Don’t believe us? Here’s the first piece of art from the project:

Other details, you say? For that, we turn it over to Neil Gaiman:

“When I finished writing THE SANDMAN, there was one tale still untold. The story of what had happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in THE SANDMAN #1, and why he was returned from far away, exhausted beyond imagining, and dressed for war. It was a story that we discussed telling for SANDMAN’s 20th anniversary… but the time got away from us. And now, with SANDMAN’s 25th anniversary year coming up, I’m delighted, and nervous, that that story is finally going to be told,” said Gaiman.

So there you go. Plenty more on this as it develops, of course, and stay tuned to MTV Geek for everything SDCC 2012! Oh, and if you want to read the official DC press release on this, here you go:

Surprise Announcement at San Diego Comic-Con Pairs Legendary, Award Winning Author with Artist JH Williams, III Under DC Entertainment’s Vertigo Imprint

SAN DIEGO, CA – July 12, 2012 – Twenty-five years after one of the most celebrated graphic novels of all-time hit shelves, award winning and critically acclaimed author and screenwriter, Neil Gaiman, announces his return to THE SANDMAN. Gaiman made the surprise announcement, via video, at DC Entertainment’s Vertigo panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Karen Berger, Executive Editor of Vertigo, then revealed that Gaiman is paired with artist, JH Williams III (BATWOMAN) for the series, who appeared on stage to an already stunned and elated crowd. THE SANDMAN mini-series will be published by Vertigo in 2013.

One of the few graphic novels ever to be on the New York Times Best Seller list and lauded by critics the world over, THE SANDMAN is credited with changing the path of storytelling in the comic book industry. Gaiman will pick up his pen for the first time in more than 10 years since ending the series to continue a story that he feels still has yet to be told.

“When I finished writing THE SANDMAN, there was one tale still untold. The story of what had happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in THE SANDMAN #1, and why he was returned from far away, exhausted beyond imagining, and dressed for war. It was a story that we discussed telling for SANDMAN’s 20th anniversary… but the time got away from us. And now, with SANDMAN’s 25th anniversary year coming up, I’m delighted, and nervous, that that story is finally going to be told,” said Gaiman.

“There’s nothing like a Neil Gaiman story,” said Berger, “and there’s nothing like having Neil back home on THE SANDMAN, his dark, soulful, literary epic that transformed comics and continues to captivate countless new readers year after year. Working with him again, and with JH Williams, the extraordinary and groundbreaking artist, is truly the stuff dreams are made of.”

DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio added, “As accomplished as Neil Gaiman is in other media—whether it be novels, film and even music—he still has an incredible passion and love for comics. It’s exciting to have him back. J.H. Williams will be the perfect complement to Neil’s writing. He has a history of creating art that pushes the boundaries of the medium.”

Each issue of THE SANDMAN mini-series will be published day-and-date digitally. The title will be announced at a later date.

ABOUT THE SANDMAN:
With more than 7 million copies sold in nine different languages, Gaiman’s multi-volume magnum opus THE SANDMAN features literature’s most dysfunctional family—Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, Destiny and Dream. The critically acclaimed Vertigo fantasy series transformed the landscape of comics, helping to usher in an era of more compelling and sophisticated storytelling. Combining mythology and literature in an epic story, it is one of the most popular, groundbreaking, bestselling and award-winning comic books of the last twenty-five years. It has garnered nineteen Eisner and six Harvey Awards, and is the only comic book to win the World Fantasy Award. The original series ran 75 issues and has been collected in ten Volumes, five Absolute Editions (plus Absolute DEATH) and is now being collected in THE ANNOTATED SANDMAN. Other SANDMAN related titles include SANDMAN: Endless Nights, SANDMAN: The Dream Hunters, and SANDMAN Mystery Theatre.

ABOUT NEIL GAIMAN:
Neil Gaiman is the New York Times best-selling author of the Newbery Medal-winning The Graveyard Book and Coraline, the basis for the hit movie. His other books include Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, American Gods and Stardust (winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award as one of 2000’s top novels for young adults) and the short story collections M Is for Magic and Smoke and Mirrors. He is also the author of The Wolves in the Walls and The Day I Traded My Dad for Two Goldfish, both written for children. Among his many awards are the Eisner, the Hugo, the Nebula, the World Fantasy and the Bram Stoker. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States.

ABOUT J. H. WILLIAMS:
Williams is the co-writer as well as the co-artist of the GLAAD Award-Winning title BATWOMAN for DC Comics-The New 52. A multiple Eisner Award-Winning artist, he has also received the Harvey, the Eagle, and the 2012 Reuben Award from the National Cartoonist’s Society. The acclaimed artist has also drawn PROMETHEA, DESOLATION JONES and other titles.

ABOUT DC ENTERTAINMENT:
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD , is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world. In January 2012, DC Entertainment, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and Time Warner divisions, launched We Can Be Heroes —a giving campaign featuring the iconic Justice League super heroes—to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.

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