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1001 Sandman
Added on 11th June 2020

Author Neil Gaiman
Illustrators Various including Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Michael Zulli and Dave McKean
First published 1989
Publisher DC Comics

A series of graphic stories, originally serialised before being released in graphic novel form.

Story

Dream, the main character in The Sandman, also known as Morpheus, is the personification of all dreams and stories and is one of seven brothers and sisters known as the Endless - Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium and Destruction. Dream is captured and imprisoned by a group of black magic occultists and after his escape he has to regain control of the dreaming, storytelling and inspiration of every living being in the Universe.

Why we chose it

The Sandman series has won many literary awards and was one of the first few graphic novels to be included on the New York Times Best Seller list. The stories combine horror, fantasy and epic, in what has come to be known as dark fantasy. The complex interweaving of different story elements and the focus on the psychological motivation of the characters helped attract a new readership to the adult comic strip genre, particularly younger women.

Where it came from

The Sandman is a character in folklore who is said to bring pleasant dreams to children. In the 1970s the Sandman appeared as a main character in a short run of stories in DC comics. Whilst Gaiman's character shares the same name as his predecessor that is the only similarity with the earlier stories.

Written by Neil Gaiman, the series is illustrated by a host of well-known comic artists including Sam Keith, Kelley Jones, Dave McKean, Matt Wagner, Jill Thompson, Marc Hempel and Mike Allred.

Where it went next

Gaiman's original The Sandman series ran for 75 issues from 1989-1996, appearing first as a monthly serial before being reprinted as graphic novels. The Sandman: The Dream Hunters appeared as four issues from January 2009 -April 2009. In 2013 Sandman returned for a further limited six-part prequel, Overture, which tells the story leading up to the capture of Morpheus. The stories have also been released in higher quality art formats and Gaiman has also created an annotated version.

Although there have been various adaptations of the graphic novels, including a 1990s film and a TV series for HBO in 2010, none of them have been released.

A new adaptation for Netflix is currently in production.

Associated stories

There are many spin-off stories, some written by Gaiman himself. These include Death: The High Cost of Living, Death: The Time of Your Life, Sandman Midnight Theatre, the novella The Sandman: The Dream Hunters and the 2003 Endless Nights anthology.

Added on 11th June 2020

Author Neil Gaiman
Illustrators Various including Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Michael Zulli and Dave McKean
First published 1989
Publisher DC Comics