Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sandman Anniversary

Neil Gaiman's Sandman Turns Twenty

New York Magazine spoke to Neil Gaiman about the anniversary of Sandman:

Twenty years later, do you remember what you were doing immediately before you pitched DC on Sandman? How were you able to get almost complete control on a character without having done much comics work before?
I think the main reason that I did it was that nobody really had a clue what I was doing, and that was a very good place to be. I was writing as a journalist. I had just written the first one and a half episodes of my very first American comic, which was this prestige comic-series thing called Black Orchid. And then I got a phone call from [DC comics editor] Karen Berger, and Karen said, "Uh, look, we've had a meeting and we're getting a bit worried. We're looking at this title, and we've got a guy that nobody's ever heard of, doing a comic that nobody's ever heard of, about a female character, and female characters don't sell. We're going to give you a monthly comic, and the whole idea is to raise your profile a bit."

And you suggested Sandman?
I phoned her up a few days later, and I said "What about the Phantom Stranger?" And she said, "No, we don't think he's heroic enough." "What about…" and I listed off characters, and every one somebody owned. And she's saying, "No, no, no." And then she said, "What about that Sandman thing you were talking about? Last time we had dinner, you were talking about a Sandman graphic novel of some kind. So I wrote the outline, sent if off to Karen … they didn't like it. And it sat on her desk, and apparently a week later the forces above asked if they could see the outline and they did like it. And Karen said, "Well, I wasn't really happy with it, but they liked it upstairs, so we're going to go with it.



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