A great story will take time, and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman fans have already been waiting a while to find out panic disorder one on the biggest questions with this universe: what resulted in the imprisonment of Dream? Now, almost 27 years after Sandman #1 published in 1988, Neil Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III answer the question in The Sandman: Overture—and spectacularly so. The very busy Mr. Gaiman had time for three key questions from us concerning the writing process in Overture with the exceptional collaboration while using artist. (Bonus! J.H. Williams III shares an upmarket image from his sketchbook below.)
Amazon Book Review: The events that appear in Overture lead straight into Dream’s first story, Preludes and Nocturnes. Did you always determine what was going to occur in Overture’s events—or when you finally began writing it, did anything consist of your initial plan?
Neil Gaiman: Well I always knew the best way it would definitely end. I knew the final page, and I was confident of all the pages before this. Other than that, I had a concept of—I almost knew the high points. It was something like going, okay, if you’re driving from New York to Los Angeles, you form of have a thought of the places you’re about to visit in route, however you don’t really know what’s likely to happen within the journey, and also you don’t be aware of diversions.
So, you understand, I always knew, for instance, that individuals were likely to have that amazing gathering of dreams at the conclusion of issue one. I knew we were about to be meeting the fogeys. I knew that people were gonna be understanding issues that happened a very long time ago and were known as in Sandman but were never actually explained, so things such as the original dream vortex. Those types of things could be explained, would become real, would become solid, and I knew that she would survive everything I threw at him. That stuff I knew. But what would happen page to page, I had hardly any idea and it turned out a delight to discover it out.
ABR: How different an experience could it be for you as a writer to have in mind the ending, and to be aware of reader knows the ending?
NG: It managed to make it really interesting. People ask me how Sandman Overture matches Sandman. Should they see clearly before or should they see clearly afterwards? And I say they fit like a weird little Mobius strip that truly attaches the back of Sandman to your front of Sandman again, simply because you should absolutely see clearly having read all Sandman. Then, having see clearly from beginning to end, you need to read each one of Sandman again, because things are likely to be different. There will be scenes that can mean various things, you will see moments in places you go, “Oh my God I understand what they’re speaking about.” There are things that take place in Overture that resonate into Preludes and Nocturnes, solidly into The Doll’s House, and make an appearance again in places like Brief Lives. It’s like, as we were about to give it many, I don’t determine this is the eleventh book of Sandman or if you only want an infinity symbol on its side indicating that you might just carry on with this one. It’s Sandman #0 and Sandman Infinite.
It was very strange because when I finished writing ab muscles last issue of Sandman Overture, and after that I sat down and re-read, seeking to pretend I’ve never read them before, that you now understand the illness he was at, the contour he what food was in, how it happened to him in Sandman #1 plus how completely trashed he or she is at the beginning of Sandman #2
ABR: Where did your script end and J.H. William III’s work begin in comparison to its overall design, page layouts and effects work?
NG: I would write the script, and he would head on down the rabbit hole. And sometimes he will be doing things I had asked him to complete, and a lot on the time, however have decided that she would make a page bordered with teeth, that style of thing, but there was additionally a weird sense of ping pong, table tennis, because I would write something which I would think, “He’s never about to be able to pull this off, but let’s see what he does.” Then he’d do a thing that took that beyond what I had asked. I would start going, “What else will we do?”
For example, the thing in which you have to actually turn the page over to see clearly in the middle of Sandman #4, that had been actually me, but which was based on seeing the sorts of glorious things J.H. was doing anyway and knowing that she would have fun here. Also, there’s a lot of mischief inside idea of saying, “Okay let’s check out some on the things you can do in paper comics that are about to be a lot less fun digitally.” I kept thinking, the complete idea is that you simply can’t sell an iPhone, you ought to put it on a table and walk around it. There’s a modest amount of that, too. I would ask him to accomplish the impossible and yet always take a step weirder than I’d demanded.
The Sandman: Overture releases November 10th, and Gaiman’s complete Sandman works can be obtained here. Our as a result of Mr. Gaiman, DC Comics, and Vertigo just for this opportunity.