Welcome back to the 25 Days of Sandman! Today many of the artists who worked on THE SANDMAN reflect on their favorite memory working on this literary masterpiece. From endless nights of work to the use of the low-tech communication available at the time, these stories show the humor, the joy they experienced, and the admiration they all have for each other.
We’ll see you back here tomorrow with more from your favorite SANDMAN artists!
“My contribution to Sandman was a brief bit of synchronicity during a visit with Brian Talbot at his home in Preston, England. He had finished up his part of World's End except for the last two pages which needed to be done IMMEDIATELY! The regular inker (someone I had not yet met: Mark Buckingham) had just gone off on holiday so I offered to fill in. Late that night Neil faxed in the final script and Bryan began penciling. The pages were finished as the sun came up.” - Steve Leialoha
“Before Neil wrote the Song of Orpheus, he came and stayed with me in Preston, Lancashire for a couple of days so we could talk about the story. He'd been doing lots of research, reading all the books on Orpheus he could get his hands on. I remember being captivated by the way he was distilling the best elements from different versions of the legend into his own unique take. This is something I later deliberately did when I wrote my version of the Legend of the Lambton Worm for Alice in Sunderland. Neil had visited me in Preston before he started writing the series and it was the inspiration for Roderick Burgess living there in the first story.” - Bryan Talbot
“Splitting open the FedEx package with Craig Russell's wonderful art for Sandman #50. We were in the studio going over the objet d'art that J Muth sent. Chris Chuckry and I were wondering how we would incorporate the pieces within the beautiful oriental brush work of Sandman #74. It was a good time full of wonder and warm of collaboration and creation.” - Lovern Kindzierski
“Favorite remembrance of working on SANDMAN: Neil getting so far behind schedule that I ended up improvising a photo collage including a music stand, a rainbow, an old engraving of the dance of the mad, and a fish on a string, only to see all these elements reflected quite clearly in the story when it came out. Even the fish.” - Dave McKean
“Getting the script for "THE GOLDEN BOY" in the mail. This was before email folks! It was the first time I read a script that read like a conversation to the artist. It was written to me for me. That made a powerful impact.” - Mike Allred
“First: Winning a World Fantasy award for 'Best Short Story" for The Sandman #19 and being told the beginnings of Stardust that very same night in the desert.
Next best: Our last issue (#75) being the #1 best selling comic from Diamond the month it came out.” - Charles Vess
“Easy. Working out the layouts for issue fifty, Ramadan, from quite simply the best original script I'd ever been given.” - P. Craig Russell
"Seeing the incredible ink job from Malcolm Jones III. It was so beautiful, I was completely blown away. I spent most of my early career as a fill-in artist and a lot of my early work just isn't very good, in part because the also-ran pencilers like me often got bad ink jobs. So getting a top talent inker over my pencils was just thrilling. Of course a lot of people didn't want to credit me as having any ability and said the inker must have had to redraw it all or something. I kept copies of my pencils and would show them to people. It was great having such a good ink job, and it helped me think of my art in new ways, to think of new places to push it. It was gratifying." -Collen Doran
“Now, all artwork is simply emailed, but back then, we had Fed Ex. I remember getting the penciled pages from Jill Thompson was exciting, because I never knew what was coming. I never saw the scripts, and half of the time the pages weren’t even lettered yet. So I usually talked with Jill over the phone to make sure I knew what was going on.” - Vince Locke
“I got to work with Neil Gaiman, short but very sweet.....oh, and the reason why I did get the chance, Glynn Dillon had tripped over Phillip Bond's cat and damaged his hand (or so the rumor goes).” - Dean Ormston
“Working on the Sandman Gallery pieces. I did monotypes for those and had a lot of fun interpreting the characters, Death, Sandman, Destiny. Also had a blast doing my Despair painting for the card set.” - George Pratt
“Neil would send me script pages in drips and drabs by fax from his travels on the road. I picked up one set in a tuxedo on my way to my sister's wedding. A couple of pages' worth of script somehow got trapped in the word processor Neil was using, so instead he described to me over the phone roughly what the pages should look like and I never did see the text for that spread until the book came out. Exciting times…” - Gary Amaro