It's been a while, but today's the day — the world of Neil Gaiman's epic Sandman series of graphic novels is back on the stands, full of new stories about The Dreaming, and all of the characters that can be found therein.
The entire enterprise kicks off today with The Sandman Universe #1, a one-shot that re-introduces the world and its various characters before they will split off into four separate (but connected) titles. Gaiman is overseeing the entire enterprise, though the four ongoing titles will be written by other artists — Si Spurrier, Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters, and Kat Howard. All four writers have collaborated on this initial issue, with artwork by Bilquis Evely.
The four titles are as follows:
The Dreaming by Si Spurrier and Bilquis Everly will follow Lucien, Merv, and the other denizens of The Dreaming as they attempt to locate Daniel, the new Dream of the Endless.
House of Whispers by Nalo Hopkinson and Dominike Stanton, which features a new "sister house" to the House of Mystery and the House of Secrets. The goddess Erzulie will be a main character.
The Books of Magic by Kat Howard and Tom Fowler will pick up the adventures of Tim Hunter, a character from Gaiman's earlier graphic novel of the same name.
Lucifer by Dan Watters and Max and Sebastian Fiumara will continue the adventures of Sandman (and television) mainstay Lucifer Morningstar, with him appearing elderly and perhaps having a touch of amnesia. The ever-loyal Mazikeen has been confirmed to be by his side.
All of these titles will receive variant covers, which SYFY WIRE got an exclusive look at last month. Take a look at Gaiman and the other creators introducing the series in the video introduction below:
Though Gaiman (who wrote all of the original series himself) isn't going to be directly writing any of these titles, he was always on call if they ever needed his guidance. If you've never read the series before, now is the perfect time to start— it can be daunting at first, so here's a handy guide that can help you jump in on the action as soon as possible.
Something else to keep in mind is that these new series don't strike all of the post-Sandman supplementary comics from canon. There have been plenty of Sandman-adjacent comics over the years, including Lucifer, The Dreaming, Bast, and Thesseliad. Gaiman was quick to point out on twitter today that none of these stories are rendered useless. A fan asked him if a possible in-joke in the new book was a reference to the previous "The Dreaming" series no longer being canon, and Gaiman simply replied that, "It's the Dreaming. Reality is fragile there."
With these new series, here's hoping that fans will take a renewed interest in one of the greatest stories ever told. Gaiman is on something of a hot streak at the moment, with many of his properties being adapted for television — American Gods is astonishing, and the miniseries of Good Omens (based on the book he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett) will be coming next year. Could the success of these projects and a revitalized fan base finally make a Sandman television adaptation possible? Gaiman certainly has his hopes.
As, you probably have already guessed, so do we. The Dreaming waits for you right now, as The Sandman Universe #1 is on shelves both physical, metaphysical, and digital at this very moment. Don't let Nuala down — there is magic to be witnessed.