Neil Gaiman : Marchand de sable V1
#comic strips For a long time I thought Sandman was the most fascinating, mysterious and poetic comic book ever written. With Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman is one of his incredible screenwriters who propose stories intertwined with countless and cryptic references to literature, comics, music,… without ever losing their reader. However, Sandman remains a marginal series in France, little known and which deserves to be highlighted more. Luckily Urban comics has just reissued the complete album with a critical device, unpublished interviews and illustrations galleries that are worth a visit. A great opportunity to talk about it today.
In 1987, DC comics’ Vertigo label was looking for new talent and hired a young British author, a disciple of Alan Moore, to relaunch a forgotten character The Sandman. The same year as Frank Miller’s The Dark Knights Returns and Alan Moore’s Watchmen. As for Watchmen Neil Gaiman will completely deconstruct the character he is in charge of and propose a saga that plays with both the concept of the hero and the comic book codes. In a few issues, the author and the illustrators, colorists, inkers, letterers,… partners will win dozens of prizes and make the Vertigo collection the herald of the independent comics of the time: DMZ, Fables, Northlanders, Preacher, Scalped, Transmetropolitan, Y The Last Man,… There is one before and one after Sandman.
The casting of collaborators on this series is quite impressive. Young authors or already prestigious cartoonists, American or European, illustrate and give life to the different incarnations of the Sandman. Adapting his scenario, the episodes of the series – alternating between short stories and long cycles – reflect the personality of each draftsman. Also the most famous Ramadan episode by P. Craig Russel uses the codes of Persian miniatures to illustrate this tale in the manner of a thousand and one nights.
Each story offers a graphic and literary episode, unique in terms of staging, cutting and techniques used. And which could almost be read independently. This is one of the great strengths of the series, completing several cycles within a global arc around the Sandman while proposing different ways of telling each chapter. The other element that unites these numbers and plunges us into an atmosphere of dreams and nightmares is Dave McKean’s incredible covers. This artist and draftsman will create unforgettable atmospheres, which will contribute to the immediate success of the series, by mixing painting, collage, photography… I invite you to look at google image the extent of the talents of the designer of Arkham asylum.
It is difficult to summarize more than two thousand pages, another record that the series holds with the number of awards, I leave you some images extracted below and really advise you to attack the first volume of the series. Especially since the new editions at Urban offer very scholarly interviews and dossiers in addition to comics. Few anthologies are so successful.
He is one of the most award-winning authors in the United States, the Sandman series alone has more than 26 awards at the Eisner Awards. In France it will be the Screenplay Prize in 2004 at the Angoulême International Comic Book Festival.
Sandman by Neil Gaiman ed Vertigo
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