I’ve been a Neil Gaiman fan for many years. I was the first person in the United States to own a copy of his novel, Neverwhere (I had actually bought it off of him after he had finished reading from it at a convention.) So when I say I have good news, I actually mean I have Gaimantastic news. Gaiman and DC Comics have announced that the author will be returning to The Sandman series he completed back in March 1996.
The new, currently unnamed series will be a prequel to Gaiman’s award-winning run, which started in November 1988. In this clip below, Gaiman says he’s taking the inspiration for his upcoming series based on a single panel from the collection, “Brief Lives” (originally in issue #47).
The individual panel, according to Gaiman, reads, “The Dream King is returning in triumph of a kind from a far galaxy, tired beyond reckoning, and tried beyond all endurance. His triumph is short lived. From the darkness, old voices call to him, and he awakes in a glass prison in a deep cellar.”
So in addition to Before Watchmen, we’ll be getting “Before Sandman,” only with the original author. And speaking of Watchmen‘s author, Alan Moore, the artist in the upcoming Sandman series will be J.H. Williams III, who had worked with Moore on Promethea.
Gaiman explains, “That’s where Sandman #1 begins, with the Sandman, with Morpheus, trapped by Burgess. And you never found out what what was happening in that far galaxy, and what his triumph of a kind was, and why he was tried beyond endurance.”
Although The Sandman is a complete series, Gaiman said he believed “I had failed, because I had not told this story.”
Readers are already waiting with wallets open, begging to give Gaiman their money. But we have to wait until 2013–The Sandman’s 25th anniversary.
Gaiman will be a busy guy in the next few months. According to Publisher’s Weekly, he’s also signed a five book deal. Each book is intended for younger readers–unlike the famed comic book.