What's On Neil Gaiman's Bookshelf? The Sandman Panel at DC Fandome

Yvette Nicole Brown has been celebrating The Sandman with Neil Gaiman, G Willow Wilson, Dirk Maggs, Michael Sheen looking at the impact of the original comic book series and its origins, its adaptations and new forms of the story in comics, audio and the new TV show.

What's On Neil Gaiman's Bookshelf? The Sandman Panel at DC Fandome
Screencap from DC Fandome.

For those asking, that's The Secret of the Kelpie by Lari Don and Philip Longson, and Alec by Eddie Campbell on his bookshelf. G Willow Wilson's are harder to identify but she does have a Nintendo Switch. And what seems to be some cutlery. But its the kind of bookshelf that could have been used by Dave McKean on a cover for Sandman…

What's On Neil Gaiman's Bookshelf? The Sandman Panel at DC Fandome
Screencap from DC Fandome.

G Willow Wilson tasks about already wearing the Death outfit without knowing what it was, and dreaming up new characters for The Dreaming. I remember Dirk Maggs' Superman and Batman with fondness, as well as his Judge Dredd, Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, Neverwhere and Good Omens. Dirk talks about his "terrible comedy" which were anything but terrible and included Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, Goon Again and Night Class. Of course, Sandman would be his next and of course BBC Radio 4 are probably gnashing their teeth at turning it down twenty-five-odd years ago… if they haven't been replaced by dentures by now.

What's On Neil Gaiman's Bookshelf? The Sandman Panel at DC Fandome
Screencap from DC Fandome.

Michael Sheen talked about being introduced to comics out of drama school, V For Vendetta, Watchmen, Hellblazer and Sandman, and changed his life, and opened his eyes to mythology and philosophy, and Lucifer in Sandman "a young Bowie" stayed with him. And how, as Neil puts it, speaks as David Bowie playing Lucifer…

What's On Neil Gaiman's Bookshelf? The Sandman Panel at DC Fandome
Screencap from DC Fandome.

Which also gave Neil Gaiman and Michael Sheen the chance to geek out over the work of Dave McKean and the fight with DC not to have Morpheus on every cover. And on former DC editor Karen Berger firing Dave McKean because of time issues, so painting the next eight covers in two days and sending them over anyway.

What's On Neil Gaiman's Bookshelf? The Sandman Panel at DC Fandome
Screencap from DC Fandome.

Neil says that he lucky that there are Sandman fans everywhere and that "we get to punch above out weight with everyone coming in and fighting to do it because they love Sandman". And everyone seems to agree…

What's On Neil Gaiman's Bookshelf? The Sandman Panel at DC Fandome
Screencap from DC Fandome.

And as for the Netflix TV show, Neil tells us "due to Covid, someone pushed a giant pause button. We have taken advantage of the pause button to get the script as close to perfect as possible, which has been fun. And right now as the universal pause button is starting to come off, we are starting casting again, getting emails from production, with designs I've only seen in the comics before being rendered in 3D. Something I will say part of the joy of the audio adaptation is going this is going to be the nearest we can do to an audiobook of the first three graphic novels and we are going to start it in 1988 and it is going to end in 1991 and 1992. It's a very compressed story. What we are doing with Netflix is saying okay, it's still going to start in 1916 but the thing that happens in Sandman #1 the point that the story starts is not 1998, its now, and how does that change the story, what does it make us look at that we wouldn't have had to look at? What is it going to do to the gender of characters, the nature of the story. That has been an absolute delight, true to the story, true to the characters, but if we were doing it now what would Sandman be?"

What's On Neil Gaiman's Bookshelf? The Sandman Panel at DC Fandome
Screencap from DC Fandome.

It will take some time to discover, of course. But I think the treatment of Wanda may be notably different…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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