By 1988, mature, sophisticated comics weren’t new, but The Sandman was still a revelation. From the quiet dread of the first issue to the poignant imagery of the last, Gaiman’s fantasy masterpiece enthralled, engaged, provoked and comforted readers. We recently asked Gaiman if there was a moment in the past 25 years when he realized what his comic meant to people. Turns out there were more than a few.
I think it started becoming very, very real that this is important to people fairly early on, around year two or three, when people started taking me aside at signings or writing me letters telling me that Sandman got them through something very huge: the death of a child, the death of a parent, the death of a close friend. And then as time went by, it got even stranger. Because now people come up to me, the spectacle-people in their forties, come up to me and tell me that they became a professor or a successful author or an artist, or, in one case, a minister, because they read Sandman. And it was there for them at the right time in their life and it guided them and took them somewhere.
Neil Gaiman’s latest tale of Morpheus, THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE, is now available as a hardcover collected edition. For much more from Neil, be sure to tune in to tonight’s special DC All Access live event, “Neil Gaiman in Conversation with Junot Diaz.”