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Annotated Sandman

Old 01-06-12, 07:58 PM
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Annotated Sandman

http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Sand...5897706&sr=8-1

Comes out in three volumes, which will cover the original run of the comic (75 issues). From the same guy who did The Annotated Sherlock Holmes. There was a write-up in USA Today about it:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/...ook/52374846/1

The author of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and The New Annotated Dracula adds historical and cultural references, creator commentary, hidden gems and other assorted notes to Gaiman's seminal Sandman series with The Annotated Sandman Vol. 1, out today from DC/Vertigo Comics.
Edited by Klinger, the tome includes the first 20 issues of Gaiman's 1989-96 fantasy series, with three more hardcover books to follow one each this fall, next spring and next fall that will collect all 75 issues.

Sandman and its epic story of Dream (aka Morpheus) and his brothers and sisters of the Endless have been seen in different forms over the years, from single issues to a series of 10 trade paperbacks to the more recent slipcase Absolute Sandman editions.

Presenting The Annotated Sandman in black and white and at a reasonable price (it retails for $49.99), though, introduces Sandman to a potentially broader audience and expands the sizable fan base, Klinger says.

"It'll be discovered by people who have previously put it down as a comic book and wouldn't ever pick up one of those trade paperbacks because they're in a different section of the bookstore and wouldn't spring for a $100 Absolute volume."

A voracious fan of superhero comics in his younger years, Klinger hadn't picked one up since his college days at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s until he read Sandman after meeting Gaiman for the first time.

And it was Sherlock Holmes who brought them together.

Eight years ago, Gaiman was invited to the annual dinner of the Baker Street Irregulars, and the head of the organization of Holmes enthusiasts, Michael Whelan, sat him next to Klinger, a noted Sherlockian himself, because Whelan thought they'd hit it off.

After the two cemented their friendship that night, Gaiman helped Klinger with drafts of his The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and Gaiman wrote the introduction for Klinger's The New Annotated Dracula.

They had discussed books that Klinger should annotate next, such as Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, and he joked to Gaiman that Sandman would be a great option.

"He said, 'Wait till I'm dead,' " Klinger says. "Then one day, he called me out of the blue and said, 'Look, I'm starting to forget why I wrote some of the things I wrote. We better do this. I'm calling DC.' And he did and he made the deal.
"It was my idea but he's the one who took the ball and ran with it."

The project kicked into high gear in the summer of 2010, when Klinger made arrangements to spend time with Gaiman at his home. The first day he was there, Gaiman was still coming back from Australia, and his assistant let Klinger loose alone in his attic.

Luckily for Klinger, Gaiman is a pack rat and he had tons of illustrative materials and notes that complemented all the scripts that Gaiman had sent him via computer files.

The scribe had done a lot of his own historical and cultural research for his Sandman stories, and Klinger says he "reverse-engineered" a lot of factoids, trying to discover where Gaiman had dug things up without having to ask him about it.

Klinger sprinkles all these throughout The Annotated Sandman, making note of obscure people from history, ancient objects, real-life pieces of architecture, and much more right beside the actual pages.

"I've always described my annotation style in general for all my books as trying to be like the director's track that bonus track on the DVD where you can listen to somebody talking in your left ear while with your right ear you're listening to the movie," Klinger says.

Gaiman's scripts were some of the most amazing resources for Klinger, though. The creator had learned how to write comics from Alan Moore (Watchmen), Klinger says, and like Moore, his scripts were lengthy documents that noted even the most minor of character details and movements.
For a 22-page issue, Gaiman's script might be a total of 60 typed pages, according to Klinger.

"I thought a typical comic-book writer wrote those word balloons and that was it, and the artist did everything else," he says. "Maybe that's the way it was once upon a time, but Alan and certainly Neil write detailed descriptions of each panel to the point that they're like the storyboards for movies.

"He used the scripts as a way to talk to the artist and he would tell them stories or what he was doing while he was writing the script. It was very conversational as well as having all this dialogue in it."

One of the aspects Klinger was struck by while rereading Sandman during the annotation process was the tight unity of all the issues. For example, Klinger points out an image of a city in a bottle being housed in Dream's chest in one early tale that foreshadows another story that doesn't appear till more than 30 issues later.

He has talked with Gaiman about how much of the full arc he had in his head when he started, and Gaiman told him essentially all of it.
"Some of the things he says he really didn't know quite what they meant yet but he knew they were important so he put them into the story," Klinger says. "Other things he knew exactly that he was going to write a story about it and come back to it later.

"They are a single body of truly great literature not just a bunch of comics that he kept inventing as he went along."

While scholarly types long ago discovered Sandman, it hasn't crossed over totally into the category of great literature quite yet, Klinger says. "The academics think so, but I don't think the average literate reader has discovered that comic books can be like that."

As he has immersed himself in the Sandman universe, Klinger is frequently surprised about who turns out to be true fans. While at first he was expecting more 16-year-old boys, he sees more adults and people whom he doesn't see as regular comic-book folk.

Klinger's favorite story on that front dates to a book fair he attended a couple of years ago, when another writer friend introduced him to a professor of physics at UCLA and fellow Sherlock fan.

"The guy says, 'So what are you doing next?' I said, 'Sandman.' I thought he was going to have sex with me right there. He was so excited!" Klinger recalls.
"Some of the fans are just foaming at the mouth with excitement about this. I'm delighted."
List price is $49.99 but right now it's on Amazon for less than $30. I've pre-ordered my copy and eagerly await the other two volumes.
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Old 01-07-12, 08:52 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

Hmmm, although I just ordered the Absolute editions, this piques my interest as well. This series may be easier to read for someone who isn't versed in the mythology and backstory of the series.
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Old 01-08-12, 11:10 AM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

Screw the predigested annotation, I want to see the scripts.
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Old 01-09-12, 09:48 AM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

Man I wish I could afford this!
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Old 01-10-12, 08:56 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

Got my copy today. I was surprised to find the paper is very thin and feels like newspaper. Aside from that, it seems well done. In the introduction Gaiman mentions that giving the scripts over to Klinger for research was a very uncomfortable proposition, as those scripts were often contained personal messages to the artists. So I doubt we'll see the scripts published by themselves anytime soon.
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Old 01-11-12, 11:31 AM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

A friend of mine said that he wished he would've gotten these instead of the Absolutes, which makes no sense to me.

My analogy would be that the Absolute Sandmans are really good looking blu-rays with some extras and the Annotated Sandmans are not so good looking dvds with really in-depth commentaries (though without Gaiman). If you could only get one, why would anyone pick the Annotated over the Absolutes?
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Old 01-11-12, 11:48 AM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

^What you just wrote convinced me to buy the Annotated Sandman collections. Much better deal. ANd if this truly does have a commentary feel I am gonna be in heaven . Im actually gonna order this in the next minute. sweet.
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Old 01-11-12, 06:17 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

Likewise, I think I shall be ordering these as well. Have the Absolutes, but why not get this if you can as well? It might not look as nice, but the extras should more than make up for it.
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Old 01-11-12, 06:44 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

If I could only choose between these and the Absolutes, I'd get the Absolutes. The story is paramount. The notes are cool and fun but only if you've read and digested the main text. I also have Klinger's annotated Sherlock novels and they're cool, but they're not my main reading copy of those texts.
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Old 02-04-12, 07:53 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

I've never read Sandman before, but I'm a Neil Gaiman fan and want to add Sandman to my collection. The absolutes seem nice, but my wallet says not so nice. I have some Marvel essentials volumes, so these being in black and white isn't an issue. I'm concerned about what I've read about the paper quality though. It's been compared to newspaper and the ink on one of our local newspapers always without fail comes off on my hands. Will I have that problem if I buy Annotated Sandman? Is it fair to say the paper is like newspaper or is it similar to what they use in the Marvel essentials volumes?
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Old 02-04-12, 08:07 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

Originally Posted by DoctorWhosScarf View Post
I've never read Sandman before, but I'm a Neil Gaiman fan and want to add Sandman to my collection. The absolutes seem nice, but my wallet says not so nice. I have some Marvel essentials volumes, so these being in black and white isn't an issue. I'm concerned about what I've read about the paper quality though. It's been compared to newspaper and the ink on one of our local newspapers always without fail comes off on my hands. Will I have that problem if I buy Annotated Sandman? Is it fair to say the paper is like newspaper or is it similar to what they use in the Marvel essentials volumes?
if it is your first read of sandman DO NOT get the Annoated version. I personally would purchase the individual volumes that go for $10-13 bucks a pop if you dont wanna get the Absolute editions.
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Old 02-05-12, 02:23 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

If price is really in issues, you can read Sandman via most public libraries, either because they have it in their own collection or via interlibrary loan.

I flipped through the Annotated Sandman in the store and read a half dozen or so annotations at random. I didn't find any particularly insightful or revelatory, so I took a pass.
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Old 02-05-12, 05:50 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

Originally Posted by crazychris88 View Post
if it is your first read of sandman DO NOT get the Annoated version. I personally would purchase the individual volumes that go for $10-13 bucks a pop if you dont wanna get the Absolute editions.
Do the annotations contain spoilers?

While I'm here, I have another question. I own the original comics. Did Gaiman rewrite anything when the issues were collected into book format?
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Old 02-05-12, 11:33 PM
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Re: Annotated Sandman

Sandman has been so analyzed over the years that I doubt these annotations will contain anything new.
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