Dust Covers: The Collected Sandman Covers

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Press: Vertigo; New edition (November 25, 2014)
Publication Date:2014-11-25
ISBN:9781401250661
Author Name:Gaiman, Neil
Pages:208
Language:English

Content

An amazing collection of dark and arresting imagery, THE SANDMAN DUST COVERS: THE COLLECTED SANDMAN COVERS presents the haunting artwork of this critically acclaimed and award-winning epic. 
Through these dynamic pieces, Dave McKean reflected the mesmerizing mythology, adult nature, and imaginative storytelling that made the story of Morpheus, the King of Dreams, such a groundbreaking series.
Featuring an exclusive THE SANDMAN tale, this collection also includes insightful and revealing cover commentaries by author Neil Gaiman.

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  •     In the early 90s I was in something of a comics slump. After 20 years of reading, everything just seemed repetitive. Punch. Bam. Pow! Mistaken identities, tortured plots, casual misogyny, improbable costumes. Yadda yadda yadda.Where were the new game-changers? “The Dark Knight Returns.” “The Watchmen.” “Epic Illustrated.” “Maus.” “Batman: Arkham Asylum.” Moore’s run on “Swamp Thing.” “Moonshadow.” “Cerebus.” Comic books written with style and humor and depth, told through artwork that dared to go beyond the usual four-color superheroes with capes. Books that exploited the medium to do something that text and pictures by themselves couldn’t do. I wanted more of that.What I got was the big companies doubling down on multiple variant hologram covers, endless Wolverine and Lobo guest appearances, overhyped superstar artists and inane publicity stunts in the inexorable slide toward the death of Superman and Spider-Man’s clone saga. Dark times.Then Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” came along and proved there was a sustainable market for comics that challenged the reader to keep up, and each and every one started off with an amazing cover that dared you to read further.While “The Sandman” comic rotated through several amazing artists, Dave McKean created every cover for the entire 75-issue run, plus the special and the later collections. And he broke every rule for comic book covers at the time. Comic book covers always showcased the hero, and they used lots of dialogue and sound effects, and they illustrated a compelling scene from the story. Basically the graphic version of “you won’t believe what happened next!” “Sandman” covers were wild, haunting, surrealistic images that hinted at themes in the stories inside but almost seemed to tell tales themselves, rich in detail and texture and color.McKean used found objects, wood, mirrors, silk, photographic collages, fire and more to craft a scene of dreams and nightmares that captured the mood of the book. A robed man with the moon’s head. A face made from a shattered coffee cup. The shadowy form of a man sitting in front of flames dancing around a cathedral. A woman made of writing. Carefully placed jewelry and bones and wings and dolls and lots and lots of eyes. This was fine art that glared up at you from a comic book rack.A few years back DC released “Dust Covers,” a collection of all of McKean’s covers for “The Sandman,” including “The Sandman Special,” a few Sandman-inspired CD covers and some trading card artwork, without the logos, comic numbers or UPC symbols blocking the view. It also included a McKean-illustrated story by Gaiman called “The Last Sandman Story” in which Gaiman talks about his real-life encounters with characters from the book. Each cover is accompanied by some thoughts from Gaiman, McKean, or both, on how it came about, along with new images, doodles and photographs from McKean. You learn about where McKean found the elements of his creations, and his influences, and the ongoing battle he had with Gaiman to get a fish on the cover before he just did it anyway.“Dust Covers” was recently re-released in a gorgeous hardcover edition, along with the new companion book, “Dream State: The Collected Dreaming Covers,” which collects his covers for “The Dreaming,” “Sandman Presents” and the new series “Sandman: Overture,” as well as his art for another new story by Gaiman, “Fish Out of Water.” (Well, he wanted to draw fish..) Taken together they’re a history of the evolution of his work over a decade, and no fan of “Sandman” or art or cool stuff should be without them.When you want to show people what comics can be, you show them this.
 

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