Neil Gaiman/ Leslie Kinger
Vertigo (DC Comics)
Pub date: Jan 10, 2012
MSRP: $49.95

This is a project that is inspired. It is also one that really seems daunting when you look at it on the surface. How could you possibly go through the entire run of this great comic and page by page bring in all the details that you don’t see on the pages? Leslie Kinger has done it and done it well. And just as he did with the works of Arthur Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes in three volumes and his Bram Stoker’s Dracula Klinger brings a renewed sense of wonder to this great work. There is a forward by Gaiman which is a treat to read and explains part of the whys behind this undertaking. It involves both Klinger and Gaiman being members of the Baker Street irregulars.

Having read all of the Sandman tales numerous times I can safely call myself a huge fan of the work. And I have wondered on any number of occasions where certain things came from. Gaiman references names and places from books and real life that aren’t always clear to everyone. And while it never took me out of the story I was reading more often than not it made me curious. Keep in mind that when I first read these I was buying them issue by issue at a comic book shop, there was no internet to speak of and I certainly didn’t have something like google to help me out. Well now I don’t need google because Leslie Klinger has done all the work. Looking up the old books and reading them, searching for the real places and history being alluded to.

As much as I enjoyed reading Sandman the first time around, and each following read through this is a whole new experience. Like the world largest set of special features that run concurrent with a favorite movie. The way this adds to my pleasure in reading Sandman was not something I had expected, but I can tell you I can’t wait for the rest of the volumes to come out. It makes me feel like an insider who was on hand while Gaiman wrote the books.

The book itself is over sized, it’s 12 inches by 12 inches and an inch and a half thick. 560 pages weighing just under 6 pounds. The pages are presented in black and white and on the outside are the annotations. And the back of the book has a bibliography, which in this house will be used as a shopping list for the books I don’t already own.

If you love Sandman, pick this up now. If you haven’t read Sandman, this is a perfect way to jump in and I would suggest doing just that. This series of comics changed the industry and this insiders look at them is a very special thing indeed.

Jon Jordan

Jon Jordan