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mask131 · a day ago
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Sandman bonus notes: Interviews (7)
And I think these are the last informations I can gather from the Neil Gaiman interviews first seen in “The Sandman Companion”. 
THE WAKE
# The wordplay with “the wake” came to Neil Gaiman’s mind back when he was writing “Season of Mists”
# The poem at the beginning of the volume is “The Bridge of Fire” by James Elroy Flecker, that Neil Gaiman chose because it exactly described what happened in The Wake. He thinks that it is quite sad that most of Flecker’s work is forgotten today, and as a result he used some of his poems several times in The Sandman (the gir sailor, Jim, misquotes one, and the “Ramadan” issue was inspired by another piece of Flecker). 
# Neil Gaimans highlights the wonderful work Michael Zulli did with the flowers during the funeral ceremony: Destiny is surrounded by hydrangea and foxglove flowers, Desire has red roses, while Despair is in the middle of the same roses but wilted and dead. As for Delirium she has a weird assortment of yellow daisies, plastic flamangos, butterfly-shaped lawn ornaments, and one octopus. 
# You can see Darkseid sitting next to Joshua Norton - because they are two emperors. And if you look carefully when the Alderman gives a speech under his bear form, in the audience there are Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli and Alice Cooper. 
# Originally the appearance of Clark Kent had him in full body - from his suit you could see a part of his Superman cape hanging out and he was noticing it as he spoke. It was because Neil Gaiman thought Superman would be prone to dreams where his secret identity was revealed by accident. But the people responsible for Superman at DC refused to have this happen, deeming it a lack of respect towards the character, and so the panel was redrawn. However, if the scene had been drawn in full body, the readers would have seen that Bruce Wayne’s dream of Batman actually is not entirely human. 
# Neil Gaiman would have lot to have the readers “hear” (well, see) what Alianora was saying at the funeral - but they ran out of space and could not include it.  As for Thessaly’s way to recap her relationship with Dream, it is a nice opposition with Nada’s tale as told in the early issues: Nada’s tale was told exclusively from a male point of view, while Thessaly’s tale is entirely told from a female point of view. Neil Gaiman explains that with them, he wanted to represent this kind of relationship were you are two friends that get together and it seems improbable, and you know it will end badly but you can’t do anything about it. In Neil Gaiman’s words, after Dream conquered Thessaly he returned to his duties, but as a result he wasn’t enough anymore for Thessaly since she needed constant attention, and so this is how she decided to just stop their relationship and abandon him. 
# Neil Gaiman wanted Matthew to embody the reader in The Wake. Daniel makes a much nicer and kinder Dream, and in fact he is not “our Dream”, and he never will be the Dream the readers grew accustomed and attached to - so Daniel can’t be loved immediately, and this is what Matthew is supposed to represent, all the readers unsatisfied with how Dream got killed, who miss the old Dream or think him impossible to replace. 
# When it is mentionned how Daniel-Dream pets and touches the guardians of the palace gate, Neil Gaiman reminds the interviewer that Dream was never seen touching anyone with affection, and that he visibly disliked being touched. 
# Neil Gaiman wanted to give Death a speech too but ran out of space - and he thinks that the narration of her appearance is a much better option. 
# There is an echo to the first Sandman issue - where the first Dream decided to severely punish Burgess in a dark and grim location, here Daniel forgives Lyta (despite having more grievances against her than Dream had against Burgess) in a very white and clear location. 
# An interesting fact about the character of Gwen in the Renaissance fair Hob takes part in. She is a young Black woman and nothing bad happens to her... It is actually quite significant. There is a recurring scene in the Sandman where a young Black woman ends up burned alive - Nada, Ruby, Carla... It was all a repetition of the story of Nada. But now that Dream is dead, this cycle is broken, and the story of Nada is finally over and can stop repeating. 
# With “The Tempest”, Neil Gaiman wanted to sincerely answer the question “Where do artists find their ideas?”. Here, we see with a retrospective of Shakespeare career that a part of what he wrote is a reflection of his own life, that another part is a dream manifested, an echo of the things he wished he could have controlled in his life. A third part comes from small observations and weird things he noticed and that stayed around in his head, and the last part comes from places that are an absolute and utter mystery. 
# There is a very fascinating explanation by Neil about his beliefs about Shakespeare, his angle of attack towards the character and his feelings towards theories about his identity and how to write the man. But I’m not going to copy it here because it is much better for you to read it yourself. If I did not make it clear, I do not put everything there is in these interviews in my small posts, and these interviews are filled to the brim with interesting facts, trivias and revelations. 
# Yes, the turnip-headed gardener is indeed the 17th century version of Merv Pumpkinhead : Merv Turniphead. 
SECRET ORIGINS
Here is a quick explanation. The original “The Sandman Companion” covered the entire original series, from Preludes and Nocturnes to The Wake. But at the end it had another section, about the behind-the-scenes, the “secret origins” and about how Neil Gaiman got his ideas and characters. Here is some of the most interesting facts.
# When creating the Endless, Neil Gaiman began with “Death, Sleep and ?”. Death stayed, Sleep became Dream and the question mark became Destiny (which was originally a creation of Marv Wolfman). Reaching this point, Neil Gaiman noticed each name began with a D and so he rolled with it. 
# When creating Dream, Neil Gaiman wanted him to belong to the DC Universe, and so he thought that people would ask - if he is so important and powerful, why hasn’t he showed up earlier? Answer: because he was locked up. The idea of his imprisonment corresponding with the mysterious encaphilitis epidemy of 1916 came from the novel of Oliver Sacks “Awakenings”. And that’s how he decided to start the imprisonment of Dream (which ended in 1988, the year of the release of Sandman’s first issue). 
# When designing the look of Dream, Neil Gaiman wanted him to feel like royalty or that he belonged to a royal family. At the end of the 1980s the royalty dressed up and acted like regular, ordinary people, and so he felt that the new and true roylaty of this era were the celebrities, most notably the rock-stars: hence why Dream has a “rock-star” look. He originally made some sketches with this idea and Dream wearing a black kimono (inspired by a book he saw about Japanese design), and Mike Dringenberg (that inked the first issue) noted that Dream looked a lot like Peter Murphy from Bauhaus, which became another inspiration. They also tried out giving him the look of Bono in the video clip of “In a Lifetime”  for the early drawings. Finally, Neil Gaiman wanted to convey a “moody loneliness”, the kind taht teenagers experimented especially when they are sixteen. The same behavior Dream expresses when in Brief Lives he stands dramatically on a balcony and causes a heavy rain just because he was dumped by a girl. 
# For Dream’s personality, Neil Gaiman said he didn’t plan anything and it wrote itself on its own “on the pages”, but he noticed that he was infleunced by the Phantom Stranger of Len Wein/Jim Aparo, and by the short story “The Shaper” of Roger Zelazny. However he absolutely denies having taken any inspiration or similarity from Elric (of Michael Moorcock): Elric keeps lamenting about his past actions, something Dream does not ; the ruby of Dream is not a magical weapon like Elric’s sword but just a supernatural computer that automatized the tasks of Dream (he just had to say “Ruby, do this, ruby, do that” and it was done) ; and the chalk-white skin of Dream was originally a mistake of printing (absolutely not a reference to Elric’s albinism). It is true that Gaiman described Dream with a clear, pale skin, but his iconic skin tone was really originally an accident. 
# Originally, Death was conceived as male and part of three brothers (the “Death, Sleep and ?” mentionned above). But he felt something was wrong, and it was solved by making Death a “lady”. Fascinatingly, Death’s appearance is not of Gaiman’s creation. Originally, Gaiman wanted Death to look like the rock star Nico in 1968 (and took inspiration from Nico’s face on her album Chelsea Girl). But Mike Dringenberg (again, the inker of the first issue) had other ideas and sent Gaiman a drawing of a friend of his, a girl named Cinnamon and that became the basis for Death’s appearance. Gaiman thought the drawing cool, but what really settled Death design was how the same day he received the drawing of Cinnamon, he went to eat with Dave McKean at “My Old Dutch Pancake House” in Chelsea, and was served by an American waitress that looked exactly like the Cinnamon drawing, was dressed all in black and had a big silver ankh cross on a silver necklace. Neil Gaiman saw it as a sign, and thus Death’s appearance was born. 
# While not related to the creation of Death, Neil Gaiman tells that the Kabbalah describes the Angel of Death as so beautiful that anyone falls in love with them the moment they see them - and you love the angel so much your soul leaves your body, sucked out through your eyes. 
# To deal with how frequently his characters had to appear, Neil took the idea that each character was getting paid, and that while all other characters had a regular, usual pay, the Endless needed to be paid much, much more, and thus he needed to be careful with their appearances. (He got the idea from how Marlon Brando asked for four million dollars just to appear ten minutes in the Superman movie). It was a neat way to not over-use those characters who were really popular. 
# Neil Gaiman created Delirium as he started the series. He saw in a magazine the picture of a girl around thirteen or fourteen years old, wearing a lot of piercings and torn, crumpled clothes - yet very sexy ones. And the girl looked really mad. This was Neil Gaiman’s original basis for the character, and thus he started writing her as an aggressive character. But then he felt it did not work, so he just “listened” to the character and let her write herself for him. 
# The idea of “Delight” did not come from him, but from Brian Hibbs. After Neil Gaiman had settled on the two last Endless (Destruction and Delirium), Brian Hibbs sent him a drawing titled “Delight” and suggested that she be an Endless, and Gaiman liked the drawing so much he decided to add Delight as the past life of Delirium - because he wanted the character to be in a constant “flow”. She was something once, she is now a different thing, and in the future she will yet another different thing. When asked about why Delirium changes so much and if this “flow” is unique to her, Neil Gaiman explains that this constant change is due to her being the youngest of the Endless: she is a cosmic “post-scriptum” 
# When asked about those that inspired Delirium, Neil Gaiman mentions Tanaqui C. Weaver that had a tendency to said absurd but very right things, and that said at one point in her life she only saw colors and nothing else ; as well as Kathy Acker, though there is nothing of her personality (she was a very focused woman). Tori Amos was a late inspiration for Delirium (Delirium received very Tori-like appearances in Brief Lives), and contrary to urban legend, Neil Gaiman did not create Delirium after meeting Tori Amos - Delirium existed long before they met. Jill Thompson also was a huge influence on Delirium because she draw her more than any other artist, and thus Delirium inherited her body language and gestures. 
# Destruction was inspired by the actor Brian Blessed, a tall bearded man with a loud voice and who loved to have a good laugh. Neil Gaiman especially remembered an interview Brian gave where he said he was often using dumbbells and carried them everywhere with him during his travels - and he had a laugh upon seeing the lobby boys trying to lift his luggages filled with a dozen heavy dumbbells. This picture, of a huge man preparing a ridiculous situation just to have a laugh, stayed in Gaiman’s mind when he created Destruction.
# For Desire, they were inspired by two sources: the sexy, androgynous works of Patrick Nagel ; and Annie Lennox, especially around 1987. He needed Desire to be both male and female to express everything one could desire, plus it made a nice symmetry among the Endless with three men, three women and Desire. 
# Neil Gaiman insists that Desire only has the villainous role in The Sandman because it is a story told around Dream, who deeply dislikes Desire. If the story was centered around Desire (who dislikes even more Dream), then Dream would have appeared as incredibly stuffy, annoying and rigid, and he would have taken the role of the villain. 
# Despair original inspiration was a picture in an 1980s photography book called “Modern Primitives” (and no, it was not the once of RE/SEARCH compiled by Vale), it was a different book. In it was a picture (called “Mandy of Mars”/”Mandy of March” or something like that) that depicted a naked woman with rotten teeth, and he immediately thought upon seeing her “This is Despair”. Neil Gaiman, while not revealing much about her, is very satisfied with his description of her in Season of Mists - and while originally he did not like much her character, he grew to change his mind and appreciate her work, her world behind the mirrors, and everything she did with her ring. Jill Thompson was especially pleased with Despair because it was visually refreshing and broke out from the idealized people she had to draw for other super-hero comics - she welcomed this large, stout, bizarre appearance. Though Thompson also noted that it was very difficult to render Despair’s facial expressions (because of how twisted and exaggerated her facial traits are) and her body language (because of how round and hunched her body is). 
# When asked about the death of the First Despair, Neil Gaiman only answered this: It happened. We didn’t learn about it as much as he would have liked to tell. And he doesn’t know if he will ever come back to it in the future. 
# Most of the characters of the Dreaming come from earlier DC series. The three witches came from the 1970s comic “The Witching Hour”, Cain and Abel came from “The House of Mystery” and “The House of Secrets” comic books - and Neil Gaiman found out later the line in the Bible about Cain going to the “land of Nod” which he thought was an hilarious wordplay and coincidence. However he also took very obscure characters - for example Lucien comes from an obscure series called “Tales of Ghost Castle”. Neil Gaiman liked to imagine that the titular “ghost castle” was actually Dream’s castle as it stood empty during his disappearance. However no one among the DC staff remembered him, so Tom Peyer dug through the DC archives to find material for Neil Gaiman to work with and in the process found other obscure series Gaiman later used. For example, “Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love”, which depicted a beautiful woman with a pet crow - this picture reminded Gaiman of an obscure recurring character, a mad witch with a pet crow named Eve from “Secrets of Sinister House”, “Secrets of Haunted House” and “Plop!”. So he got the idea that the two were different sides of a same character. 
For Lucien, Neil Gaiman also kept in mind a character in the novel “Lilith” by George MacDonald, a man in a frock coat turning into a crow and later revealing to be Adam, the first man. He kept it to design Lucien in appearance - and in how he turned out to be the first raven of Dream. As for the existence of Matthew, it was Rick Veitch, the scenarist of Swamp Thing, that first contacted Neil Gaiman to know if he could have his character Matt Cable die in The Dreaming (Rick and Neil were good friends). Neil accepted because he needed a new character who would be unfamiliar with The Dreaming and have a need to be explained everything. 
# All the names in Sandman are important. The fact the characters in Brief Life are named “Ruby” or “Bernie Capax” is not an accident. Neil Gaiman suggests checking the “Dictionary of Phrase and Fable” of Brewer to find more about the meaning of the names he chose. He also mentions that for example “World’s End” is the name of a real pub in Chelsea (London), while a “free house” is originally a term which in England refers to a pub who is not affiliated with any brewery. Neil Gaiman also reveals that while the name of the owner of the tavern is never revealed, clues in the story imply that she is the Hindu goddess Kali - for example she does hand gestures reminding of Kali, and her shadow shows her with several pairs of arms. 
# Destruction was always for Neil Gaiman a dog lover, the same way Dream is a cat person. As for the name of Barnabas, while it partially comes from the saint, it is also a nod to “Barnaby”, the comic book by Crockett Johnson. 
# There is an importance to the “blood on the throne of Dream” which appears as early in Brief Lives, when Destiny has a glimpse of the future Dream. Neil Gaiman did intend this blood to be the one of Matthew, and wanted the Corinthian to kill the raven in The Kindly Ones. Hoxever Alisa Kwitney, a supervising assistant, was very saddened by Matthew’s death and convinced Neil Gaiman to spare the bird (it might be because she had just given birth to a boy named Matthew). As a result, Neil Gaiman introduced out of nowhere the Nybbas monster - but he felt that he cheated and thus he had Daniel-Dream speak for him as an author and explain he had changed the story. 
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incorrect-sandman · 2 days ago
Conversation
Desire: I have just been informed of what an "influencer" is.
Desire: I look forward to "influencing" you all.
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incorrect-sandman · 3 days ago
Conversation
Delirium: *Screams*
Desire: *Screams louder to assert dominance*
Dream: Should we.. do something?
Destiny: No, I want to see who wins.
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incorrect-sandman · 4 days ago
Conversation
Desire: Oh just so you know, it's very muggy outside
Dream:
Dream: Desire, I swear, if I step outside and all of our mugs are on the front lawn...
Desire: *Sips coffee from bowl*
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incorrect-sandman · 5 days ago
Conversation
Death: Transphobe.
Dream: Not this again...
Desire: You can't just call me a transphobe every time I insult you.
Death: Are you a transphobe?
Desire: I'm literally nonbinary.
Death: You're literally avoiding the question.
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mask131 · 6 days ago
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The faces of Desire in Overture
Pictures 1 and 2: Desire as they appeared when Dream’s realm was usurped by the two gods and the Prince of Stories called for help
Pictures 3 to 7: Desire as it appeared at the end of “Overture”, out of its cat form and before the reality is rewritten
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mask131 · 6 days ago
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The faces of Desire in Winter’s Edge
Picture 1: Desire as they appeared on the cover of issue 1
Pictures 2 and 3: Desire as she appeared to a dying satyr (I can use the term “she” here because it is one of the rare cases where Desire is referred clearly by only one non-ambiguous pronoun)
Picture 4: Desire on the cover of issue 3
Pictures 5 to 7: Desire as they appeared to a group of artists in 1862 England. 
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notes-from-wonderland · 6 days ago
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Desire
Art: David Mack @davidmackkabuki
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mask131 · 7 days ago
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The faces of Desire in Endless Nights
Pictures 1 and 2: Desire as they appeared to Kara, in what is commonly agreed to be pre-Romain Britain. 
Pictures 3 to 6: Desire as he/she appeared at the cosmic meeting of “The Heart of a Star”, where Dream brought Killalla. 
Picture 7: The statue of Desire in Destiny’s garden
Picture 8: Destiny as it appeared in “Endless Nights Special”
Picture 9: Desire (as they appeared in The Heart of a Star), from “An Endless Nights Sketchbook”. 
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mask131 · 7 days ago
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The faces of Desire in The Wake
Picture 1: Desire, receiving their summoning to the wake
Picture 2 to 5: Desire, preparing the funerals of Dream with his/her siblings
Picture 9: Desire’s appearance for the funeral ceremony of Dream
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mask131 · 7 days ago
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The faces of the other Endless siblings in The Kindly Ones
Pictures 1 and 2: Destiny
Pictures 3 to 5: Destiny multiplying due to the events surrounding Dream
Picture 4: Desire in the Threshold
Picture 5: Desire appearing to Rose Walker
Picture 6: Despair in her domain
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mask131 · 8 days ago
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The faces of Desire in Brief Lives (2)
Picture 1: Desire as they appeared to Tiffany, a few moments after she escaped Ishtar mass destruction
Picture 2: Desire as they appeared when Destruction announced his retirement. We don’t see Desire from the front - but we have a really good back shot.
Picture 3: Desire, when Despair joins them after Dream and Delirium completed their “quest”.
Picture 4: A naked Desire floating in one of the gigantic eyes of the Threshold. 
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mask131 · 8 days ago
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The faces of Desire in Brief Lives (1)
Pictures 1 and 2: Desire at the club where Delirium has lost herself
Pictures 3 to 5: Desire in its domain, while hosting Delirium
Pictures 6 and 7: Desire as they appear to Dream when he enters the Threshold
Something I never quite noticed (because Desire mostly interacts with Dream) is that Desire’s outfit changes to match the respective sibling they are meeting. For example, as you can see, for Dream Desire wears serious, black, more masculine clothing - while when Delirium is in the threshold, they have a more colorful, flowing, feminine outfit. 
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mask131 · 8 days ago
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Sandman bonus notes: Interviews (1)
In “Sandman Companion”, Neil Gaiman gave a series of interviews about each of the volumes of the Sandman. In it he reveals all sorts of fun facts, trivia and important points. This is a compilation of some of the best ones.
Since Preludes and Nocturnes, as well as The Doll’s House, will form the first season of the upcoming Sandman series, I will put HEAVY SPOILERS HERE.
PRELUDES AND NOCTURNES
# The rythm of the incantion used by Roderick Burgess was taken from “The Magic Wood” by Henry Treece. 
# Burgess is not really based on Alesteir Crowley as everyone believes. Originally Neil Gaiman wanted to use Crowley as a source of inspiraton, but found his books and his prose very unappealing. He rather got the feelings and moods surrounding Burgess from Dennis Wheatley’s “The Devil Rides Out” - though since Wheatley based his evil warlock on Crowley, technically Burgess still was indirectly inspired by him. 
# Neil Gaiman was asked about how, since Burgess died at one point Death probably met him and learned that Dream was imprisoned - then why didn’t she help him? Neil Gaiman answers to this that Death actually knew about Dream’s imprisonment as soon as he was trapped - in fact all of his siblings knew of it instantly. They simply did not rescue him because they are not a super-hero team, because saving people is not their reason for existing - they just act in their domains. As personifications, they are not causal beings - they are barely reactive beings. And even if the Endless has saved Dream, he would probably have been furious that they did so and not felt any gratitude. Why? Because he would have deemed his escape his own responsability - at the time Dream was a very rigid being. 
# Neil Gaiman explains that each issue of Preludes and Nocturnes was inspired by a different comic book genre - and that it was also an attempt at finding a balance between the horror and the super-hero comic book. In fact, he deems these first issues to be exercises more than anything, attempts at finding the true path and tone of “The Sandman”, hence why he called it “Preludes and Nocturnes” because they are preludes to the story proper. He deems that he properly found the Sandman tone starting with issue number 6. 
# In fact, issue number 6 already contains the most prevalent themes throughout the rest of the Sandman comic book - notably because it speaks of narration above all. Neil Gaiman especially highlights what is said about the waitress: she writes happy ending stories because she knows where to stop ; because she understood that when a story goes on for too long, it always ends up in death. While it seemed he had planned everything, Neil Gaiman hadn’t yet - he was waiting for the issue 8, because at the time it was usually at the eighth issue (one full year of publication) that you knew if the comic was discontinued or not. Neil Gaiman only had a full plan for The Sandman and a finished ending by issue 10. But again, he hadn’t planned everything - at the time he wanted The Sandman to only be forty issues, and it ended up being 75 issues (76 if you include Sandman Special). 
# In issue 7 there was a mistake in the printing: the flashback where Dream was seen creating the Ruby was supposed to show him entirely white, without any trace of black. White hair, white skin, white clothes: it was to show the cyclic nature of Dream, and to reveal that all new incarnations of Dream began with this white appearance. However Dream got printed in his usual black and white colors, so this bit of information was lost. 
THE DOLL’S HOUSE
# The most popular issue of Preludes and Nocturnes was issue 4, where Dream went to Hell, and so Neil Gaiman thought of giving the audience what they asked by going with “Season of Mists” right afterward - however he realized that doing so would turn Sandman into the next X-Men, and he rather wanted to do “good literature” and to give to his audience the habit of a large choice of subjects, tones and genres - thus the creation of The Doll’s House which does not focus on Dream but on Rose Walker. 
# Neil Gaiman included in the recap of the previous events (the recap of Preludes and Nocturnes) informations about things and events that did not actually appear in Preludes and Nocturnes - indeed, he thought that if someone was making the effort to read the recap, they needed to have a form of reward with this bonus information. 
# For “Tales in the Sand”, none of the stories mentionned are real - it is all a pastiche, an imitation of the African myths and folkloric tales - most notably the legends of Anansi. As for Nada’s story, Neil Gaiman wanted the reader to feel that it was a degraded story, not the absolute truth but a tale that got changed and twisted through times and retellings, until it becomes an approximation of the truth - hence why sudden fables explaining why the weaver bird is brown. 
# When Desire had sex with Unity, it did not broke the rule preventing relationships between humans and Endless. As Neil Gaiman explains, the rule is “It is forbidden to a mortal being to be in love with one of the Endless”. Here, an Endless raped in her sleep a mortal being, so this has no impact or tie to the rule. As for why the rule was invented - Neil Gaiman explains that it was mostly to create a conflict between Dream and Desire, while also to highlight the theme of this issue of “tales of men” VS “tales of women”. 
# The name of Desire’s domain, “The Threshold” comes from a story Clive Barker never wrote. This story was about the “Threshold”, a realm of pain - it was of course a joke about “thresh” and “hold”. As for the aspect of the Threshold, Gaiman decided that Desire would live in its own body because “desire lives under the skin”. 
# Dream does not need all the beings inhabiting the Dreaming to keep the dimension well and in order, in fact he could rule the place all by himself and with no one else. He only creates those Dream beings mostly because he loves company. Neil Gaiman always considered in his head that, for millenia, Dream lived utterly alone in the Dreaming, and decided he rather preferred to have other beings around him (though he would never admit it). When asked about if Dream ever tried to create himself the perfect partner, Neil Gaiman answers that he probably tried at one point - but either he got bored of her, or she ended up leaving him. But it is still entirely possible to have a relationship with a dream creation of his: the rule only forbids mortals from loving the Endless. 
# Neil Gaiman also mentions that Dream did not create all of the inhabitants of the Dreaming. Some actually fled other places or worlds and ended up here, while others entering the Dreaming by accident and stayed there. And, given the nature of the place, some inhabitants probably spontaneously appeared without Dream’s involvment. 
# The Fiddler’s Green took the appearance of G. K. Chesterton as a human, because Neil Gaiman liked the idea of a fleeing dream taking the appearance of someone it likes, rather than created a fully original appearance. 
# The language spoken in the Dreaming is the one everyone speaks in their head. 
# According to Neil Gaiman, the only time Dream is heard laughing throughout the series is when he confronts Hector Hall. Neil Gaiman also got complaints about him “killing” Hector Hall - though the character actually died much earlier, in an issue of “Infinity, Inc.”. Neil Gaiman just put his ghost to rest. 
# When creating the Corinthian, Neil Gaiman wanted someone embodying the romanticism of serial killers. Until now, serial killing hadn’t yet been presented as something cool or hip, but he knew it was about to come - for example he had noticed fanzines about serial killers, even including interviews in prison. Neil Gaiman thought that this was not hip, and it was not cool, and so he got the idea of the Corinthian’s first appearance. The Corinthian’s name comes from a 17th century slang for an immoral profligate, the kind to frequent whorehouses. Even though the Corinthian of the Sandman has no sexual activity - he rather eats eyeballs. And he is only homosexual in the sense that he prefers the eyes of boys. But to explain his name one can also come back to the original town of Corinth, of the columns, ot the advertisement to sell cars (Corinthian leather) - all of this makes the Corinthian cool and charismatic, all that Dream is not. And, as Neil Gaiman notes, Dream ends up destroying the Corinthian because he is mediocre, he is not as big, bad and evil as he should have been - he completely misunderstood why he was created. 
# The convention of serial killers is an idea that came to Neil Gaiman during the Fantasy World Convention of London, October 1988, upon realizing that a convention was mostly a reunion of very different people gathering together for a week-end to feel special, a group of persons who only have in common one same interest and obsession - be it Barbie dolls or comic books. And so he thought “Why shouldn’t serial killers have their own convention?”. 
# “Funland” was originally going to be called “Disneyland”, but it was decided to change it right before printing - and thus the mouse ears were turned into wolf ears. 
# To prepare this issue, Neil Gaiman documented himself on serial killers throughout 1988 and 1989 (which, he notes, was much less information than what people have nowadays) and he came to understand the pulsions, fantasies and justifications of the killers. In fact, this is how he noted that most serial killers have very rich and complex fantasies, and that it was how Dream could punish them : by removing their illusions, so that they could see themselves as nothing more than people killing their own kind. 
# The dream of Hal about Judy Garland searching for her face was inspired by an interview Neil Gaiman had with a profesional drag queen in London: the drag queen kept dreaming that their friends faces were being sliced up or fell into pieces. As for Zelda and Chantal, their characters were inspired by a couple of “spider women” Gaiman met one day - he couldn’t tell if they were sisters, lovers, or mother and daughter. He also took inspiration from a lesbian couple he knew, where one used the other like a ventriloquist dummy, whispering to her ear so that she would speak for her. 
# Heart is a recuring motif for “The Doll’s House”, from Rose giving her heart to Unity, to the heart of Desire - in fact in each issue, each story, you can find either a picture or the mention of a heart. 
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mask131 · 9 days ago
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The faces of Desire in Fables and Reflections:
Picture 1: Desire as they appeared in 1875 San Francisco, to try to win over Joshua Norton, the Emperor of the United-States
Pictures 2 and 3: Desire (”Epithumia”) as they appeared at Orpheus’ wedding, in mythical Greece
Picture 3: Desire as they appeared in the Gallery of “The Sandman Special”. 
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mask131 · 9 days ago
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The faces of the Endless in “Season of Mists”
Since the beginning of this volume is a family reunion of the Endless, I decided to not make a separate post for each of them but rather to gather them together in one post.
Destiny of the Endless appears in picture 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8.
Death features more prominently in pictures 2 (casual clothing + formal outfit for the meeting + her portrait in Destiny’s gallery), 6, 9 and 10. 
Dream is seen wearing his “portrait outfit” in pictures 3, 4, 8 and 9. 
Desire can be seen in pictures 4, 6, 7 and 8. (It is unknown if they wear their formal portrait outfit - though it seems to be the case, since Destiny doesn’t bother asking them to change as he did Death)
Despair is seen in pictures 4 and 7.
Delirium is finally in pictures 5 and 6 - with as a bonus a depiction of Delight on Delirium’s portrait in picture 4. 
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mask131 · 10 days ago
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The faces of the Sandman
Alright, given the wave of stupidity, idiocy and fake fans flooding the Internet after the release of the full cast for the Sandman television adaptation, I thought it was time for me to continue my “faces of Sandman” posts.
If you missed them - don’t worry, this is the recap post. Basically, I wanted to collect the different appearances and looks of each of the Endless throughout the comic serie(s). I started already with these posts.
The faces of Dream in Preludes and Nocturnes:
Part 1: https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642039641304973312/the-faces-of-dream-preludes-and-nocturnes-1-1
Part 2:https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642039825422270464/the-faces-of-dream-of-the-endless-preludes-and
The faces of the other Endless siblings in Preludes and Nocturnes
https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642040451690627072/the-other-endless-siblings-preludes-and-nocturnes
The faces of Dream in The Doll’s House
Part 1: https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642042610640470016/the-faces-of-dream-of-the-endless-the-dolls
Part 2: https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642044351831228416/the-faces-of-dream-of-the-endless-the-dolls
Part 3: https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642045309525147648/the-faces-of-dream-and-death-of-the-endless-the
Part 4:  https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642045527091003392/the-faces-of-dream-of-the-endless-the-dolls
The faces of Desire and Despair in The Doll’s House
https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642046126952955904/the-faces-of-desire-and-despair-of-the-endless
I also threw in some notes about the original pitch for the Sandman:
https://mask131.tumblr.com/post/642093414293340160/the-sandman-bonus-notes-the-original-pitch
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