Tag Archives: neil gaiman

Preview: Charles Vess’ Book of Ballads and Sagas

CHARLES VESS’ BOOK OF BALLADS AND SAGAS

Writers: Charles Vess, with Neil Gaiman, Charles De Lint and Other
Artist: Charles Vess
Publisher: Titan Comics
Hardcover, 240pp, $29.99/£26.99, On sale: November 27, 2018

Beautifully illustrated by Charles Vess and featuring adaptations by Neil Gaiman – Vess’ collaborator on the hugely successful Stardust – and a host of famous fantasy writers, this new edition also boasts never-before-seen art and an amazing gallery of sketches!

Review: The Sandman Universe #1

With a flourish of alliterative narration from Lucien the Librarian, the return to the Dreaming commences in The Sandman Universe #1, a one-shot with a story credit to original Sandman creator Neil Gaiman that sets up four separate books set in this universe. Each creative team gets an opportunity to set up their stories in this comic. Gaiman, Si Spurrier, and Bilquis Evely use the fluid and ever changing nature of The Dreaming to visit the settings of the other Sandman Universe titles in a more urban fantasy and mythology driven version of all those intriguing fake trailers shown in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse double feature. However, The Sandman Universe #1 also has an overarching narrative and final page cliffhanger and isn’t just a sampler platter.

There is Spurrier and  Evely’s The Dreaming that focuses on supporting characters of The Sandman and their hunt for Daniel, the Dream of the Endless as his realm cracks and shatters. It also acts as the framing story of Sandman Universe with Matthew the Raven traveling between physical, spiritual, and dream dimensions in his quest to find Daniel. There is also Kat Howard and Tom Fowler’s reimagining of Books of Magic featuring the boy wizard Tim Hunter and his mysterious teacher Rose, Nalo Hopkinson and Domo Stanton’s House of Whispers that introduces the New Orleans Voodoo religion to The Dreaming and has a young African-American lesbian couple as protagonists, and finally, Dan Watters, Max Fiumara, and Sebastian Fiumara‘s tortuous and twisting take on Lucifer, who must suffer to find his son and not be a absentee father like Yahweh. The framing story and three interludes have a strong narrative continuity thanks to the consistent, yet versatile colors of Mat Lopes and Simon Bowland’s Eisner-worthy letters as he takes over for the legendary Todd Klein.

Spurrier and Evely’s story that is set in The Dreaming has big ideas, humor, tragedy, and even horror as they reintroduce familiar denizens like Lucien the Librarian and Cain and Abel and introduce a new character in Dora, a female monster who can jump between dreams. Her agility is evident when Evely draws her multiple times in one panel, and Spurrier makes her a fast talker. She also has a dark side and isn’t a fan of the realm of the Dreaming because Morpheus lied to her a long time ago. The heavily inked flashback is some of Evely’s best work, gave me chills, and is the only time any members of the Endless speak in Sandman Universe. Like telling the story of a dream to a friend after the night you’ve had it, The Dreaming is all about setting chaos to order, but this seems like a tall order even though the epic quest format is pretty conventional.

After being unable to jump into the waking world via the food-laden dream of a woman with esophageal cancer, Matthew enters it via the dreams of Tim Hunter. While Bilquis Evely’s work is well-rendered and exquisite like a novel that is a masterpiece of both craft and plot, Tom Fowler’s work is messier, yet still highly detailed. Warts and all, t’s perfect for the story of an adolescent wizard, who suffers the second worst nightmare of any teen on the first day of high school. Kat Howard’s plot for this short glimpse into Hunter’s world is more Agatha Christie than JK Rowling, and it looks like Hunter will have to fend for himself for the most part even though she does give him a friend in Ellie.

Following Books of Magic, Matthew jumps into New Orleans and into a queer love story between Latoya and Maggie. However, Nalo Hopkinson and Domo Stanton immediately throw them into world of conflict between gods and goddesses, boundaries between worlds, and magical items. The Louisiana Voodoo goddess Erzulie is introduced in this story and is quite the mystery. Hopkinson and Stanton craft a true urban fantasy story as the life of a family and two young lovers intersects with forces beyond their control. There’s a lushness and beauty to Stanton’s art, and he and colorist Mat Lopes create a wonderful effect that turns the bayou into a scrying mirror.

The last story that Matthew wanders into before reaching the “end” of his quest for Daniel is Lucifer’s, and it’s told in horror tinged, nine panel grid severity by Dan Watters, Max Fiumara, and Sebastian Fiumara. The Fiumaras strip away the David Bowie Lucifer that left his kingdom to open a club in L.A. and play piano and strip him down to something more malevolent with images that evoke more contempt than sympathy for the devils like starving ravens. Lucifer is on a journey again, but it’s not a fun field trip and more of a bloody vision quest. Along the way, Watters, Fiumara, and Fiumara riff off Lucifer’s first appearance in The Sandman where Morpheus defeats him in battle using the embodiment of hope. But hope might not win this time…

With carefully crafted artwork, writing that is both intelligent and down to Earth, and stories that have a distinct feel yet are connected through the wonderful device that is the Dreaming, The Sandman Universe #1 is a fantastic return of comics’ greatest creations as its creator, Neil Gaiman, hands off the torch to other skilled creators just like Morpheus did to Daniel over two decades in the first volume of Sandman. It’s a wonderful blurring of lines between reality and fiction.

Story: Neil Gaiman, Si Spurrier, Kat Howard, Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters
Art: Bilquis Evely, Tom Fowler, Domo Stanton, Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara
Colors: Mat Lopes Letters: Simon Bowland 

Story: 8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Vertigo provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Neil Gaiman’s The Problem of Susan and Other Stories Gets a Comic Adaptation

As part of Dark Horse’s ever-expanding Neil Gaiman Library, we are thrilled to announce comic adaptations of the beloved Gaiman short stories “The Problem of Susan,” “October in the Chair,” “Locks,” and “The Day the Saucers Came” in an essential anthology. From Hugo, Eisner, Newbery, Harvey, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula award–winning author Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton, and Paul Chadwick comes The Problem of Susan and Other Stories.

In the short story “The Problem of Susan,” Neil Gaiman explores the remarkable power of children’s literature through the eyes of an aged college professor with unique insight into Susan’s fantastic past. The Problem of Susan and Other Stories shines new light on the wondrous and imaginative tales we tell and how they shape our experiences for generations to come.

The Problem of Susan and Other Stories HC goes on sale January 23, 2019

Review: The Sandman Universe #1

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the restart of the Sandman universe!

The Sandman Universe #1 is by Neil Gaiman, Simon Spurrier, Kat Howard, Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters, Bilquis Evely, Tom Fowler, Dominike Stanton, Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara, Mat Lopes, and Simon Bowland.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

DC Releases a First Look at The Sandman Universe #1

We are just a few weeks away from the relaunch of DC Vertigo, and today marks the first look at story pages from The Sandman Universe #1, available on 8/8/18! 

Join us as we return to the Dreaming, a world filled with dreams and nightmares, with wonderful characters living together in this fantastical shared universe. From the mind of New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman, welcome to the sequel to the iconic series The Sandman, with new writers and artists, a new house and so much more.

The Sandman Universe #1 includes story by Neil Gaiman, written by Si Spurrier, Nalo Hopkinson, Dan Watters, and Kat Howard, with art by Bilquis Evely, Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Max Fiumara, Seba Fiumara, and Tom Fowler, and colors by Mat Lopes, lettering by Simon Bowland and cover by Jae Lee. Spiraling out of this exciting, oversized issue will be four new series beginning in September with The Dreaming and House of Whispers, followed by Lucifer and Books of Magic in October.

Music Icon Sting Announces Participation in the Constantine 30th Anniversary

In a special video, worldwide music icon Sting revealed he will pen the foreword to the John Constantine: Hellblazer: 30th Anniversary Celebration commemorative collection. Sting’s foreword will take on the perspective of the Golden Boy, Constantine’s alternate-universe twin, touching on his relationship with the occult detective over the years.

While wearing the iconic trenchcoat, Sting sees the resemblance between himself and the iconic comic character.

Starting with his first appearance, a debut penned by legendary writer Alan Moore, Constantine has served as an enduring and controversial pop culture character—an exorcist and demonologist, master of the dark arts, and the lead of DC Vertigo’s longest-running and most successful title.

The commemorative collection will explore the complete history of the series with four one-page essays written by Hellblazer author Rich Handley. It will also include a comprehensive timeline of Constantine’s life and three one-page stories featured in John Constantine: Hellblazer issues #1, 2 and 4. Memorable stories from Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Brian Azzarello, Paul Jenkins, Jamie Delano and others reflect the best of the long-lasting series, including Hellblazer issues #11, 27, 41, 63, 120, 146, 229 and 240 and Saga of the Swamp Thing #37, where the character was officially introduced.

John Constantine: Hellblazer: 30th Anniversary Celebration commemorative collection will be available October 30.

The Sandman is Getting 30th Anniversary Editions Courtesy of Vertigo

Vertigo is celebrating of The Sandman‘s 30th anniversary with brand-new collected editions of Neil Gaiman’s seminal story. Following the announcement of a new Gaiman-curated imprint called the Sandman Universe, launching this August, Gaiman’s original series will be rereleased monthly beginning in October.

The anniversary editions will include special introductions from legendary creators including best-selling authors Patrick Rothfuss, Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer/producer Paul Dini, author/comedian/actor Patton Oswalt and more. Each collection will also feature new, original covers from the original Sandman cover artist, Dave McKean.

Gaiman’s new imprint will launch on August 8, 2018 with The Sandman Universe #1, followed by four new titles: The Dreaming, House of Whispers, Lucifer, and Books of Magic. For those who want to discover the origins of these new stories, they can start at the beginning with these anniversary editions.

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Noctures 30th Anniversary Edition collects issues #1-8, written by Gaiman with art by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III. It will also feature an introduction from Patrick Rothfuss, best-selling author of The Kingkiller Chronicles, and will be available in comics shops on October 24, and everywhere books are sold on October 30.

Review: Eternals

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the Eternals!

Eternals collects issues #1-7 by Neil Gaiman, John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki, Tom Palmer, Tim Townsend, Jesse Delperdang, Klaus Janson, Matt Hollingsworth, Paul Mounts, Dean White, Todd Klein, Rick Berry, Sean Ryan, and Nick Lowe.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores April 24. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

 

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow. What’s everyone excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Lithub – On Writing the Comics – and Queer Characters – We Need – This sounds like an awesome conversation between Neil Gaiman and N.K. Jemisin.

CBR – Cloak & Dagger Showrunner Wants Crossover With Runaways – This would be really cool.

The Hollywood Reporter – DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson Taking Leave of Absence – Best to her and good luck to those involved.

 

Reviews

Newsarama – Iron Fist #78

Talking Comics – Nightwing #41

Preview: American Gods: My Ainsel #1

American Gods: My Ainsel #1

Story and Words: Neil Gaiman
Script and Layouts: P. Craig Russell
Art: Scott Hampton
Colorist: Scott Hampton and Jennifer Anderson
Cover Artist: Glenn Fabry
Variant Cover Artist: David Mack

The comic book adaptation of American Gods, the Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula Award-winning novel and hit Starz television series by Neil Gaiman, returns with American Gods: My Ainsel #1.

The bizarre road trip across America continues as our heroes gather reinforcements for the imminent god war!

Shadow and Wednesday leave the House on the Rock and continue their journey across the country where they set up aliases, meet new gods, and prepare for war.

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