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Hanging Out with the Dream King

Hanging Out with the Dream King: conversations with Neil Gaiman and his collaborators by Joe McCabe is a book in the vein of the out-of-print 1991 Sandman Comics Interview "Super Special" (gosh, doesn't that hyperbole take you back to the four-colour 70s?) and a nice complement to Hy Bender's The Sandman Companion.

Bender's 1999 work contained a retrospective analysis of the Sandman run and featured an extended conversation with Gaiman. McCabe's more recent book collects interviews conducted within the last three years with Gaiman and many of his Sandman and pre/post-Sandman collaborators, including Mark Buckingham, Alice Cooper, Yoshitaka Amano, Terry Pratchett and Gene Wolfe.

The interviews are short and readable, though new ground remains largely uncovered. The exceptions perhaps are the chats with Colleen Dorran, who makes no bones about her displeasure about the ink job done to her pitch-in A Game of You pencils and Sam Kieth's forthrightness about the reasons for his early departure on the title, in contrast to the more elusive explanations given in the past. Time, it seems, has worked its tongue-loosening magic on some of the people; not that that's a bad thing.

Gaiman is one of comicdom's most influential creators and while I respect the man enormously for wanting to branch out to other media (film - as writer and director - and books) I do selfishly wish he'd return to doing more comics where he's always produced his strongest work. At the very least he and Buckingham should finish their run on Miracleman, the current apex of his career as far as I'm concerned, surpassing Sandman and the (somewhat over-rated) American Gods. There's a hint in one of the Hanging out.. interviews that even Gaiman suffers a bit from the knee-jerk "comics is the gutter form of literature" stigma... so in this light I shout out to him: Go and win that Pulitzer and Oscar if you must, then come back to what you're best at.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 21, 2005 7:32 AM.

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