The Sandman is a comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics. Its artists include Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, and Michael Zulli, with lettering by Todd Klein and covers by Dave McKean. Beginning with issue No. 47, it was placed under the Vertigo imprint. It tells the story of Dream of the Endless, who rules over the realm of dreams. The original series ran for 75 issues from January 1989 to March 1996.
The main character of The Sandman is Dream, also known as Morpheus, who is one of the seven Endless. The Endless are anthropomorphic personifications of various metaphysical entities, such as Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium (formerly Delight) and Destruction. The Sandman was initially published as a monthly series. As the series increased in popularity, DC comics began publishing them in collections of related stories. A total of ten collections contain the full run of the series, and all have been kept in print.
The series is collected in trade paperbacks.
|#||Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|1||Preludes and Nocturnes||The Sandman #01-08||1988|
|2||The Doll's House||The Sandman #09-16||1990|
|3||Dream Country||The Sandman #17-20||1991|
|4||Season of Mists||The Sandman #21-28||1990|
|5||A Game of You||The Sandman #32-37||1993|
|6||Fables and Reflections||The Sandman #29–31, 38–40, 50; Sandman Special #1; and Vertigo Preview No. 1||1990|
|7||Brief Lives||The Sandman #41–49||1994|
|8||World's End||The Sandman #51–56||January 1st 1994|
|9||The Kindly Ones||The Sandman #57–69 and Vertigo Jam No. 1 #49-54||September 1st 1989|
|10||The Wake||The Sandman #70–75||February 1996|
The DC Comics Absolute Edition series are large 8" by 12" prints of a considerably higher quality and price than the library edition and include a leather-like cover and a slipcase. Many of the early stories have been extensively retouched and/or recolored with Gaiman's approval.
- The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 collecting The Sandman #1–20, November 2006
- The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 2 collecting The Sandman #21–39, October 2007
- The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 3 collecting The Sandman #40–56, along with Vertigo Preview No. 1 and Sandman Special No. 1, June 2008
- The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 4 collecting The Sandman #57–75, November 2008
- The Absolute Death collecting The Sandman No. 8 and No. 20, Death: The High Cost of Living, "Death Talks About Life" AIDS pamphlet, Death: The Time of Your Life, Vertigo: Winter's Edge 2, "Death and Venice" from Endless Nights, "The Wheel" from 9-11 and extras from A Death Gallery, November 2009
- The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 5 collecting The Sandman: Endless Nights plus The Dream Hunters and Sandman Midnight Theatre, November 2011
The first volume of The Absolute Sandman was published in November 2006; it collected the first 20 issues (Preludes and Nocturnes, The Doll's House, and Dream Country). The volume features a copy of the original series outline and other bonus features, such as a new introduction by the president of DC Comics, a new afterword, and a reproduction of the original comic draft and notes for "A Midsummer Night's Dream". In promotion of this reissuing, DC issued a refurbished edition of the first issue of the series.