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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Neil Gaiman: Sandman before Photoshop

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Neil Gaiman)

Back in the days before Photoshop, comic artist Dave McKean got very hands-on to create the covers for Neil Gaiman's Sandman.

The finished cover.
(Credit: Neil Gaiman; DC/Vertigo)

Neil Gaiman's Sandman wasn't the first comic I ever read, not by a long shot; in fact, it wasn't even the first alternative comic I read. Its presence in my life, though, was part of a growing love for comics that said something strange, and outside, and beautiful.

And Dave McKean's oneiric covers, with their gorgeous paintings framed by what resembles an apothecary's shelves, were absolutely a part of that.

On his Tumblr, Neil Gaiman posted some pictures of those artworks before they were transformed by the printing press. The constructions stand at chest height, and they're exactly that: constructions. Those little shelves were built into a picture frame, into which McKean set his paintings.

Gaiman said:

They really were that size: paintings and assemblages that Dave would take to get photographed, and send the transparency to DC Comics to use as a cover.

Want to know how tech is changing how we make and read comics? Click here for "Comics: then and now, and the tech in between".


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