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“GB: One last question: Will you ever return to ‘The Sandman’ on the page? Are there more dreams to come?

NG: I don’t know. You never say never again. You especially never say never again because time is vast. I wouldn’t want to go back and do something that would make what I did before into something less. There was a period in the early 1980s where it became fashionable and profitable for very elderly science fiction writers to return to things that they had left 15 or 20 years earlier and do sequels. I don’t remember any of those sequels making what already existed better. ‘Isaac Asimov’ doing a sequel to ‘The Foundation’ trilogy, it just made it less. So if I ever wanted to do something, it would have to make it more. That being said, there were stories I never got to because, well, there are always stories one doesn’t get to. So it’s not like there aren’t stories I can tell. But they will have to become stories I have to tell.”

And this time I haven’t inserted any references. Those are from the Hero Complex.


I have not finished reading it. It’s great, but it’s a long three part conversation, and I’m reading it at work. So it’s kinda of hard to read it all and… do my job! I’m finishing the part two, and on this part Neil Gaiman and Geoff Boucher talks about the British Invasion – both the original musical invasion and the comics one. Have at you:

GB: One of the great things about “The Sandman” and, before that, your work on “Black Orchid” was the approach of taking existing and familiar characters from the comics and adding new layers of complexity to their stories as well as more nuanced explanations of their motivations and origins. Along with Alan Moore‘s work on “Swamp Thing,” it seems to me that your character revival approach on “The Sandman” really created a template for a whole generation of comics writers.

NG: One of the things I had in common with Alan Moore and a whole generation of comics writers around us — certainly Grant Morrison — was a love and respect for what had gone before but also a healthy interest in seeing where we could go with it. It was a combination of those the two impulses. We were in a period then in mainstream American comics that things had gotten a bit hidebound. Comics read very much like a mixture of what had come before. And I think at the time you had this wonderful little transatlantic thing that happened, this mini-British Invasion. Looking back on it, the analogy of what happened to pop music in the 1960s was probably pretty accurate. Alan Moore got to be the Beatles and, along with Grant Morrison, I was Gerry and the Pacemakers.

GB: Well, don’t sell yourself short. What about the Kinks or the Stones?

NG: Right, maybe the Kinks or the Stones. But maybe I was Herman’s Hermits

GB: I’ve got it: the Animals. Then you can have a spooky Eric Burdon, “House of the Rising Sun” kind of thing going on.

NG: The Animals, yes. That would be cool. But yeah, the idea that you had Brits listening to this [American] stuff and fell in love with it and for all the right reasons, and then realized they could do something new with it, something with different cultural impulses. The British Invasion did that in music, and in a way, we did it in comics.

I’ve omitted some references… I just got tired, and I gotta work!!


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