January 4, 2011
By Brian Truitt
Leslie S. Klinger was first Neil Gaiman‘s friend, then his lawyer and now the iconic writer’s latest collaborator.
The author of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and The New Annotated Dracula adds historical and cultural references, creator commentary, hidden gems and other assorted notes to Gaiman’s seminal Sandman series with The Annotated Sandman Vol. 1, out today from DC/Vertigo Comics.
Edited by Klinger, the tome includes the first 20 issues of Gaiman’s 1989-96 fantasy series, with three more hardcover books to follow — one each this fall, next spring and next fall — that will collect all 75 issues.
Sandman and its epic story of Dream (aka Morpheus) and his brothers and sisters of the Endless have been seen in different forms over the years, from single issues to a series of 10 trade paperbacks to the more recent slipcase Absolute Sandman editions.
Presenting The Annotated Sandman in black and white and at a reasonable price (it retails for $49.99), though, introduces Sandman to a potentially broader audience and expands the sizable fan base, Klinger says.
“It’ll be discovered by people who have previously put it down as a comic book and wouldn’t ever pick up one of those trade paperbacks because they’re in a different section of the bookstore and wouldn’t spring for a $100 Absolute volume.”
A voracious fan of superhero comics in his younger years, Klinger hadn’t picked one up since his college days at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s until he read Sandman after meeting Gaiman for the first time.
And it was Sherlock Holmes who brought them together.