The third DC FanDome panel kicked off with a panel devoted to Sandman. Featuring Neil Gaiman and hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown, Gaiman talked about the origin of the story as well as its new adaptations in audiobooks and the upcoming Netflix TV show.
Gaiman discussed how DC approached him to write a series in his late 20s and it took him a little time to figure out what it would be. That said, he approached the series in a way that would allow him to tell as many stories as possible. Variety is certainly an aspect of the series that Gaiman accomplished.
They also spoke about The Dreaming: Waking Hours, which featured G. Willow Wilson answering questions about the series. Wilson talked about reading the original series in the 90s as a goth, “I was already reading the Death outfit not knowing what it was,” Wilson said. Asked about her approach to Waking Hours, Wilson said it was through her insomnia that she discovered the in of the series with the character Ruin. Gaiman added somewhere around year-one of Sandman his nightmares stopped. “I’d wake up so happy,” Gaiman said, “put in the details about whatever the nightmare was.”
Dirk Maggs then joined the show to discuss the audiobook adaptation of Sandman. Gaiman said Maggs was adapting the Death of Superman into audiobook which was a hugely popular project in the United Kingdom. Maggs joked the process of preparing the comic for the audiobook format was easy since Gaiman is still alive. “the real joy was to actually get Neil’s original scripts,” Maggs said, “They’re kind of like the scaffolding behind the facade of the story.” It allowed Maggs to see the 20 something-year-old Neil and his approach to the story as well as getting inside his head.
Maggs talked about casting and the magic of being able to hire some of the best actors in the industry. Michael Sheen then joined the panel to discuss his role as Lucifer in the audiobook series. He shared a story about how the Sandman comics opened doors for him as far as understanding storytelling. One thing that stayed with him was the “young Bowie” look of Lucifer in the comic book series. “I loved the idea of someone who looks very angelic,” Shee said, “and it takes you by surprise.”
The panel ended with the guests talking about why Sandman has lasted so long and had such a strong reaction with fans. Wilson said, “In Sandman, the guy sitting next to you on the bus could be Lucifer or the King of Dreams.” Characters usually pushed to the side, Wilson said, were now taking center stage. Wilson added the series makes us wonder, “What point of views are we missing.” It’s the people around us that can be the true “spinner of tales” Wilson added.
To wrap up the panel, Gaiman said due to COVID-19 a giant pause button was pushed on the production for the Netflix Sandman show.