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The Sandman #19 Remastered
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘The Sandman #19 Remastered’ is much more than another reprint

This issue can finally be seen as the historically groundbreaking visual artwork it was intended to be.

In an era now inundated with facsimile editions (delightful though they may be), the idea of a “remastered” book might sound tedious – how many variations of “reprint” might there be? Should we be waiting for the slow rerelease of an entire series?

 

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The Sandman #19 Remastered

DC Comics

The Sandman #19 Remastered isn’t simply that; there is much more to the story than a simple, gimmicky reproduction. The issue might better be viewed as an important document of the technological history of comic books.

In 1988, colorist Steve Oliff began revolutionizing comic book coloring. His work on Marvel’s Akira reprints, using digital separations, resulted in some of the most nuanced colors ever produced in the medium. The digital color revolution began.

The term wasn’t exactly accurate; the process was never entirely digital. When Oliff began work on Sandman #19, in 1990, the book was colored first using traditional art media; Oliff hand-painted over reproductions of Charles Vess’s pencil and inks. As revolutionary as it was, digital color separation and printing advancement had not yet become capable of exact reproduction of the subtle shift in paint tone.

The Sandman #19 Remastered

DC Comics

The Sandman #19 Remastered features a bit of a misnomer, then. The book isn’t so much a “remastering” so much as a more faithful reproduction of work done 30-odd years ago. The distinction might not seem large, but it does much to justify the issue’s republication.

At first glance, the issue doesn’t seem mind-blowing, but a comparison to the original 1991 issue shows a staggering difference in color fidelity, a rich wash of fresh detail. The book begins to appear closer to the fairytale storybook it was always meant to be. It’s a little overwhelming to discover even more hidden depths to an issue that has always resonated with readers as important and classic.

The Sandman #19 Remastered is an important document, then, not only to fans of the beloved franchise (and to this specific, beloved issue), but to the industry as a whole – this is a stepping stone from the four-color to the modern era. It highlights a revolutionary colorist not once but twice; he changed the world thirty years ago, but something all the more beautiful was buried beneath.

The Sandman #19 Remastered
‘The Sandman #19 Remastered’ is much more than another reprint
The Sandman #19 Remastered
Already a medium-defining classic, The Sandman #19 can finally be seen as the historically groundbreaking visual artwork it was intended to be.
Reader Rating0 Votes
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Offers insight to a turning point of comics technology.
Deepens an already lush, beautiful classic.
Remains one of the great single-issue stories of all time.
More important to historians than average readers.
8
Good
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