|Creator:||Neil Gaiman (writer), various artists|
|Date(s):||1989-1996 (comics), |
2022 (live-action series)
|Medium:||comic books / graphic novels |
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|External Links:||The Sandman (Vertigo) at Wikipedia|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Sandman is a series of graphic novels by Neil Gaiman, published by DC Comics's Vertigo imprint, that ran from 1989 to 1996. Two follow-up series were later published (The Dream Hunters, 1999, and Overture, 2013-2015).
The series focuses on Dream (also often called Morpheus or other names), the titular Sandman and one of the seven "Endless", a group of beings which also includes Death, Destiny, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium/Delight.
The comic Lucifer is a spin-off from the Sandman universe. It was also adapted in a TV show of the same name from 2016-2021, although the appearances of most of the main characters in the TV show were changed from the comic book.
In 2022, Netflix released a miniseries based on The Sandman graphic novels that was developed and produced in collaboration with Gaiman. It included casting that varied race or gender from the comics, (even more) queer relationships, and actors famous from other fandoms, such as David Thewlis from the Harry Potter movies, Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who, Gwendoline Christie from Game of Thrones and Star Wars, and Charles Dance from Game of Thrones.
As a full list of Sandman characters would be its own lengthy article, this is necessarily very abbreviated, and focused on characters of import on the show (as most of the fandom activity as of 2023 is show-oriented) and/or the overall lore of the series. Please see the Wikipedia article for a much more complete list.
Other Major Supernatural Entities
- The Fates/The Kindly Ones/The Three-in-One
- Lucifer Morningstar
- Daniel Hall (eventually graduates to Endless)
Prominent Residents of the Dreaming
- Lucien (comics) / Lucienne (show)
- Matthew the Raven
- The Corinthian
- Mervyn Pumpkinhead
- Fiddler's Green
- Cain & Abel
- Gault (show)
- Nuala (comics)
- The Fashion Thing (comics)
Prominent Humans (some mortal, some not so much)
- Hob Gadling
- Johanna Constantine (18th century)
- John Constantine (comics) / Johanna Constantine, redux (show)
- Rose Walker and Jed Walker
- Lyta Hall
- Unity Kincaid
- Roderick and Alex Burgess
- John Dee (comics and show) / Doctor Destiny (comics)
- Ethel Cripps
Unlike with some other media franchises, the Sandman fandom does not have any notable distinction between fans of the comic and fans of the show, and fanworks often mix and match elements from both. However, the release of the first season of the show saw a major shift in the types of fanworks most often created.
While the comic book series was much discussed and held in very high regard by fans, there were few actual fanfiction archives - fanfic tended to be dominated by Marvel and DC-mainstream comics (as opposed to the Vertigo line, which was often seen as almost a different company). However, there were those who collected and encouraged fic in the 1990s-2000s. And while some shipping happened, fanfiction tended to more often be Gen genre pieces. Sandman fic at the time was also notable for a large number of crossovers; Forever Knight, Hellblazer, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files and Doctor Who were often crossed over with the Sandman, but almost anything was possible.
Dream and Death were fan-favorites from the beginning, and many stories involved one or both of them meeting an OC and providing advice, guidance, or making an offer of some kind. Almost every character made appearances somewhere, from the Endless themselves right down to the Fashion Thing. Delirium and Desire were almost as popular, as was the Corinthian.
With the advent of the Netflix adaptation, fanworks shifted drastically in favor of shipfic over gen, and universe crossovers became much less common, though Swamp Thing canon was still popular to sample from due to Matthew's origins there. To a lesser extent, other canon from the wider DCU also made appearances in fic. Human AU fic, as well as Fix-it fic (and to a lesser extent, Whump) for the comic issue The Wake became very common, often involving the idea of "retired Morpheus."
The show fandom's Juggernaut Ship is Dream of the Endless/Hob Gadling. Other popular ships include The Corinthian/Dream of the Endless, Johanna Constantine/Dream of the Endless, and The Corinthian/Carl, as well as OT3s Calliope/Dream of the endless/Hob Gadling and The Corinthian/Dream of the Endless/Hob Gadling. Reader-Insert and Original Character fics are also popular.
- "The Seven" by Magik (The Endless - Gen) - a set of seven stories, each of which shows one of the Endless interacting with the mortal realm. [Jul 1999]
- "Electric Dreams: Sandman Roleplaying Pub Crawl" by the Oxford University Douglas Adams Society (The Endless/Hellblazer/other) - less a story and more a set of roleplaying scenarios, but still entertaining. [Jul 1994]
- Neither Dreams, Nor Remembering series by Strixus Ookami Ryuu (The Sandman/Gundam Wing)
- "Unheard By Men" by SullenSiren (Dream/Nada, Death, Desire, Despair - G) - A man hears the tale of Dreams love for Nada as told only to and by women. [circa 2004]
- slow burn by arahir
- Hob Gadling Vs. The British Museum (Unknown Artist, c. 2022, Oil on Canvas) by TheAllKnowingOwl
- what you once wanted by starklystar
- Hob Almighty by luchia
- The Uses of Adversity by MonstorousRegiment
- damn prof your mom let you have TWO hot twinks????? by ryneisaterriblefan
- In Your Doorway by BeholdingTheGaytimes
- A Little Fear is a Good Thing by Canis_cosmos
- today i bury you in me. by thedarklings
- Strictly Business by Sarcasmismydefaultmode
- A Man Of Good Fortune by Softest Punk (Dream/Hob - E) - Regency Era, Non-traditional A/B/O
- more sky comes and more days by Chrome (Calliope/Dream/Hob - T)
- Fanfic by Mona - Mona's collected Sandman fanfic on Fonts of Wisdom
- Fanfic by QueenB - QueenB's collected Sandman fanfic on Fonts of Wisdom
Crossover fan art by Antonio depicting Lisa Simpson as Death (2019)
- "I don’t usually do fanart but I made Goldie from #Sandman #TheSandman": A doll of Goldie the gargoyle by oniricavulpes
Archives and Communities
- Fonts of Wisdom's Stories from the Shadows section - 190 authors and 267 stories featuring a wide range of characters from The Sandman archived between 1997-2004. Also Speculum Mundi, the fanart gallery, contains DC/Vertigo art.
- The Wake - a small archive of stories, some of which were intended for publication in anthology "The Sandman: Book of Dreams"
- Comicfic.net - incorporates the Itty Bitty Miscellaneous archive; while queenB was archivist, she added a significant amount of Vertigo fic. (2000-2008)
- The Sandman (Comics) works and bookmarks at Archive of our Own
- The Sandman (TV 2022) at Archive of our Own
- Sandman stories and crossovers at Fanfiction.net
- Sandman/Buffy crossovers at Twisting the Hellmouth
- gaimanfanfic community on LiveJournal
- The Dreaming Discord Server
Links and Resources
- Neil's Work | Comics (Neil Gaiman's Official Website)
- Sandman fanpage at Steve's Reads, Archived version
- The Sandman (Vertigo) at Wikipedia
- The Dreamling: A Morpheus/Hob Server (defunct) - a Dream of the Endless/Hob Gadling Discord server in 2023