Theguardian.com just posted a piece in which international bestselling author Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean elaborate on the reinvention of the DC character who went on to outsell Batman and Superman and reinvigorate the comics industry. Here's a teaser:
The character of Dream – AKA the Sandman, or the Lord of Dreams – had always been in my mind, like that Michelangelo analogy about a sculpture already being in the marble. In 1988, when I wrote a dream sequence for Black Orchid, my first comic for DC, it occurred to me that it might be cool if the Sandman, who had appeared in comics by other writers, was in there. I started thinking about reworking the character and talked about it over dinner with [DC president] Jenette Kahn and [editor] Karen Berger. Later, I got a call asking me to do a monthly comic. They said: make it your own. So I started thinking more mythic – let's have someone who's been around since the beginning of time, because that lets me play around with the whole of time and space. I inherited from mythology the idea that he was Morpheus, king of dreams: it's a story about stories, and why we need them, all of them revolving in some way around Morpheus: we encounter a frustrated writer with an imprisoned muse; we attend a serial killer convention and the first performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream; we even find out what cats dream about (and why we should be afraid).