Gaiman: “I wanted to do a 20th anniversary Sandman”

Neil Gaiman, the writer behind novels such as Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book and American Gods as well as a host of graphic novels, has said that the 20th anniversary edition of Sandman will not happen because the publisher is not willing to renegotiate the terms of his contract.

gaiman-headshotNeil Gaiman, the writer behind novels such as Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book and American Gods as well as a host of graphic novels, has said that the 20th anniversary edition of Sandman will not happen because the publisher is not willing to renegotiate the terms of his contract.

“I wanted to do a 20th-anniversary story, and it broke mostly because DC Comics would have loved me to do a 20th-anniversary story at the same terms that were agreed upon in 1987, when I was a 26-year-old unknown,” Gaiman said to Jam! Showbiz. “And my thought was, ‘You know what, guys, it really doesn’t work like that.’ I wasn’t going to do a deal at the same terms we had in 1987, and they were not willing to do any better than that.”

The comment seems to put to rest speculation on the possibility of a collector’s hardback or limited edition run. However, despite his higher profile and apparently higher fees these days, Gaiman still holds Sandman in high regard. SciFiNow spoke to the author in an exclusive interview on Halloween last year in London, where he revealed that he still regards Sandman as the unexpected success of his career. When we asked him if he was surprised at how popular his books had become, he responded with a typically caustic approach to his own notoriety. “No. But Sandman does. Sandman really does surprise me, because I look at it, and when I was writing it I figured I was writing something that would be ancient history very soon, and was a periodical, that would go into a bin and be forgotten about. And maybe ten years for now people would talk about it in a nice kind of way. The idea that 20 years after it was first published, it would be read with the same enthusiasm and sell more copies each year… putting in into context, my biggest year of reading comics as a young man was probably 1975-6. The idea that a comic written in 1956 could have been as huge in 1976 was just baffling.”

Gaiman’s latest novel, The Graveyard Book, is out now through Bloomsbury.

Photo credit: Kyle Cassidy.