Series Spotlight – Neil Gaiman’s Sandman
Welcome back everyone, today we’ll be looking at OA from Neil Gaiman’s critically acclaimed fan-favourite series, Sandman! Sandman is one of the most important works in comic book history – it helped the comic book medium gain attention and credibility in the wider literary field, as well as continues to bring in new readers from outside comic book circles. The main 75-issue series written by Gaiman ran from 1989 to 1996; there are also several spinoff mini-series.
Enticingly for comic art fans, a plethora of high profile artists illustrated the Sandman main series and its spinoff titles. I feel that the varied art styles in Sandman, in conjunction with Gaiman’s writing, keeps the series stimulating and fresh as it progresses, along with appealing to a wide range of audiences. Sandman’s evergreen allure is readily apparent from the fact that its collected editions, especially Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes, continually appear on present day sales charts.
Side Note: I believe that collected editions (and online availability) of seminal arcs/runs play a crucial role in determining the value of said OA. By continually printing and circulating these stories, the property is maintained in the public eye, attracting new fans and rekindling interest in existing fans. This likely translates to increased, sustained demand for OA from these stories, resulting in stable or appreciating prices for the artwork. Some other prime examples are Image’s Walking Dead, DC’s Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, and Marvel’s Civil War and Infinity Gauntlet.
Ok back to Sandman! There’s a general hierarchy of Sandman interior page pencillers by price – the big guns in descending order are: Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Kelley Jones and Chris Bachalo. All Sandman covers were crafted by Dave McKean. [A guide to OA prices for a wide range of artists can be found in this thread in the CGC Forum. The A-level panel page valuations by artist/run thread provides some generally agreed upon price ranges for A-level pages from popular runs by popular artists.]
And now here’s a selection of recent Sandman OA sales, along with artwork for sale!
Top quality Sandman interior panel pages by Kieth generally sell for between $10k to $20k. Kieth pages are probably the most in-demand Sandman OA, and public availability of such pieces is rare.
Top quality Sandman interior panel pages by Dringenberg also generally sell for between $10k to $20k, and public availability of such pieces is equally rare.
Top quality Sandman interior panel pages by Jones generally sell for between $5k to $10k. In recent years, among the Sandman pencillers, Jones pages have been the most frequently available. This by no means indicates a glut, however, as prices have remained firm.
Top quality Death and Sandman interior panel pages by Bachalo generally sell for between $5k to $10k. Out of all the Sandman artistic teams, Bachalo-Buckingham may well be my favourite!
Other artists of note who have worked on Sandman include Jon J. Muth, Jill Thompson and Charles Vess. Thompson’s prices have moved up to between $3k to $5k for top quality interior panel pages.
McKean’s trademark mixed media Sandman covers are instantly recognizable and highly sought after. Given what top quality interior pages go for, I think prices for his covers are good value indeed!
Where can I buy Sandman OA?
Here are a few pieces which you can consider adding to your collection!
Finally, enjoy browsing some fine Sandman art in CAF members’ galleries.
Until next time, happy collecting!