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Sandman’s Overture Reaches A Crescendo…

Copyright: Vertigo/DC Comics

Copyright: Vertigo/DC Comics

Even The Endless must ultimately succumb to a final denouement it seems, as Neil Gaiman and JH Williams III’s epic comic series nears its conclusive issue. The Neil Gaiman created King Of Stories and Shaper Of Dreams has been with us now for 26 years, with his first appearance in 1989’s The Sandman (Vol-2) #1.

 Known by many names, Morpheus and Dream being the most oft used, he is the personification of dreams and stories, one of the seven Endless, beings more powerful and ancient than the Gods themselves. Morpheus resides in a castle within his realm known as The Dreaming, populating his realm with many dreams and nightmares that have a certain conscience and ability to converse. Gaiman has said that he “always assumed Morpheus had once been alone, so he created the beings for want of company.”

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Sandman: Overture heralded Gaiman’s return to both comics and his created character, joining alongside artistic luminary JH Williams III (Batwoman: Elegy, Promethea) whose amazing visual style lights up every single page, with each comic panel an individual masterpiece in its own right. The series first issue was released December 2013 in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the character, with each subsequent issue sporadically released since then, with the final issue, #6 due on September 30. Serving as a prequel to the original classic series, it weaves the tale of a cosmic event that weakens Dream enough that a human mystic is able to capture him.

FotorCreated

Released alongside the mini-series were also Overture: Special Editions that included gorgeous gatefold covers, metallic inks, black and white issues and glimpses into the creative process behind the creation of the comics themselves, including original panels sans text, interviews and script notes. As previously mentioned, the end of Overture will segue back to the start of Sandman’s original adventures in Sandman Vol.1: Preludes and Nocturnes, making this series the first stop for any new reader wishing to acquaint themselves with The King Of All Night’s Dreaming.

Sandman: Overture #6 will be available to purchase on 30 September. Written by: Neil Gaiman. Cover art by: JH Williams III & Dave McKean. Interior art by: JH Williams III. 

Comic Cover Of The Week: Sandman Overture #5 Special Edition

(Copyright: Vertigo)

(Copyright: Vertigo)

New comics Wednesday rolls around once again my comic collecting cohorts, and with it comes this stunning Sandman cover by master illustrator JH Williams III. Penned as ever by best selling author Neil Gaiman of Coraline and American Gods fame. This amazing special edition of the Overture series contains the entire fifth issue in pencils alone, giving the reader a chance to see JH Williams’ amazing art before the inking and colouring process is added. Translucent lettering, an interview with Vertigo stalwart Dave McKean, and a short Q&A with Neil Gaiman round out this exclusive variant comic book.

The Sandman Overture Special Edition is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Neil Gaiman. Cover and interior art by: JH Williams III

World’s Finest Comic Book Artists: JH Williams III

JH 4

Welcome back comic-fans to our second installment of World’s finest comic book artists, this time focusing on the incredible talent of artist and writer JH Williams III. JH grew up in California and fell in love with the comic book medium for the first time at the age of eight years old, it was from this early age that he decided he wanted to become a creator of these fascinating worlds that he read on a weekly basis. Working hard to enter the arena of a comic book professional, his work was noticed by comic artist/writer Howard Chaykin who helped usher JH into the limelight.

JH 3

JH started creating comics for the first time in 1991, the majority of his work has been for DC Comics, where he has worked on classic comics such as Batman, Superman, Starman and more. He had a critically acclaimed run as artist on Alan Moore’s Promethea for its 32 issue run, where he won a Harvey award for his art on the comic in 2006. More recently JH has been known for his re-introduction of DC’s classic Batwoman character, after the character was removed from DC lore in 1964. JH rebooted Batwoman back into DC mythos in 2006 and with the help of his sublime visuals and deep storytelling skills the character has gone from strength to strength ever since, becoming one of DC’s best selling and most well loved female Superheroes.

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This massive run on Batwoman whom he has been involved with since 2006 has rewarded JH with many awards including an Eisner for best comic cover artist, best penciller and inker also a GLAAD award for most outstanding comic in 2010, plus three Eagle awards from the UK for best artist and writer in the comic book medium.

JH continues to work for DC Comics, where he is currently involved as artist in  Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series with the new Sandman: Overture.

Required reading recommendations are: Batwoman- Elegy, Batwoman- Hydrology and Promethea.

We Love Kotobukiya – #4

Damn you Kotobukiya for making such awesome statues and figures, because we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to the characters we love, we just have to buy them…and their latest reveal is something we have wanted for a very long time indeed, it has risen to the top of our most wanted list and is definitely the next addition to the Comic Crypt’s shelves.

Batwoman1

Meet Batwoman, real name Kate Kane…Batwoman is one of our favourite female heroes of all time (number 5 in Precinct1313’s favourite comic-book characters). Batwoman was created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff in 1956, it was decided at the time that Batman needed a larger supporting cast of heroes in Gotham City and so Ace the Bathound, Batmite and Kathy Kane  – Batwoman were given life in the pages of Detective Comics and Batman.

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Kate was initially added to also introduce a love interest for Bruce Wayne, but by the mid 1960’s when DC editor Julius Schwartz took over the Batman titles he decided to remove as he called it, ‘non-essential characters’ from the Batman mythos and unfortunately one of the victims of his editorial spring cleaning was Batwoman. Then after close to forty years Batwoman returned, like the proverbial phoenix when she was re-introduced into the DC universe during the weekly comic-book series: 52.

Artwork by the amazing JH Williams.

Artwork by the amazing JH Williams.

This version of Kate was vastly different to her predecessor. Strong independent and ex-military, she was also no longer a mere love interest for Batman, much was made of her introduction as a lesbian character, DC got both good and bad press about this decision, ultimately it was Kate’s strength of character and the amazing writing and art which were both handled by the awesome JH Williams that made her comeback so successful for DC. She is now their second biggest selling female Superhero after the awesome Amazon…Wonder Woman.

Kate Kane

The Kotobukiya Bishoujo statue of Batwoman is once again designed by the very talented Shunya Yamashita, standing 1/7 scale, approximately 10″ in height. The detailing is fantastic with the red and black gloss paintwork contrasting extremely well, her mask is removable so that you can see Kate’s beautiful pale features below. Kate stands with her hand outstretched and her red and black cape billowing behind her. No official release date has been given as yet, but Kotobukiya have said you can expect to see Kate adorning your local comic-book shop shelves sometime in early 2015, not sure we can wait that long!

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