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Sandman 19 p. 16

Artists: Charles Vess (All) ,  Neil Gaiman (Writer) ,  William  Shakespeare (Writer)

32 Comments  -   320 Views  -   7 Likes

Sandman 19 p. 16 Comic Art
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Artwork Details

Title: Sandman 19 p. 16
Artist: Charles Vess (All)
Artist: Neil Gaiman (Writer)
Artist: William  Shakespeare (Writer)
Media Type: Pen and Ink
Art Type: Interior Page
For Sale Status: NFS
Views: 320
Likes on CAF:
Comments: 32
Added to Site: 2/14/2018
Comic Art Archive: Sandman
Issue: 19   Page: 18


I don't know where to begin on this one, folks. Maybe if I just type some stuff it'll make sense when I'm finished.

Let's see, the first time I read Sandman 19, I knew I had read something magical. It was one of the four standalone stories that are now collectively known as "Dream Country." It was entitled "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and, along with writer Neil Gaiman, it featured some of the best art of Charles Vess' career. The plot was deceptively simple: A traveling road show of actors led by William Shakespeare present the titular play on Wendel's mound in the English countryside to a mystery audience.

Spoilers ahead! The play, we discover, is one of two plays commissioned by Morpheus as part of a bargain he made with Shakespeare in issue #13 of the series. (The second play, we will learn in the last issue of the regular series, is "the Tempest.") The mystery audience turns out to be none other than Titania and Auberon, king and queen of the fairy realm, and a number of their subjects, including Robin Goodfellow (AKA Puck).

What else can I say about it? It is one of the key issues of the Sandman run, and it is often cited as the best in the series. It gained further fame for being the first (and, so far, only) comic book to win a World Fantasy Award. It is, dare I say it, a masterpiece of fantasy fiction, and, for my part, one of the best single issues of any American-produced comic book, period.

When I first began collecting comic book art as a serious hobby, I naively put together a dream list of pages I hoped I would one day own. High on that list was a page from this very issue. However, as all the stories in the Dream Country collection point out, dreams have their cost.

Early on, I lucked out and managed to win a page from Issue 75 (which you can look at in this very gallery) in an auction for what seemed then like an exorbitant amount of money ($700!). It features a much older Shakespeare and Dream discussing the final play of their bargain. When I acquired it, I still dreamed of acquiring a page from issue 19 as well, but the chances seemed to dwindle with each passing year and I had all but given up on that particular dream.

Then, unexpectedly, toward the end of last year, a fellow collector contacted me. He had a page from issue 19 and circumstances required that he sell it. Would I be interested?

When he showed me a picture of his page, I saw the perfect companion to my page from issue 75. It shows Will discussing his bargain with Morpheus and learning of the death of his friend and rival, Kit Marlowe. From this conversation, Will begins to suspect that the price of dreams may be higher than at first he thought. It also shows Titania taking an interest in Shakespeare's son, Hamnet, who has tagged along with his father at the behest of his mother, Anne (a crucial element in the story).

Aside from the wonderful content, artistically, it is simply a gorgeous page. The costuming is exquisite, the details are fine and the inking superb. Arguably, it is one of the finest pages from the book (not to mention, Vess' comic book career).

However, as I suspected, the price of this dream was, indeed, very high, daunting even. During our bargaining, I somehow managed to make it slightly less daunting, but only a smidgin. So, yes, I wanted the page, but how could I possibly afford it?

At first, I thought the only way to do it would be to sacrifice either my Ditko Spider-Man or Miller Daredevil page. However, nobody I discussed the matter with thought that was a particularly good idea. So, though it would be a much longer and more difficult road to take, the only other way to do it would be to sacrifice many pages for the one.

After thinking it through, I came to certain conclusions. One of them was that I knew I would need to choose at least 20 pages or possibly more, that I would have be conservatively realistic as to their value and that I would have to pick high quality pages with both popular characters and interesting content that were drawn by top-notch artists. I also knew that I would need to control the pricing to a certain extent and that I would probably need help to be able to maximize my chances. Auctions seemed to be too risky, so I contacted Will Gabri-El, whom I had dealt with several times in the past, and explained my situation and my plan. He looked things over and said that, with the art I had chosen and with a realistic outlook, my plan looked feasible and that he thought he could help me reach my goal.

To make this long story somewhat shorter, after a very intense two-and-a-half months, with Will's help, I acquired a dream of a page. If you, reading this now, are one of the lucky people who bought one (or more) of the pages of art I offered up to the dream, I thank you kindly and hope that those pages bring you as much joy as they did me.


About the Owner

Timothy Finney
Premium Gallery Owner
Joined: August 2006
Country: JAPAN

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User Comments

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Davide G. 
Member Since 2009

Posted on 2/14/2018

Wonderful and amazingly significant page! Congrats on grabbing your grail... And on your great description - Yep, I read it all! :) 

Felix  Lu 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 2/14/2018

Great page...and a collector story many of us are personally familiar with. I bet you'll have no regrets, either. Congrats!

B. Carter 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 2/14/2018

So many scrummy morsels on this page. Congrats!

Steve Kriozere 
Member Since 2007

1 - Posted on 2/14/2018

Glad to be a part of helping you acquire your dream page. Big congrats Tim!

Sylvain R 
Member Since 2014

Posted on 2/14/2018

Timothy this is of course one of the most magnificent page from one of the most enchanting story every. Big big congrats!

Simon M. 
Member Since 2003

Posted on 2/14/2018

Amazing page.  I'm due for a re-read of the series and I look forward to seeing it again in print!

Migs D C 
Member Since 2006

Posted on 2/14/2018

Lovely page. That top right panel....congrats. 

G. C. 
Member Since 2006

Posted on 2/14/2018

Great page Timothy. Happy for you !!

J. Sid 
Member Since 2004

Posted on 2/14/2018

Beautiful page.

Pete Marino 
Member Since 2010

Posted on 2/14/2018

Wow!  Legendary pickup

Joseph Melchior 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 2/14/2018

Ah, t'was thee! Congratulations, an outstanding page.

P. Portillo 
Member Since 2006

Posted on 2/15/2018

Nice story, Tim. You got the perfect Sandman page. Top comic art in any comic art collection. Congratulations!

Filmore W. Bedwick 
Member Since 2003

Posted on 2/15/2018

Pure Magic!!!

Eric Seffinga 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 2/15/2018


Rick W 
Member Since 2017

Posted on 2/15/2018

Nice work bringing home your dream page! Love that 3rd panel!

X C 
Member Since 2010

Posted on 2/15/2018

Great page with beautiful art! Congrats!

Alex Johnson 
Member Since 2006

Posted on 2/15/2018

Great story and wonderful art. Hard to do better. Congratulations.

Timothy Finney 
Member Since 2006

Posted on 2/15/2018

Steve Kriozere wrote:

Glad to be a part of helping you acquire your dream page. Big congrats Tim!

Somebody asked me which page I would miss the most. The first that came to mind was the Kubert SSW page. Still, I know it is in good hands. Thanks again!

Tom Coker 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 2/15/2018

Well done, Tim! The page is definitely worth much sacrifice. Sandman 19 enchanted all of us closet English literature majors. Very happy to see you add this to your thoughtful collection.

. vodou 
Member Since 2003

Posted on 2/15/2018

"...the only other way to do it would be to sacrifice many pages for the one..." Yes. Actually the only way considering the other two options were major artists on their milestone works also. That would have been a lateral (at best), you chose the forward pass. And went all the way to score.

Ronan Killack 
Member Since 2008

Posted on 2/15/2018

Great page and an even better story!

Jeff Singh 
Member Since 2004

Posted on 2/15/2018

Great looking page and even more important is what the piece means to you.  It sounds like this piece has found its home for many, many decades to come.  

Jonathan H 
Member Since 2005

1 - Posted on 2/15/2018

Thrilled this page found a good and deserving home! Enjoy the dream!!

Will Gabri-El 
Member Since 2004

1 - Posted on 2/16/2018

Tim, you’re one class act --an absolute pleasure to work with and I’m glad we were able to pull it all off to put that ‘dream’ page in your hands...enjoy it buddy, over and over again!

Will Tervay 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 2/16/2018

Definitely know how it is to be able to land your dream Sandman page.  Congrats, and thanks for sharing!

Oystein Sorensen 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 2/17/2018

A magical page indeed.

Timothy Finney 
Member Since 2006

Posted on 2/17/2018

Jonathan H wrote:

Thrilled this page found a good and deserving home! Enjoy the dream!!

Thanks so much. I was scared to death to try this. It just seemed so outside my comfort zone. In the beginning, you had more faith that I could pull this off than I did. I needed that push to go for it.

Timothy Finney 
Member Since 2006

Posted on 2/17/2018

Will Gabri-El wrote:

Tim, youÕre one class act --an absolute pleasure to work with and IÕm glad we were able to pull it all off to put that ÔdreamÕ page in your hands...enjoy it buddy, over and over again!

I have mentioned this in various forums, but It bears repeating. It would have been very difficult to have done it without you.

J L 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 2/19/2018

What a great page. Love your story of what it took to get this page in your collection. Now you have a page from issue #19 and #75. Congrats again Timothy!!!!

alessandro gentili 
Member Since 2011

Posted on 2/21/2018

A true Masterpiece. Huge congrats! !

Suat Tong Ng 
Member Since 2009

Posted on 2/25/2018

Great content on the page and worth all the effort to add a cornerstone piece to your collection. Congrats!

J. Hiroshi Morisaki 
Member Since 2005

Posted on 3/10/2018

WOW!  I am just blown away by this page!  So much so I just braved the teetering columns of The Comic Book Room to retrieve the issue to reread.  And as per usual your write-ups light me up as well!  Great stuff and congratulations!

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