The Annotated Sandman
Edited by Ralf Hildebrandt and largely written by Greg Morrow
Issue 1: "Sleep of the Just"
Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg
First part of first storyline, More than Rubies
First story reprinted in Preludes and Nocturnes
Another *possible* Elvis Costello influence is the title to Sandman #1 - there
IS an Elvis Costello song entitled "Sleep of the just",
though nothing in the lyrics correlates with the story:
Sleep Of The Just
The soldier asked my name and did I come here very often
Well I thought that he was asking me to dance
In my holy coat and hat and him in his red bonnet
We'd have made a lovely couple but we never had the chance
And now you say that you've got to go
Well if you must you must
I suppose that you need the sleep of the just
Well it was a powerful day and there were black crows in the road
And I kept my strong opinions to my chest
I suppose I should have told them that I was on fire for you
When the bus burst into flames outside some place, 'The Poet's Rest'
A girl woke up in a naked light and said "Oh no not again"
He even looked like her brother in the army but she never mentions him
He'll be tucked up in his bed tonight with his dirty-pictures girl
Saying, 'You're some mother's daughter you know or is it
Now she's pinned up upon the barracks wall in her home town
All the soldiers taking turns with their attentions
And as they speculate what she'd look like beneath that thin nightgown
His family pride was rising up as he cast his eyes down
- Page 1
- Panel 2
First known appearance of Dr. John Hathaway, who we will
shortly find out is senior curator of the Royal Museum.
- Page 2
- Panel 1
First known appearance of Roderick Burgess, who we will
shortly find out is "Lord Magus" (Magus being a Latinized singular of mage,
equivalent to wizard or magician) of the "Order of Ancient Mysteries".
- Panel 6
Only known appearance of the Magdalene Grimoire. This is
not a DC equivalent to Marvel's Darkhold. A grimoire is a fancy word for a
(magical) book. According to Neil Gaiman, Magdalene is "marginally more likely
to be the university than to refer to [the biblical] Mary Magdalene."
Magdalene is a college in Cambridge, Magdalen a college in Oxford. Both are
pronounced "mauldin" in British usage.
- Page 3
- Panels 1-4
First known appearances of Ellie Marsten, Daniel Bustamonte, Stefan
Wasserman, and Unity Kincaid. Unity will appear later, the rest
appear only throughout this issue.
In one of McFarlane's comic Spawn's early stories, the main character
is a certain Billy Kincaid, serial killer of little
children. McFarlane himself wrote the Billy Kincaid story. Alan Moore
wrote Spawn#8, which featured Kincaid's experiences in Hell. Neil
Gaiman wrote Sandman#9 and the Angela Mini-series.
- Page 4
- Panel 1
First known appearance of Alex Burgess, Roderick's son.
- Panel 4
"Aleister" is Aleister Crowley, the most widely known
demonologist and occultist of that era (and probably still today). Roderick
Burgess is essentially only Aleister Crowley renamed.
- Page 5-7
Let's look at the materials in the summoning ritual. On page five,
the materials are fairly mundane, except in panel 7: A feather
pulled from an angel's wing. This would appear to be fairly difficult, and
worth a story in its own.
The coin, stick, song, and knife may correspond to the Disk, Wand, Cup,
and Sword suits of the Tarot cards. Disks are analogous to modern diamonds,
and represent earth and business. Wands became clubs, and represent fire and
energy. Cups became hearts, and represent water and emotions, and are a
feminine suit. Swords became spades, and represent air and intellect, and are
a masculine suit.
- Page 6
- Panel 4
Burgess gives the name of "old lords": Namtar, Allatu, Morax,
Naberius, Klesh, Vepar, Maymon. Morax is certainly the name of a bull-headed
demon appearing in The Demon. Maymon may be a reference to Mammon, a Greek
word for riches. Mammon is also the name of a devil in the Key of Solomon,
based on the line "one cannot serve God and Mammon" in the scripture.
- Panel 5
More names: Ashema-Deva, Maborym, Horvendile. Ashema-Deva
is Persian, a god or devil in the Zoroastrian pantheon. He is more familiar to
Westerners under the name Asmodeus. Horvendile is a name that appears in both
Lord Dunsany and James Branch Cabell. In Dunsany (an early fantasist and
playwright, active in the early decades of this century, best known work
perhaps The King of Elfland's Daughter), Horvendile is a god. In Cabell's
"Poictesme" cycle, he is referred to as a demiurge, a being who, though walking
through the story, is above it, and possibly pulling the strings. He also
keeps swine that feed on human flesh.
- Page 7
- Panel 6
First known appearance of Morpheus, the Sandman. Morpheus has
many different names, since every culture has known of him in some form.
Morpheus is fairly rarely referred to directly as the Sandman, with the major
exception beingissue #3.
In this shot, he is wearing a helmet; that is not his head.
- Page 8-9
We clearly see here the removal of the helmet, ruby, and pouch of
sand, whose recovery will occupy most of More than Rubies.
- Page 10
- Panel 1
Ellie is holding a copy of Through the Looking Glass, and
her appearance bears some resemblence to Alice, the heroine of that book.
- Page 11
- Panel 2
The word "morphine" is derived from the name "Morpheus".
There's one other very significant allusion on page 11 which the annotations
don't list. The bottom three panels describe Unity Kinkaid: as the
narrative proceeds, the images zoom in on her sleeping face, then her nose
and mouth, then her closed lips. The last panel ends with "Unity sleeps",
in extreme close-up. Her lips fill the frame, and they are very pink.
This panel looks almost exactly like Desire's sigil.
- Page 14