Receiving an adaptation into a television series wasn’t enough; The Sandman has come for your ears, too. This summer, DC and Audible are teaming up to release an audio production of the industry-shaking comic by Neil Gaiman and artists Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Kelley Jones, P. Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, J.H. Williams III, and Dave McKean.
The Audible Original is set to be directed by Dirk Maggs, a director and producer known for a radio adaptation of Douglas Adams‘ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in the early 2000s, in addition to previous DC audio adaptations of such stories as The Trial of Superman and Batman: Knightfall. At this point, there’s no word on casting. Gaiman, however, will be serving as narrator as well as creative director and executive producer. Composer James Hannigan will produce the score.
Want a taste of Gaiman’s narration? Check out the trailer released earlier today from DC:
Gaiman met Maggs before, saying, “Almost 30 years ago, Dirk Maggs approached DC about adapting The Sandman into audio form. It didn’t happen (although it was how Dirk and I first crossed paths) and I’m glad it didn’t happen, because we are in a Golden Age of audio drama right now, and Dirk and I are much better at what we are doing. This is a rich audio adaptation of The Sandman Graphic Novels, brilliantly crafted by Dirk Maggs, with an all-star cast. I’ve loved being there to talk casting, there to read the scripts and offer occasional advice, and there in the studios, watching magic get made and recording the narration. I can’t wait until the world hears what we’ve done.”
Need a refresher on the plot of The Sandman? Worry not, DC has provided a brief plot description:
When an occultist attempts to capture the physical embodiment of Death in a bargain for eternal life, he instead mistakenly traps Death’s younger brother Morpheus, the King of Dreams. After his seventy-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Morpheus goes on a quest to reclaim his lost objects of power and rebuild his realm.
I have fairly mixed feelings on this news. While I think it’s great that more people will get to experience this wonderful story, I wish people unfamiliar with it would read the comic first before listening to the audio version. The story just isn’t the same without the artists involved, so ultimately this comes across to me as a neat novelty listen for those of us who have read the story.
If we’re not careful, this can represent the distillation of comics into pieces of art that writers write, without any recognition of what actually makes something a comic.