Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Demon # 90

This Demon is one of the Demons sitting at a table in the Hellfire Club watching the battle between Choronzon and Morpheus.

She is in Sandman # 4, page 15, panel 3. She is sitting with her back to the reader wearing a white tank top and jean shorts.

I really like how Scott envisioned this character. Since we, the readers, cannot see her face, Scott has given us his vision of this demon and it’s wonderful!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Nada’s first appearance within the Sandman Universe is a brief and mysterious introduction in Sandman # 4, where Dream travels to Hell to reclaim his stolen helmet. As Etrigan leads him through Hell Dream spies a woman in a cage who pleads with him to rescue her. As he walks past her he says “It has been ten thousand years, Nada. Yes. I still love you. But I have not yet forgiven you.” (Gaiman, Sandman # 4, page 7)

In “Tales In The Sand” (Sandman # 9) we learn the story of Nada and her ill-fated relationship with The King Of Dreams.

Nada was the queen of a great city and incredibly beautiful, but at the age of sixteen she was still not married, which troubled some of the women of her tribe. One evening a stranger entered the city and stood on the street looking up at the queen’s tower and when she looked out her window and saw him she was immediately in love.

She ordered the men of the tribe to find the stranger and when they failed she asked for the help of the King Of Birds in locating this man. It was the Weavebird who told Nada how to find the stranger (by eating a flaming berry from the sun-tree) and Nada found herself at a palace and it was then that she discovered that the stranger was none other than Kai’Ckul, the Dream King.

Nada ran in fear, knowing that no mortal can ever love one of The Endless, but Dream pursued her. Dream asked Nada to be his queen, but Nada said no, because “love is no part of the dream-world.” (Gaiman, Sandman # 9, page14, panel 5) Nada fled again, but Dream followed her unrelenting and when he caught up with her he once again expressed his love for her. They made love that night and “every living thing that could dream dreamed of love.” (Gaiman, Sandman # 9, page 16, panel 6)

When the sun rose, it saw Nada and Kai’Ckul together and as a consequence of their union, a ball of fire fell from the sun and destroyed Nada’s city. She blamed herself for the destruction of her city and so she leapt from the edge of the cliff, killing herself.

As Nada arrived in the land of the dead she discovered the King Of Dreams waiting for her and he offered his love to her one final time. He told her that she would forever be his queen, but if she refused she would be condemned to eternal pain.

While this story does not tell us what Nada’s decision was, we know from his encounter with her in Sandman # 4 that she once again rejected his advances and he sent her to Hell.

In the Prologue to Season Of Mists (Sandman # 21) Destiny calls together the family for a meeting and it is at this point that Dream discovers that he may have been a bit childish in sending Nada to Hell. Dream then decides to go into Hell once more and rescue Nada, even if it means a war with Lucifer.

When Dream returns to Hell he discovers that it’s empty and that Lucifer has released everyone. His final actions as the ruler of Hell is to give the Key To Hell to Dream.

After returning to the Dreaming, Emissaries from various nations come to Dream’s palace and appeal to him to allow them to become the new rulers of Hell. One of these groups of emissaries includes Azazel, The Merkin and Choronzon, one time inhabitants of Hell. Azazel offers Dream the demon Choronzon (who had once stolen Dream’s helmet) as well as the soul of Nada in exchange for the Key To Hell. Azazel threatened to devour Nada’s soul if they key did not end up in the possession of the demon.

When the final decision was made regarding the ownership of Hell, Azazel furious about Dream’s decision once again threatened to destroy Nada’s soul and Dream entered Azazel and rescued both Choronzon and Nada and then imprisoned Azazel in a glass bottle.

Once the emissaries left, Dream went to Nada and apologized to her for acting immaturely and for acting heartless and foolish and unfair to her. Dream once again offered Nada a place in his palace…a chance to be his queen, but once again Nada declined.

Dream enabled Nada’s soul to be reborn in a human child. She would never know that Dream loved her although he did tell her that she would always be welcome in the Dreaming regardless of what body she wore.

Here is Nada…both a rough pencil sketch and the finished painted portrait....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Guillaume encountered Johanna Constantine and Orpheus in Paris on June 24, 1794.

He cut the gold earring off of Orpheus’s head as a payment to the people of France.

Later, Orpheus tells Johanna that the earring will bring Guillaume nothing but misery.

Guillaume appears in “Thermidor” (Sandman # 29) on pages 2-4.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kubilai Kahn's Priest

In “Soft Places” Marco Polo accompanied his father Nicolo Polo and uncle to China and they were given audience before Kubilai Kahn. They planned on converting Kubilai Kahn to Christianity, but The Kahn refused saying that his Priests have power to perform miracles for him. They can “ensure that it is always summer above his palace, through it rains and storms nearby. They cause his food and wine to fly into his hand, so never a drop is spilled, and never a man touches them.” (Gaiman, Sandman # 39, page 12, panel 3)

I am really struck with Scott’s interpretation of this character. It’s simple, but there’s something about it that really makes it stand out as being one of my favorite portraits he’s given me lately.

Here is Kubilai Kahn’s Priest…

Monday, July 16, 2012


Ixion is a character in Greek mythology.

Ixion was king of the Lapiths (who resided in a city called Thessaly on Mount Pelion), who killed his father-in-law (by throwing him on a bed of burning coals) and was apparently insane.

Zeus took pity on Ixion and invited him to Olympus, but Ixion was lustful for Hera. Ixion made a could shaped like Hera and Zeus tricked him into having sex with the cloud (how, I have no idea) and their union brought about the birth of Centauros (the father or Centaurs and are sometimes called Ixionidae).

Ixion was banished from Olympus by Zeus and commanded Hermes to bind Ixion to a fiery wheel that was always spinning.

In “The Song Of Orpheus” when Orpheus travels down to the Underworld and sings a song in hopes of rescuing his bride Eurydice, Ixion’s wheel stops spinning for a moment as his song touches everyone who can hear his voice.

Ixion appears in only one panel of The Song Of Orpheus. He appears in The Sandman Special # 1 on page 34, panel 2. This story appears in the Fables And Reflections trade paperback.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jafar The Barmakid

Jafar The Barmakid is the vizier (which is a political advisor) to Haroun al Raschid.

On the night, Haroun al Raschid was feeling melancholy, Jafar suggested that they disguise themselves and wander through the city looking for adventure. His king rejected the offer, to which Jafar suggested listening to the storytellers tell strange tales, but once again Haroun al Raschid said no and that he wanted to be alone.

Jafar The Barmakid appears in Ramadan (Sandman # 50) on page 9.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

NEW SANDMAN SERIES - November 2013

This week is Comic Con International located in beautiful San Diego, California and with an event like Comic Con, a lot of new books get announced.

The biggest announcement so far (at least in my opinion) is the new Sandman limited series, which will be released in November 2013!!!

So far we don't have many details. It will, of course, be written by Neil Gaiman and will feature the art of J.H. Williams III. He's a fantastic artist and I'm very excited to see what he brings to the Sandman saga. The series is supposed to be a six issue limited series and it takes place prior to Sandman # 1 (but during a single panel in Brief Lives...Sandman # 47, page 14, panel 1).

Here is a link to a video where Neil announces the project.


And yes...we will be including the new characters from this book into our Portraits series...

Demon # 83

This is one of the many demons from Preludes And Nocturnes when Dream goes to Hell to retrieve his helmet.

This demon appears prior to the challenge, when Dream discovers that Choronzon has the helmet.

He is in Sandman # 4 on page 14, panel 6.

This is the weird white dog like demon in the lower portion of the panel.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Celeste is the granddaughter of Vassily, who, as an old man, told her the story of how he met his wife and Celeste’s grandmother.

Like many teenagers, Celeste is more interested in television and music and boys than listening to “fairy tales” told by her grandfather. Of course, after hearing the story and realizing the significance of the story, her ancestry and the power of dreams she wanted to hear more.

Celeste appears in “The Hunt,” which is Sandman # 38 and is collected in the Fables And Reflections trade paperback

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ethel Dee

Ethel Dee plays a small, but important role in Preludes And Nocturnes.

Ethel Dee was the lover of Roderick Burgess as early as 1920 and was often seen on his arm when making public appearances.

In 1930, Ethel ran away with Ruthven Sykes, the second in command of the Burgess Empire. When they left they took many treasures with them, including Dream’s helmet, bag of sand and ruby. Sykes traded the helmet to a demon, we later learn was Choronzon, in exchange for an amulet of protection.

In 1936 Ethel left Sykes and took with her the demon’s gift as well as all the remaining items stolen from Burgess and she disappeared until 1988, when she goes to Arkham Asylum in order to see her son, John Dee, also known as the super hero Doctor Destiny.

Shortly after visiting her son, Ethel Dee dies and one of her most prized possessions, the Ruby of the Dream King, is given to her son, who uses it to cause chaos and destruction throughout the world.

This is one of my favorite portraits Scott has done so far. He really captures her likeness and it’s just a perfect portrait.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Jessamy was Dream’s raven around 1794.

When Johanna Constantine was arrested and imprisoned for rescuing Orpheus from the French Royalty she dreamed of meeting Morpheus and Jessamy.

When all seemed hopeless, it was Jessamy who suggested that Orpheus should sing in order to escape in inevitable capture and Johanna’s death.

Jessamy appears in “Thermidor,” which is Sandman # 29 on pages 16 and 17.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gypsy Woman

This gypsy woman appears in “The Hunt” (Sandman # 30).

She encounters Vassily while he’s out hunting and after he gives her some food, offers to let him look into her bag of trinkets, which includes things like the Emerald Heart of Koschei The Deathless (which resembles the heart shaped shard of glass seen in Sandman # 9 and ), the Cloak Of Night, and the locket with a picture of the Duke’s daughter.

The gypsy woman encounters Vassily a second time where she gives him the advice of always following his heart and showing him the locket with the picture of the Duke’s daughter. When she offers to predict Vassily’s future, she sees something that frightens her and she runs away.

Later, when Vassily leaves his father’s home to follow his heart’s desire, he encountered the gypsy woman one final time. He found her, on the road, dead. Her body was cold and she had blood on her throat. Vassily took her peddler’s bag with him on his journey.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Marcus Junius Brutus

Marcus Junius Brutus was a Roman senator and was instrumental in the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.

Many senators feared Caesar’s growing power and once he became dictator for life, Brutus joined the conspirators and helped lead the assassination, which occurred on March 15th.

In the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare, Brutus and Caesar were longtime friends and once he saw Brutus as one of his assassins he said “Et Tu, Brute?” which were the last words spoken by Caesar.

Marcus Junius Brutus appears in Sandman # 30, page 12, panel 5.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Burgess' Guard # 1

This guard worked for Roderick Burgess in 1916.

His primary job was to watch over the imprisoned King Of Dreams.

This guard can be found in Sandman # 1, page 12.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Furies

These three women are The Furies, as they appear in The Song Of Orpheus (collected in Fables And Reflections).

When Orpheus travels down to the Underworld to rescue Eurydice from death he is granted an audience with King Hades and Queen Persephone and he sings them a song as a request to release his bride. The Furies, with their snake-like hair, can be seen sitting up on a cliff listening to the song, tears falling down their cheeks. As his song ends, he requests once again that Eurydice is given to him and Queen Persephone says “Thou hast made the Furies cry, Orpheus. They will not forgive you for that.” (Gaiman, Sandman Special # 1, page 35, panel 5)

Are these Furies the same three women who are The Kindly Ones? Are they somehow related to Stheno and Euryale, who met with Lyta during her search for Daniel? I don’t really know the answer to these questions, but they appear in The Sandman Special # 1 on page 35, panel 1 and there does seem to be some connection to the two ladies Lyta met with the snakes in their hair (from The Kindly Ones). I think there are a lot of possibilities of interpreting who these women are, given that Persephone refers to them as The Furies.

Friday, July 6, 2012


In the City of Baghdad, in the Kingdom of Haroun al Raschid, there were many wonderful storytellers.

Ishak was the greatest poet of the kingdom.

On one particular evening, Ishak came before Haroun al Raschid because his King looked troubled. Haroun al Raschid sent him away because poetry and words could not ease his troubled mind.

Perhaps it was Ishak’s appearance that gave Haroun al Raschid the idea to make a pact with The King Of All Dreams.

Ishak appears in Sandman # 50 on page 10. This story, “Ramadan,” also appears in Fables And Reflections.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Aristeas was one of Dream’s raven during prior to Matthew.

Before Aristeas was a raven he was a poet and lived 700 years before the Roman Empire.

Aristeas accompanied Dream when he visited Octavious in his dreams. It was in this dream that Octavious was told to dress like a beggar and go into the market place and make his plans away from the watchful eyes of the Gods.

Aristeas appears in Sandman # 30, which was entitled “August,” on page 18-20. This issue was later collected in Fables And Reflections.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kubilai Kahn

Kubilai Kahn was one of the Great Kahn’s of the Mongol empire and the grandson of Genghis Kahn. He lived from 1215-1294.

In “Soft Places” (Sandman # 39), Marco Polo accompanied his father Nicolo Polo and uncle to China and they were given audience before Kubilai Kahn. Nicolo Polo wanted to convert Kubilai Kahn to Christianity, but the Kahn refused because his priests offered miracles and powers that even he feared.

Kubilai Kahn appears on page 12 of Sandman # 39, which is collected in Fables And Reflections.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The King Of Pain

The King Of Pain, in life, was a liniment salesman, but he swallowed aconite (a poison known as the “queen of poisons") and killed himself over gambling debts.

In death, The King Of Pain works for Desire.

It was Desire’s agenda to corrupt Emperor Norton and she used The King Of Pain as her emissary. He offered Norton, what most people would dream of…a beautiful wife, a spectacular house, anything his heart desired, but Emperor Norton told him that he wanted nothing. He was the Emperor of The United States and there was nothing else he could ever desire.

The King of Pain returned to Desire in defeat.

Last year Scott shared a preliminary drawing of The King Of Pain with me. Scott has since redesigned the drawing and so here is both his original penciled preliminary image and the final painted version.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Little Dream and Little Death

When Daniel falls asleep and enters The Dreaming, he visits The House Of Secrets, where Eve, Cain and Able are telling stories.

Abel tells the story of how he and his brother came to The Dreaming and in his story both he, Cain and The Endless were all children. In Abel’s story, after Cain and he stopped fighting (alluding to the fact that he was killed by Cain), Little Death came to him and was about to take him to her “garden,” but was stopped by Little Dream who wanted Abel to come to his “garden” and tell “secret stories” from his very own house…the House of Secrets.

“The Parliament of Rooks,” illustrated by Jill Thompson, introduced two of the Little Endless, which led to eventually write and illustrate The Little Endless Storybook and the Delirium's Party storybook. If you have not read those books, they are fun and well worth reading.

This story was originally published in Sandman # 40 and was later collected in Fables And Reflections.

Here are Little Death and Little Dream.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Demon # 85

This is one of the many demons inhabiting Hell when Morpheus comes looking for his stolen helmet.

This particular demon can be seen in the Hellfire Club, listening to Choronzon give his introduction to the duel between himself and the King Of Dreams. He is sitting at a table watching the events.

He is probably most recognizable by the heart shaped tattoo on his arm that says “Joe.”

If you are trying to pick him out of the crowd, he can be found in Sandman # 4 on page 15 in panel 3.