Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bacchante # 3 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

The Bacchante are some of the most horrifying characters in the Sandman universe and in Greek mythology.

In Greek mythology they are often seen as crazy or wild and living in the forests. They are capable of tearing animals and sometimes people into pieces with their bare hands, which is apparent by their depiction within Sandman. They are sometimes called Maenads and worship Dionysus. In Roman mythology, The Bacchante are the female followers of Bacchus, the god of wine and intoxication.

In The Sandman universe Orpheus is torn apart by a group of Bacchante after returning from Hades after failing to rescuing his wife from the land of the dead.

This particular Bacchante is one of the first that Orpheus encounters. She is wild and destructive. She can be seen in The Sandman Special # 1 (The Song Of Orpheus), page 43.

I love this portrait from Max. I like that the character is in basic black and white and the surroundings are colorful and vibrant. Max used actual pressed leaves on this portrait. This addition gives the background an awesome texture, which is visually interesting to look at.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bar Patron # 10 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

Dream and Death visit a pub in England sometime between 1362-1370.

During this excursion into the waking world Death offers Hob the opportunity to never die and never grow old. He accepts and Dream agrees to meet him once a century to discuss his life, immortality and friendship.

This man is one of the bar patrons in the pub during Dream and Hob’s first encounter.

This Bar Patron appears in Sandman # 13, on page 5, in panel 3. He is sitting at the table to the right.

This is another great portrait from Kai. I really like this Bar Patron’s infectious happiness. The folds of his clothing are magnificent and the line work on his face and hair are exceptional.

Here is Bar Patron # 10…

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Citizen Of Baghdad # 41 (illustrated by Te’Shawn Dwyer)

In Ramadan, Haroun al Raschid began to feel despair knowing that eventually his beautiful city would lose its splendor. He asked Dream to preserve the beauty and magnificence of Baghdad.

While touring the city, they flew over a Baghdad marketplace.

This man was one of the people in the marketplace. He is inspecting a sword and is in the lower left corner of the panel.

He appears in Sandman # 50, on page 24, in panel 1.

Friday, December 25, 2015

John Constantine (illustrated by Max Rugers)

John Constantine has a very rich and expansive history within the DC Universe.

He first appeared in Swamp Thing # 37 and later got his own Vertigo series, Hellblazer. He currently has a DC Universe series simply called Constantine: The Hellblazer. I have read very little of the DC Universe Constantine series’ but I read a majority of the Hellblazer series when it was being published and I highly recommend reading it, if you haven’t.

Constantine is an occult detective that is known for his long brown trench coat, chain smoking and his sarcastic attitude.

You can learn more about Constantine here.

John Constantine’s role in Sandman is brief, but incredibly memorable.

He appears first in Sandman # 3. Dream is searching for the tools of his office, which were stolen from him by Roderick Burgess, later taken by Ruthven Sykes and then stolen again by Ethel Dee.

Constantine wakes one morning with the feeling that something was going to happen and his morning was filled with references of dreams, whether from songs or television. He walked down to a local diner and encounted Mad Hettie who told him that the King Of Dreams was coming to visit him.

Three days later Constantine receives a visitor at his house.

Morpheus tells Constantine that he came to retrieve a leather pouch full of sand. He tells the King Of Dreams that he had owned it at one point but was never able to open the drawstrings.

They go to a warehouse where Constantine stores some of her personal belongings. While sorting through the boxes looking for the pouch, he finds a photo of an old girlfriend named Rachel and he realizes that she has it.

They find the house where Rachel is living and they enter the house.

As they walk down the hall, Constantine touches a light switch and feels himself falling. Dream catches him and reveals that the walls are made from human remains and are alive. This happened because of the pouch and Rachel misusing it. The walls are made of dreams.

Morpheus and Constantine enter the bedroom and find Rachel on he bad. Her body is covered in sores and she is clearly affected by using the sand within the pouch as a drug. Her metabolism has been destroyed by the use of the sand and the only thing currently keeping her alive is the sand. M

Constantine asks Dream for mercy when dealing with Rachel.

Morpheus gives Rachel a final dream of happiness as her body dies. He returns to Constantine and tells him that she died peacefully and happy.

John then asks Dream for a favor. He asks Dream if he could stop the nightmares that he’s been having since the events of Newcastle, in which some of his friends had died. Dream agrees to give him a nightmare free sleep.

John Constantine appears again at The Wake for Morpheus where he talks with Dr. Occult and The Phantom Stranger.

Constantine appears one final time in a short story called Death Talks About Life where he helps Death demonstrate how to properly use a condom…on a banana, of course.

He appears in Sandman # 3, # 71, on page 22, in panel 2 and in Death Talks About Life.

Max did a fabulous job with this portrait. I love the details he used on Constantine’s face and he gave him a very sympathetic expression. The layered background is a really nice touch and adds a very cool effect to the portrait.

Concubine # 12 (illustrated by Ron Chan)

During the time of Haroun al Raschid, Baghdad was a flourishing, spectacular kingdom, but al Raschid felt a sense of melancholy about what the future held for his kingdom and his people.

Haroun al Raschid devised a plan to sell the kingdom to Dream of The Endless in order to preserve the memory and splendor of Baghdad.

To gain an audience with the Dream King, al Raschid went into the depths of his palace, moving through the many levels, including the dungeon and the harem, and a room filled with eggs.

This concubine, beautifully drawn by Ron Chan, is one of the women who lives in the palace.

She can be seen in Sandman # 50, on page 11 in panel 3.

Frederick’s Dream Girl # 5 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

To ensure that the King Of Dreams never escapes his glass prison, Alex Burgess keeps several guards on duty at all times. They are not permitted to sleep.

Frederick, one of Burgess’ guards, does drifts off to sleep one evening while on guard duty.

He dreams of a warm sunny beach where a group of beautiful women are playing volleyball in the sand. This is one of Frederick’s dream girls.

She appears in Sandman # 1 on page 27, in panel 7.

I imagine that Lukas is rarely asked to draw beautiful women in bikinis playing volleyball and so I absolutely wanted him to draw one of these dream girls. He did a fantastic job. I love her expression! The sunglasses hide her eyes, but this works well giving the character a bit of mystery, which is completely appropriate for a dream girl. I only wish there were more dream girls I could ask Lukas to draw…

Elderly Dominican Priest # 1 (illustrated by Scott Mills)

When Marco Polo was sixteen he and his father began their trip to the empire of Kubilai Khan they took with them two Elderly Dominican Priests, hoping to convert Kubilai Kahn to Christianity.

Neither of these Dominican Priests could perform the miracles Kubilai Kahn’s priests could.

Along the way the priests became frightened and left the caravan and did not finish their expedition. This is one of those Elderly Dominican Priests. He appears in Sandman # 39 page 12, panel 3. The two priests are walking in front of the caravan and this particular priest is on the right.

Scott did a great job with this character. In the published comic the Dominican Priest is nothing more than a brief mention, but Scott gave this character more personality, making him feel like an actual character.

Movie Premier Guest # 10 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

Foxglove attends the A Day In The Park movie premier. She has a song on the soundtrack and is a guest at the premiere.

This woman is one of the more recognizable guests at the movie premiere. She is sitting in far back and to the right. Her eyes are completely covered by hair which is perhaps because the movie, according to Foxglove, is horrible.

She appears in Death: The Time Of Your Life # 2, on page 2 in panel 2.

Kai’s approach to this character is not as extreme as in the published comic. Instead of covering her eyes completely, he drew her bangs low, but not low enough to obscure her eyes. I love the blue wash that he used for this character. To me, it makes me think that the blue is a reflection of the light from the movie screen.

Talk Show Host (illustrated by Lars Brown)

Richard Madoc became a celebrated author overnight after purchasing the muse Calliope from Erasmus Fry.

Richard was being interviewed for a television program called The Book Nook. The Talk Show Host compared him to Jean Cocteau and Clive Barker, but mentioned that he most resembled the late Erasmus Fry. Madoc had not heard that Fry had died.

After recording the episode Richard and The Book Nook host went to a small cafĂ© where they talked further about Fry. Richard learns that Erasmus Fry poisoned himself after writing to his old publisher asking them to bring “Here Comes A Candle” back in print.

She appears in Sandman # 17 on page 14 and 15.

Wesley Dodds (As The Sandman) (illustrated by John Carmine)

Wesley Dodds, the Golden Age Sandman, first appeared in Adventure Comics # 40 (from July 1939) and became one of the original members of the Justice Society Of America.

In Sandman # 1, we see Wesley Dodds, in 1939, he had a dream that inspired him to put on a mask and fight crime, but putting evil people to sleep with a gas and leaves them for the police. Since he began doing this he no longer dreams about “the man in the strange helmet.”

Vertigo Comics, in 1993, began publishing a series depicting the exploits of Wesley Dodds and his early crime fighting adventures.

Later, a single issue special was released called Sandman Midnight Theatre, in which Wesley Dodds travels to England to try to unravel the mystery of the death of this friend Linus Benchley. It was during this adventure that Wesley Dodds encountered the King Of Dreams imprisoned in his glass prison.

He also appeared in The Wake, and spoke briefly at the funeral for Morpheus.

Wesley Dodds appears in Sandman # 1, on page 18, in panel 4-6, Sandman # 73, on page 11, and finally in Sandman Midnight Theatre.

John did a fantastic job with this portrait. I love the green hue that he used throughout this portrait and the darkness of the character. This portrait, like the character, is surrounded by mystery, which I really like. John managed to capture this character perfectly.

Japanese Woman # 4 (illustrated by Te’Shawn Dwyer)

One evening the dynasty of The Onmyoji was destroyed when his house, wife and mistress were all killed as his house burned to the ground. The next morning The Onmyoji was found sitting in the wreckage of his destroyed house. He was homeless and crazy and missing an eye.

Some people spoke in whispers, wondering what caused his condition. Some blamed the loss of his wife and house. Others believed it was the loss of his eye. Nobody spoke of a solitary fox taking her revenge for the loss of her lover.

This woman is one of the many people who speculated on the Onmyoji’s insanity.

She appears in the P. Craig Russell adaptation of The Dream Hunters in issue # 4, on page 24 in panel 4.

Soccer Player # 1 & 2 (illustrated by Emonic)

In “The Sound Of Her Wings” a teenager named Franklin was playing soccer with two friends when he noticed a cute girl sitting on the fountain feeding the pigeons with a tall man wearing black.

These teenagers were playing soccer with Franklin on the day he died.

These two boys appear in Sandman # 8, on page 6, panel 4.

These portraits are awesome. I really enjoy seeing background characters take on a life of their own and Emonic did a wonderful job with these three characters!!!

Homeless Man (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

In The Kindly Ones, there is a homeless man who is featured throughout the series during several moments of the series.

He first appears in the first chapter of The Kindly Ones. He is handing out flowers to people as they pass and singing Hey Diddle Diddle.

He attempts to give a flower to Daniel as Lyta and Carla walk down the stree. Lyta freaks out and becomes violent with him, pushing him up against the wall. Carla scolds Lyta saying she overreacted as they continue on their way as the homeless man sits on the side of the street crying.

We see the homeless man again, in one panel singing another nursey rhyme as Lyta walks home from the grocery store.

Carla sees him briefly as she’s leaving the police station after trying, unsuccessfully, to try to get information on the two detectives who are supposedly working on Daniel’s abduction. The police are escorting this homeless man through the precinct. He calls after Carla saying “Hey Missy! Your Friend? The Mean One? I seen her. She’s got snakes in her hair. And she’s not alone in her head anymore.” Carla ignores him, although he is speaking the truth about Lyta.

The next time we see him, he is once again sitting on the sidewalk with a dog. Rose Walker walks past him and offers him a bag of groceries that were intended for Zelda, who had recently died. He accepts the groceries and begins opening the chocolate bar. As he does so, the dog next to him sits up and says “You’ll never be able to eat all these chocolates on your own, you know” revealing himself to be Barnabas, Delirium’s dog.

We see him one final time in the last chapter of The Kindly Ones. Delirium is walking down the street, sad that she has been unable to find Barnabas, when she walks past the homeless man and her dog. Barnabas jumps up and says “I will never ever—as long as I live—let you out of my sight again for a single solitary second.” Barnabas explains that he was lost and was nearly starved to death when this man helped him.

Delirium offered him a present for helping Barnabas, but the old declined saying “T’ain’t safe to ask favors of your kind, even if I earned ‘em. Otherwise I could find myself spitting out flower petals and silver dollars every time I speak. I’m happy with just A Thank-You-Kindly, and maybe sometimes the Barney-Dog can come find me and gab a bit.”

This man appears in Sandman # 57 (on pages 5-6), 59 (on page 18), 62 (on page 17), 70 (on page 11) and 72 (on pages 14-15.

Anna did a great job with his portrait. He is much more realistic in Anna’s portrait than in the published comic. I like that he seems like a very sweet man. His features really make him a sympathetic character and I think Anna’s portrait really highlights that fact.

Here is the homeless man from The Kindly Ones…

Raven # 40 (illustrated by Carl Sciacchitano)

In The Kindly Ones, hundreds of ravens gather in the dreaming with the expectation of war and death. Where they came from and how they knew to come to The Dreaming is not revealed.

As Dream goes to challenge the Kindly Ones, the ravens raise their eyes to the storm and wait.

: This is one of the ravens that appear in Sandman # 69, on page 8, in panel 3.

Roman Citizen # 138 (illustrated by Mike DeCarlo)

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all the Sandman Portraits Blog readers!!!!

Today I wanted to do something special and something I've never done a treat for you. I decided that over the next 13 hours I will be posting a new portrait about every hour-ish.

I hope you enjoy them and let me know if this is something you'd like me to do again periodically.

Augustus Caesar and the dwarf Lycius spend the day sitting on some steps near the marketplace dressed as beggars. As citizens pass they discuss politics, power and personal legacy.

This citizen is spending the afternoon in the Roman market near the steps where Caesar and Lycius are sitting.

He appears in one of the panels that contains a large number of other Roman citizens, which is visually amazing, but incredibly crowded with Roman Citizens.

This panel is in Sandman # 30, page 13, and is panel 4.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Huge Carnivorous Plant # 4 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

In Sandman: Overture we learn of a small planet and on the southern continent a race of huge carnivorous plants live. These plants have limited mobility but have beautiful minds.

This is one of those huge carnivorous plants.

This character appears in Sandman: Overture # 1 , on page 1 in panel 4.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Island Spirit # 6 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

Around 1584 William Shakespeare made an agreement with Dream. The exact details of their pact are unknown, but it’s known that Shakespeare would owe Morpheus two plays. The first of these plays was A Midsummer Nights Dream. The second of these plays, The Tempest, was the final play of Shakespeare’s career.

In the final issue of Sandman, Shakespeare is fulfilling his obligation to the King Of Dreams and writing The Tempest.

At one point within the play he writes a speech in which Prospero recounts the imprisonment of Ariel.

“Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee,
by help of her more potent ministers
and in her most unmitigable rage,
into a cloven pine,
within which rift
imprisoned though didst painfully remain
a dozen years."

This imprisonment is foreshadowing to that of Morpheus’ capture at the hands of Roderick Burgess, more than 400 years later.

This Island Spirit appears in Sandman # 75, on page 17, in panel 1 and is reflected in the imagination of Shakespeare as he writes the play.

This is a great portrait from Kai. He was experimenting with his brush pen and I really like the results. I like the ink effects on this creature’s body. I don’t know what the effect is called, but it adds a nice feeling to the reality of the character.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Dead Man # 11 (illustrated by Te’Shawn Dywer)

In The Song Of Orpheus, Orpheus journeys to the Underworld to rescue his recently deceased wife.

Prior to standing before Lord Hades and Queen Persephone he encounters a throng of the dead.

This Dead Man is one of the many dead men in the Underworld.

He appears in The Sandman Special # 1, on page 31, in panel 3.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Customer At Lux # 2 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

Well, it looks like I got distracted with Christmas and haven't posted anything in a few days. Sorry about that. If it's any consolation, I'm planning (hopefully) to do something special on Friday...a sort of Christmas gift for everyone who takes the time to visit this blog and who enjoys this project. Until then, I plan on posting a new portrait every day this week....

In The Kindly Ones, we catch a glimpse of one of the things Lucifer has been doing since renouncing his throne and leaving Hell. Lucifer is a night club owner and spends his evening playing the piano.

On the night Lyta Hall has dinner with Eric Needman there are several other patrons at the night club. This woman is one of them.

She appears in Sandman # 57, on page 17, in panel 2.

Once again Max did an awesome job with bringing this patron of the nightclub to life. I love the personality and attitude he brings to the character. Also, I like the background he added. It’s perfect.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Small Mindless Insect-Like Creature # 7 (illustrated by Te’Shawn Dwyer)

In Sandman Overture, Dream encounters many aspects of himself on a small planet whose only residents are red-furred humanoids, huge carnivorous plants and small mindless insect-like creatures.

These insect-like creatures are described as interested in only laying eggs and food. They swarm when the mood takes them and are able to take on “shapes capable of making art or exploring the solar system.”

This is one of those small minded insect-like creatures.

It appears in Sandman Overture # 2, on page 9, in panel 3. It is flying near Dream, as he tries to unravel the mystery of why he was pulled to this planet and why he has encountered multiple aspects of himself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Japanese Man # 28 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

After the Fox took her revenge for murdering her lover, the Monk, The Onmyoji wandered the streets, homeless and crazy.

This man is one of the many people who passed the Onmyoji by as he sat on the streets in rags.

He appears in the P. Craig Russell adaptation of The Dream Hunters in issue # 4, on page 27 in panel 2.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

London Citizen # 1 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

The morning John Constantine woke with a feeling that someone was trying to tell him something he went about his day as he always would. He brushed his teeth, got dressed, putting on his favorite overcoat and left the house at 11:25am to go to the Easy Diner to get some breakfast.

As Constantine left his house and said good morning to London he passed by several people in the streets.

This girl is one of the people Constantine passed.

She appears in Sandman # 3, on page 3 in panel 6.

In the published comic this character is a very obscure background character. Kai brought this character to the forefront of this portrait. He defined the character perfectly. I saw this character as a woman and Kai, looked at the comic, felt the same thing. I really like the shading on the portrait. Both the jacket and her hair are very nicely shaded.

Here is London Citizen # 1…

Monday, December 14, 2015

Onmyoji’s Demon Servant # 5 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In Dream Hunters, the Onmyoji plots to kill the Monk who lives in the small mountain temple.

One night, while the Fox was out hunting she came across some demons quietly talking in the forest. The Fox lay on the ground and played dead in order to hear the plans these demons recounted.

They spoke of the Onmyoji’s plans to send the Monk three nights of evil dreams and on the third night he would lose his connection to reality and die from lack of food and water.

This demon appears in Dream Hunters on page 22-25.

I really like this portrait from Max. This demon has a very distinctive Japanese feel to him, which is appropriate since this story takes place in Japan. I love the character’s menacing smile and his tilted head. He looks like he’s going to be causing some trouble to anyone who crosses his path.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Demon # 467 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

In P. Craig Russell’s version of Dream Hunters, each issue opened with a title page.

This Demon appears on the title page of the fourth issue.

This demon is one of the few demons that, while appearing in the Sandman Comic, does not play a part in an actual Sandman story.

I really like this portrait from Kai. He isn’t scary or threatening like a lot of the demons in Sandman, but looks more mischievous than dangerous. The line work and shading are exceptional and I really like this demon’s head and details on his face. This is one of my favorite portraits from Kai. I hope you like it!!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Emissary # 21 (illustrated by Carl Sciacchitano)

When Dream becomes the caretaker of the Key To Hell, Emissaries from various cultures and pantheons gather in hopes of obtaining the ownership of Hell for their own uses.

This man is one of those emissaries.

Who does he represent and why does he want the Key To Hell?

These are questions that are never answered, nor do we even get a very clear view of this character or any of the characters dressed similarly.

This Emissary appears in throughout the Season of Mists storyline, but specifically can be seen in Sandman # 27, on page 3, in panel 7.