Monday, April 27, 2015

Ruthven (illustrated by Max Rugers)

Ruthven is one of the residents of The Dreaming. He is always seen with a woman who I call The Dutchess. He is seen primarily in The Kindly Ones, but does appear on one page of Brief Lives as well.

In The Kindly Ones, he becomes a victim of the Kindly One’s wrath and is seen dead being eaten by one of the Ravens.

In the Wake, he has been resurrected by Daniel and is seen, once again, with The Dutchess.

There is very little known about Ruthven despite the fact that he is a very prominent reoccurring background character.

Ruthven appears in Sandman # 49 on page 14, Sandman # 58 on page 18, Sandman # 66 on page 14, and Sandman # 71 page 3.

Max did an exceptional job with this portrait. I love the details Max put into this character. The line work is awesome on this character, giving the fur a realistic look. Max also added bits of magazine and tape to this portrait adding texture to this portrait. I really like this portrait! I know I say this often, but this is one of my favorites that Max has done at this point.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lord Strange’s Men Troupe Member # 9 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

On June 23rd 1593, William Shakespeare and The Lord Strange’s Men acting troupe go to Wilmington, England near The Long Man of Wilmington to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the first time.

This unnamed man is one of the members of Lord Strange’s Men and is waiting to discover which part he is going to be playing for this memorable performance

This actor appears in Sandman # 19, on page 9, in panel 1.

This is a fantastic portrait by Anna. I love the roundness of his face and his delightful expression. He seems very happy and is obviously excited to be a member of the acting troupe.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Undercut Patron # 7 (illustrated by John Carmine)

In Death: The High Cost Of Living, Death and Sexton spend the afternoon wandering around New York and end up that evening at a club called The Undercut, prior to a concert. This concert is the first concert Foxglove performed, before becoming an international success.

This woman is one of the people attending the concert, waiting in line to get in. She is visible as Death and Sexton walk past.

She appears in Death: The High Cost Of Living # 2, on page 8, in panel 2.

John did a fantastic job with this portrait. I love the use of watercolor in this portrait. The highlights in her hair is a nice touch.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Concubine # 8 (illustrated by Joelle Jones)

In the time of Haroun al Raschid, Baghdad was a place of wonders.

Haroun al Raschid gave a common beggar the opportunity to live the life of a Caliphate for a day. The beggar boy was surrounded by jewels and concubines and spent the entire day in luxury.

This woman is one of the concubines that helped give the beggar a day of dreams.

She appears in Sandman # 50 on page 7 in panel 2.

Joelle did an awesome job with this portrait. I love the vibrant colors used in this portrait. The colors definitely give the impression of splendor. I really like the use of gold for the pillows. That is a nice touch. I really like how this woman is leaning back on the pillows with the inviting expression on her face.

Here is Concubine # 8, from Ramadan…

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Witch # 3 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

After deciding that he was too afraid to continue the production of his play Typhoid Mary Blues, Todd Faber falls asleep and dreams of climbing a tall rock face. Upon reaching the top he encounters Dream of The Endless.

Todd, realizing that he is in a dream and recounts, to the King of Dreams, a nightmare he had when he was five or six. He tells Morpheus that in his dream he was trapped in a house full of witches and to escape he climbed onto the roof of the house. The roof then tilted and he fell off. He knew that if he hit the ground he would die and he pulled himself out of the dream because he didn’t know how to wake himself up. Dream gives Todd some advice and tells him that there is an alternative to dying if he falls.

This Witch is one of the witches from Todd’s nightmare.

This Witch appears in Fear Of Falling (originally published in Vertigo Preview # 1 on page 5.

I love this portrait by Lukas. The details on this character are exceptional, making this one of my favorites from Lukas. The lines around the witch’s mouth give a wonderfully descriptive image of the character. I also like the nice details like her pointed ears and the waves in her hair. This portrait reminds me a bit of the witch from the Witching Hour comic series from 1969-1978.

Here is Witch # 3 from The Fear Of Falling…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

London Citizen # 8 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

John Constantine woke with an uncomfortable 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 to go to the Easy Diner to get some breakfast.

While at the diner, Leigh points outside and tell him that his “girlfriend” is outside. Constantine turns and sees Mad Hettie pounding on the window of the diner trying to get his attention. He steps outside to speak to her.

There are several men on the streets outside the diner and this man is one of them.

He appears in Sandman # 3, on page 5 in panel 1.

This is a great portrait from Lars. He managed to make this character seem a bit more respectable than he does in the published comic, but still captured a bit of the roughness with his facial expression, cheek lines and surprisingly the curve of his hat. I really like this portrait!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Matt (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

On September 11, 2001 two airplanes few into the World Trade Center in New York City, changing the world as we knew it.

“The Wheel” appeared in the 9/11 Tribute.

The story is about a boy named Matt who climbs to the top of a ferris wheel in an abandoned amusement part so he could jump off and kill himself. Once he reached the top he heard someone shout to him. Instead of seeing a security guard he saw a very tall man with red hair and a beard. This man was Destruction.

Destruction gives Matt a hug.

Matt tells Destruction about his mother who was a doctor who was killed when the World Trade Center fell. He wants to die in order to ask God why he would allow something like this to happen. He wants an explanation and wants him to tell Matt he is sorry.

Death then joins Matt and Destruction and Death tries to give Matt an explanation about why bad things happen and that the point of life is to try to leave the world a better place than before you entered it. Without warning the ferris wheel started to spin and the lights came on and Matt rode the wheel, in the car, alone, listening to the music.

He did not jump.

Matt appears in The Wheel, which appeared in the 9/11 Tribute book and has been collected in Absolute Death and the Death deluxe edition hardcover.

I really like this portrait from Anna. Anna made his hair seem more bushy than spikey, which is more realistic and also gives him an incredibly likable personality. This is a great portrait.

Here is Matt…

Sunday, April 19, 2015

French Soldier # 4 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

In Thermidor (published in Fables And Reflections) Louis-Antoine St. Just and Maximilien Robespierre are trying to recover the head of Orpheus for their own political gains and in hopes of destroying all “magic” from the world, bringing about an age of reason.

This French Soldier is one of the soldiers who apprehend Johanna Constantine as she returns to her room.

He appears in Sandman # 29, on page 6, in panel 6.

This is a fantastic portrait from Lukas. I really appreciate that he not only gave this character a less than respectable expression on his face, but he also presented him in a way that made him appear dirty and disheveled, which gives the character a less than honorable appearance. This is completely appropriate for this portrait since Johanna is trying to rescue Orpheus from people with ill intent.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dreamer # 56 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

In Dream Of A Thousand Cats, the Golden Haired Man told his fellow humans that if enough of them dreamed that men were superior to cats then it would become reality because “Dreams Shape The World.”

This man is one of the dreamers who dreamed that he could live in a world where cats were not the dominant species and that men would rule the world.

This Dreamer appears in Sandman # 18, on page 18 in panel 2.

Dreamers are often some of the most difficult characters to draw portraits of because their context within the story is not as solid as most of the other characters. Lars did a great job with this portrait. I love the dream-like background and the character’s wispy hair and relaxed features. He definitely feels like he is in a deep sleep and dreaming.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Village Man # 10 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

At the wedding of Kara and her husband, everyone In the village gathered to celebrate their union. This man was one of the people attending the wedding.

He appears in Endless Nights, in the Desire story, on page 12 in panel 1.

This man seems like a genuinely happy guy…or a bit intoxicated, which matches the characters from the published comic. I like Anna’s approach to this character. He definitely seems like a character that would fit in with this village and this time period.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Man From The Tale On The Painted Screen # 7 (illustrated by John Carmine)

When the Monk arrives in The Dreaming he passes through many rooms on his way to the throne room of the Dream King.

He passes a series of painted screens. When he looked at the screens they were “frozen and still” but if he looked away and then glanced at it again the scenes would change and a new tale would begin.

This man is one of the characters on the painted screen in The Dreaming.

He appears in P. Craig Russell’s adaptation of The Dream Hunters, in issue # 3, on page 16 in panel 4.

This is another fabulous portrait from John. I love the expression on this character’s face and I am wondering what he’s glancing at. The backgrounds and the colors really make this character stand out with the use of the bright red of his hat and clothing. This is an obscure character from Dream Hunters and John really brought him to life with this portrait.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Black Guard # 2 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

In A Game Of You, Barbie is pursued by the Cuckoo’s elite army, The Black Guard.

The Black Guard were sent out in search of Barbie and her friends and bring them to the palace of The Cuckoo. At one point the Black Guard came close to finding them, but Barbie, Primando, Luz and Wilkinson hid under a snow drift and were able to avoid detection.

Eventually the Black Guard captured Barbie who was then delivered to the Cuckoo.

The Black Guard appears in several parts of the A Game of You Storyline. This particular member of The Black Guard appears in Sandman # 36 on page 7 in panel 4.

Lars did a great job with this portrait. I really like the blue highlights on his black armor. That really helps make the black seem even blacker, especially in contrast to the light blue sky. The two red eyes really give this character a menacing appearance.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Party Girl # 3 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

In Endless Nights, four people are joined together by a common thread, having visited Delirium’s realm. One of these people is a writer who is chronicling the adventures of Nicholas Sky-boy and his rebel forces. If he does not continue to write about these boys he believes they will be lost in Hell forever, being tortured by demons.

One of these adventures entails Nicholas and the Sky-Boys leading an attack on Lord Kiss-&-Shah of Hell and the Party Girls.

This is one of the Party Girls.

She appears in Endless Nights, in “Going Inside” on page 8 in panel 2.

This is an awesome portrait from Lukas. The Party Girls are incredibly bizarre characters and Lukas did a great job with this portrait. I love the unusual expression on the fish’s face. It just adds an oddness to the character.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bartender (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

Although this character appears on only two pages of the entire Sandman series, I am really drawn to her and feel that she’s pretty important.

After leaving Worlds’ End, Brant returns to his life, although drastically changed by the events of his visit at the inn. He never returns to Seattle.

One evening he recounts his story to a bartender. He tells her that after leaving the inn he woke up in the car in a McDonald’s parking lot. The car was not damaged from the crash that caused him to wander to the inn during the storm. He tells her that Charlene wasn’t listed in their company directory and she seemingly did not exist.

The bartender asks if he ever wondered if perhaps he imagined Charlene and the pub and all the stories. He tells her that he does wonder, but he remembers seeing the funeral procession and remembers Charlene even though nobody else does.

He thanks the bartender for listening and expresses his concern that she might think he’s crazy. She says that she doesn’t and that she hears a lot of weird stories while behind the bar.

Brant says goodnight and walks down the street into the night. She watches him until he is out of sight.

The bartender appears in Sandman # 56, on pages 23 and 24.

One of the things I really like about this character is that a common theme throughout this storyline is people telling stories, and mostly men telling stories. These last two pages continue the tradition of storytelling as Brant tells his story to the Bartender. From the first page of this book we are being retold Brant’s experiences and so it’s only when we get to these last two pages we understand that this entire book is just another tale being told.

Anna did a great job with this portrait. I like the perspective of the character and it appears as if she’s looking at someone or speaking to someone.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Faery # 53 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

On June 23rd, 1593, a group of Faeries crossed over to Wilmington, England with Titania and Auberon to see the first performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written by William Shakespeare at the request of Morpheus.

This is one of the Faeries who attended the first performance on the hillside.

This Faery appears in Sandman # 19, on page 7, in panel 2.

This is a wonderful Faery from Lukas. She doesn’t look nearly as mischievous as a lot of the Faeries do and I really appreciate the sweetness captured in this portrait. I love the line works around the nose and neck. It’s those subtle details that really add a lot to the drawing.

Here is Faery # 53…

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dead Man # 25 (illustrated by Joelle Jones)

In The Sandman Special # 1, Orpheus journeys to the Underworld to rescue his recently deceased wife. As he enters the throne room of Lord Hades and Queen Persephone he encounters a large group of the dead. This Dead Man is one of the many dead men in the Underworld.

He appears in The Song Of Orpheus, on page 31, in panel 5.

Joelle did a great job with this portrait. The contrast between the blackness of the background and the stark whiteness of the dead man is intense and makes the character pop. I really like the blankness in his eyes.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Franklin (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

After Dream regains his tools of office he took the opportunity to sit in the park and feed the pigeons. In this park, Franklin and some friends were paying soccer. At one point he accidentally kicked his ball toward Dream, who caught it and gave it back to him.

When Death joined her brother, Franklin once again accidentally kicked his ball in her direction, perhaps as an excuse to ask her out on a date. She accepted saying “Sure, Franklin. You’ll see me again soon.” He was baffled how she knew his name.

Dream spent the day with Death and at the end of the day they return to the park. Franklin was talking to his friends about Death and the ball flew over Franklin’s head and he ran into the street and was hit by a car and died instantly.

Franklin saw Death again and they talked for a few moments before she walks him over to the car and tells him that there’s “something you maybe oughta see.”

Franklin appears in Sandman # 8.

Anna did a fantastic job with this portrait. I like his happy and carefree expression. It really fits well with this character in the published comic.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Actor Playing A Werewolf (illustrated by Lars Brown)

In Preludes And Nocturnes, as John Dee begins to use Dream’s ruby to assert his control over reality, the customers at a small diner in Mayhew are the first to feel the effects of the chaos.

As time passes and the customers of the diner begin to feel the influence of John Dee’s will, they become violent or overly sexual acting out things that they may have only experienced in their dreams or nightmares.

John Dee, at one point, forces two of the men in the restaurant to fight. Garry and Mark begin fighting in the crowded diner. In the background a monster movie is playing on the television.

This man is the actor who plays the werewolf in the movie being broadcast on television.

Based on the dialogue from the movie, this seems like it may be the 1941 Wolfman movie released by Universal Pictures. If this is the case then this actor is Lon Chaney. The thing is…this werewolf is does not look like the Wolfman from the 1941 movie. This comic was published in June 1989. From 1988-1989 there was an American tv show called Werewolf that was basically about a college student who succumbed to the curse of the werewolf and his quest to lift the curse. If the show on tv is Werewolf the actor may be John J. York. The image of the werewolf on the tv screen seems to fit that show and the time frame works, but I cannot say if that exact line appears in the television show since I have not seen this show since it was originally broadcast and it's not available on dvd.

This character appears in Sandman # 6 on page 19 in panel 6.

Lars did a fantastic job with this portrait. I love his depiction of the werewolf and the details he added to the character. I also really like that he used the television as a framework for this portrait. It’s a nice touch and makes me smile when I see it in context with this character.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Witch # 2 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

After deciding that he was too afraid to continue the production of his play Typhoid Mary Blues, Todd Faber falls asleep and dreams of climbing a tall rock face. Upon reaching the top he encounters Dream of The Endless.

Todd, realizing that he is in a dream and recounts, to the King of Dreams, a nightmare he had when he was five or six. He tells Morpheus that in his dream he was trapped in a house full of witches and to escape he climbed onto the roof of the house. The roof then tilted and he fell off. He knew that if he hit the ground he would die and he pulled himself out of the dream because he didn’t know how to wake himself up. Dream gives Todd some advice and tells him that there is an alternative to dying if he falls.

This Witch is one of the witches from Todd’s nightmare.

This Witch appears in Fear Of Falling (originally published in Vertigo Preview # 1 on page 5.

This witch is frightening and it’s easy to see why Todd might be afraid of her. Anna did an excellent job making this character scary, someone any six year old would be horrified to meet, even in a dream.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dignitary # 46 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

Dream and his lover, Killalla Of The Glow, travel to the palace to attend the parliament concerning zones of responsibility and the merits of obligation for creation.

This Dignitary is one of many who gathered at the palace.

He appears in the background in Endless Nights, in the story, The Heart Of The Star, on page 7 in panel 1.

I really like this portrait for a variety of reasons. Lukas did an awesome job bringing this character, which is no more than a colored shape in the published comic, to life. You can see a definite personality that was formed as Lukas drew this character. One thing that I really like is that Lukas’ portrait makes me want to know more about this obscure character. Who does he represent and why is he at the parliament? We will never know, but he certainly feels like he has a story waiting to be discovered.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Babylonian Woman # 4 (illustrated by John Carmine)

Tiffany and Ishtar meet Nancy outside the strip, Suffragette City, where they work as dancers. They get into a conversation about dancing versus prostitution.

Nancy tells them about temple prostitution. Every Babylonian woman went into the Temple Of Ishtar and waited for a man to come to them. They would give them a coin and the women would go into one of the temple rooms and make love to them. Once they had made love, they were free to leave the temple and begin their lives.

Ishtar commented that that after awhile this ritual began to decay and fall to the wayside. She considered this ritual to be one of the most important and terrifying rituals of the civilization for both men and women because they were to give themselves up to lust and previously unknown pleasures.

This woman is one of the Babylonian women waiting in the temple courtyard.

This Babylonian Woman appears in Sandman # 44, page 12, panel 6.

I love this portrait from John. I enjoy how John draws women and this is no exception. I like the sideways glance that this character is doing and I like the colors used in this portrait. I can’t quite make out the expression on her face and perhaps that is one of the things that really draws me into this portrait.

Here is a beautiful portrait of one of the Babylonian Women…

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cat # 25 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

Sorry for disappearing for the week. It's been a crazy busy week and I kept trying to find the time to post new characters and failed. I'm feeling a little more caught up and so I'll be more consistent....

In Dream Of A Thousand Cats, a wise storyteller cat recalls her encounter with Dream and the tale he imparted to her.

He told her that once cats ruled the world and humans were subservient to them. One day a Golden Haired Man told his fellow humans that if they dreamed of an existence where humans were no longer hunted and killed by cats it would be so because “Dreams shape the world.”

In time enough humans had this dream and the next day the world changed and cats were no longer dominant.

This cat is one of the cats in the Storyteller cat’s tale. He appears in Sandman # 18, on page 18, in panel 3.

Max modeled this cat after his brother’s cat, named Toby. This is a fantastic portrait. I love the colors and the realistic nature of the cat’s fur. I really like this portrait!!!