Sunday, May 31, 2015

Baby With The US Birthmark (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

In Worlds’ End, Brant Tucker wandered the halls of the free house and found himself in a room with a man saying that he was a Seeker and was trying to find the world where Prez Rickard became the President Of The United States.

Prez Rickard was an exceptional person and even as a boy he took pride in his country and knew that when he was older he was destined to be President.

As he grew he became even more dedicated to helping people and helping his city of Steadfast.

He ran for president when he was 19 years old.

On election day there were many strange coincidences. Many blind and deaf people regained their sight and hearing, at Cesar’s Palace in Las Vegas all of the slot machines bestowed their jackpots at the exact same time and in New Haven, Connecticut a baby was born with a birthmark on his back in the shape of the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). On this day, Prez Rickard was elected President Of The United States.

This is the baby with the birthmark of the United States on his back.

He appears in Sandman # 54, on page 9, in panel 1.

This is a fantastic portrait from Anna. This is a super cute little baby! Given the nature of the portraits, it’s difficult to capture that this baby has a birthmark on his back, but Anna surpassed my expectation for this character by making him so freakin’ adorable.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Demon # 331 (illustrated by John Carmine)

In Preludes And Nocturnes, Dream visits Hell to retrieve his helmet from a demon who had obtained it in a traded from Ruthven Sykes for an amulet of protection, which was later stolen from him by Ethel Dee.

After reclaiming his helm, as he readies himself to leave, Lucifer challenges Morpheus, telling him that there are millions of demons surrounding him and that he has no power in Hell.

Dream counters and says “What power would Hell have if those here imprisoned were not able to dream of Heaven.”

The crowds of demons part and let him pass, contemplating his words.

This demon is one of the residents of Hell who listened to Morpheus’ speech.

He appears in Sandman # 4, on page 23, in panel 1.

In the published comic this demon is simply a cloaked shape in the background. John took this shape and turned her into a fantastic character. I love this portrait!!! There is a mystery around this character that absolutely intrigues me. I love the colors that John used to highlight this character. The pink of her skin is in contrast to the dark gray backgrounds. This is one of my favorite portraits from John so far.

Here is Demon # 331…

Friday, May 29, 2015

Interlude - Omaha Comic Con

It must be convention season.....

Sandman Portraits artists Ibrahim Moustafa and Jeremy Haun are both appearing at the Omaha Comic Convention this weekend.

Both are likely to have tons of awesome books and prints to buy. You can potentially even get your own piece of original art from them.

Stop by their booth if you are at the convention and say hi!

Money Boy (illustrated by Max Rugers)

As Rose sleeps and the dream vortex spirals out of control her roommates have wild dreams and nightmares revealing their inner most desires and fears.

Ken, Barbie’s husband, dreams of sex and money and power. This nightmarish image of “Money Boy” occupies his dreams.

Money Boy appears in Sandman # 16 on page 4.

This is a very haunting portrait from Max. The chaos and frantic nature makes this one of the most frightening portraits Max has drawn so far. I will admit, the look in his eyes reminds me of Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks as Bob further infects his consciousness. Perhaps that adds a level of creepiness to this portrait.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Waitress # 5 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

In Endless Nights, Rachel has nightmares about the end of the world. Sometimes the world ends by fire, sometimes by ice, and sometimes it’s by plagues that wipe out the human race. When these nightmares start creeping into her day she decides that she needs a change.

One night she has dinner with her friend, Stanley, who is working on an archeological dig on San Raphael.

This waitress is working at the restaurant the night Rachel and Stanley discuss the excavation and whether she would like to be a part of this dig.

She appears in the Destruction story, in Endless Nights on page 3, in panel 1.

In the published comic, this waitress is in the far background helping some other people. Anna brought her to the foreground with this portrait and even gave her a name. I really like this portrait from Anna. As always she did an exceptional job bringing this character to life. I can envision this waitress to be a student working at this restaurant to pay for college.

Here is Waitress # 5…

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Interlude - Phoenix Comic Con

Tomorrow is the first day of the Phoenix Comic Con in, of course, Phoenix, Arizona.

This looks like a fantastic show and I am sad to say that I will not be there.

Emonic, however, will be there all four days.

Emonic has been part of the Sandman Portraits family for a few years and I've been buying art from him for even longer.

If you are at the Phoenix Comic Con, stop by his booth and buy some of his art or prints and tell him how much you are enjoying his portraits.

Vassily (as an old man) (illustrated by Emonic)

In The Hunt, which appears in Fables And Reflections, Vassily tells a story to his granddaughter one evening when her parents were out on a date night.

The story he told was one of the stories from “the old country” and recounts the tale of a young boy who is also named Vassily.

Celeste, his granddaughter, is impatient and would rather watch TV or talk on the phone than listen to the story her grandfather is telling her, but she does listen.

At one point Celeste states that she does not believe in Fairies and her Grandfather replies “Of course you don’t believe in Fairies. You’re Fifteen. You think I believed in Fairies at Fifteen? It took me until I was at least a hundred and forty. Hundred and fifty, maybe.” I find this interesting because, if we are to trust the Grandfather as a reliable narrator then he is incredibly old…older than any mortal should be.

My favorite bit from the entire story is a simple quote from Vassily, the Grandfather. He states “You shouldn’t trust the storyteller; only trust the story.” This is an important theme that pops up now and then throughout Sandman (such as In Dream Country Richard Madoc states “Writers are liars, Dear”).

At the end of the tale, Celeste realizes the importance of the story, that it was not about her boyfriend or about her fairy tales, but about family and about dreams.

This is one of my favorite stories from Fables And Reflections and this is a fantastic portrait.

This portrait was drawn by Emonic and he did an awesome job with this character. I really like the details on this portrait and he captured Vassily. The line work around his eyes is exceptional and really adds a lot of depth to this character and this portrait.

Here is Vassily…

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cat # 4 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

In Dream Of A Thousand Cats, a group of cats are called to a gathering, in a cemetery, to listen to the tale of a wise storyteller cat who recounts her visit with the King Of Dreams.

This cat is on his way to the gathering when he encounters the skeptical cat and the kitten.

This cat appears in Sandman # 18, on page 3 and in panel 3.

This is a wonderful portrait from Lars. I really like the different colors that make up the fur of this cat. I also like that this cat has a suspicious look in his eyes. Is he also skeptical about the gathering and the idea that dreams can change the world?

Here is Cat # 4…

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ash’s Kin # 4 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In “The Hunt”, Vassily tells his granddaughter Celeste a story of how he met his wife and her grandmother, although Celeste suspects this is just another fairy tale “from the old country.”

While on his journey he encounters a deer and chases it for many miles, enjoying the thrill of the hunt. Just as he was about to kill the deer, a young girl names Ash leapt on the deer and broke it’s neck.

Ash returned to her people, with Vassily, bring the fallen animal for their meal.

This man is one of the men in Ash’s tribe.

He appears in Sandman # 38, page 15, panel 1.

I really like this portrait from Max. He did this portrait entirely in pencil, which feels incredibly natural and works well with a man of the forest. I really like the pride that you can feel in this character due to his expression.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Halloween Partier In New York # 5 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

In Dustcovers, Neil Gaiman tells a story about a time he was in New York for Halloween.

In 1992 Neil was visiting with some friends in New York for Halloween. He became separated from his friends and during that brief moment he encountered Choronzon.

This woman is one of the Halloween partiers in New York.

She is in The Last Sandman Story (from Dust Covers) page 4, panel 3.

This is an amazing portrait from Lukas. It feels a little McKean-esque although it has Lukas’ distinct line work and style. I like that the character looks like she’s wearing a mask. This is an absolutely fantastic portrait!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Foxglove’s Fan # 2 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

Since her appearance in Death: The High Cost Of Living, Foxglove has become an international sensation. She is a famous rock star and has released several cds and has appeared on talk shows.

After performing Whole Wide World on David Letterman, she leaves the studio to head to the premier of Day In The Park, which features one of her songs on the soundtrack.

Outside Letterman’s studio a group of Foxglove’s fans wait for her. This is one of her fans.

This woman appears in Death: The Time Of Your Life # 1, on page 24, panel 2.

This is a fantastic portrait from Anna. I really like her interpretation of this character. I really like her hair and how it hangs in front of her eyes.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Worlds’ End Patron # 36 (illustrated by John Carmine)

This patron of Worlds’ End is one of several little grub looking guys who is frightened by the thunder that shakes the inn.

This character appears in Sandman # 55, on page 1, panel 7.

I love this character!!! John did a great job with him and I really like that he appears to be drunk. Perhaps he was trying to drown out his fear and drank just a little too much.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Little Norwegian (illustrated by Max Rugers)

Merv Pumpkinhead has several bat helpers that follow him around throughout The Kindly Ones.

He appears when Merv is working and Matthew stops to talk to him about previous ravens.

The bat helpers appear again when Merv and Abudah are moving a volcano.

The Little Norwegian and the other bat helpers appear a third time when Merv is about to launch an assault on The Kindly Ones. The Little Norwegian can be seen carrying tiny machine gun.

The Little Norwegian appears in Sandman # 57, 60, and 66.

This is a fantastic portrait from Max. I love his realistic approach to this bat. He modeled The Little Norwegian after the Sword Nosed Bat from South America. I really like how his hat is slightly tilted on his head. That little detail adds a lot of personality to this character.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Jamaican Man # 1 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

In Preludes And Nocturnes Daniel Bustamonte falls victim to the sleeping sickness that happens as a result of the imprisonment of the King of Dreams.

He spends a lot of his time on the streets, barely awake.

This Jamaican Man is one of the many men that passed by Daniel while he slept on the side of the street. He was in Jamaica in 1955.

He appears in Sandman # 1, page 20, panel 3.

Lukas did a great job with this portrait. In the published comic, this character is barely more than a human shaped blob in the background, but Lukas fleshed him out and gave him life. I love the details on this man’s face…little things like the shape of his nose, his pronounced jawline and the line work used to create his hair. It’s the small details that really stand out when it comes to this character and it’s exactly what I love about this portrait.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dignitary # 70 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

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.

This is a perfect portrait from Anna. In the published comic, this character is barely more than a humanoid shaped blob. Anna, who is familiar with the story, took the context of this story and created a character that could easily fit within the parliament. I love the fish-like appearance. This is completely unique and makes sense based on the story. There should be a representative from the water dwellers.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Old Woman # 6 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

When Ellie Marsten wakes, she is in a charity home for those suffering from the sleeping sickness. There are many other people in the same ward as she is.

This old woman is one of the people that shared the hospital wing with Ellie Marsten.

He appears in Sandman # 1, on page 33, panel 3. She is on the right side of the panel.

This is another great portrait from Max. I really like the line work on his face and his ability to make her look like an old woman you might see. When I first saw this portrait she felt immediately recognizable, which is awesome because I can honestly say I do not know anyone who looks like this.

Here is Old Woman # 6…

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Elvis Presley (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

Elvis Presley is an iconic American musician who is known as the King of Rock And Roll. He is well known for songs such as Hound Dog, Heartbreak Hotel, and Jailhouse Rock.

To get an more information and details on the life, career and importance of Elvis, you may want to visit his official site or the Wikipedia article regarding his life and career.

Within Sandman, Elvis appears only once and in the first issue.

As Morpheus escapes from his prison he travels through the dreams of Mort Notkin. In his dream, Mort is at a party with Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and a few others. In his dream Mort is dressed like a clown.

In the published comic Elvis is wearing a lai. This is probably in reference to one of his movies. I am assuming the movie is Blue Hawaii, which was released in 1961.

Elvis appears in Sandman # 1 on page 31 in panel 4.

Lukas did a great job with this portrait. I like that he chose to depict Elvis in his younger years. I like that Elvis looks happy. I love Elvis’ hair in this portrait. It’s a bit crazy and natural and the details are fantastic.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bus Passenger # 2 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

In London in June 1920, the news of John Hathaway’s suicide spreads through the city. Young boys are selling newspapers with headlines questioning his mental health and asking questions of the mysteries surrounding his death. The streets are bustling.

This man can be seen sitting on a bus, which is driving down these busy London streets.

This bus passenger appears in Sandman # 1, on page 14, in panel 1.

This is a pretty funny portrait from Lars. I think it’s really funny that this man is drinking tea while on the bus. I really like that this character is wearing clothes that seem appropriate to 1920’s England.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dancing Salamander # 1 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

When Dream entertains a group of children, in The Kindly Ones, several dancing salamanders bring them plates filled with exotic flavors of ice cream and fruits they have never seen or tasted before.

This salamander is one of the residents of the Dreaming who serves the children the ice cream and fruit.

The Dancing Salamander appears in Sandman # 64 on page 1, in panel 2.

I love this portrait from Anna. I really like the colors used for the salamander. There are hints of the fire he is created from within his coloring. I also like that you can get a small glimpse of the many flavors of ice cream he is bringing to the children. That was absolutely a nice touch with this portrait.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Aurelian Citizen # 1 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

When Clurican arrives in Aurelia he is brought before Carnifex Carys XXXV as an envoy of Faery.

As he walks through the chamber to approach the Carnifex he notices a large group of people on either side of the walkway all asking the ruler for his favor or judgment in a dispute.

This is one of those men. He has been waiting many months with his petition, hoping to get it granted.

What is the petition? That is not revealed, only that he’s been waiting an exceedingly long time.

This man appears in Sandman # 52, on page 8, in panel 1.

This is another awesome portrait from Max. I really like the visible frustration in his appearance. It’s definitely a nice touch brining in his disappointment and frustration to the portrait. I also like the vibrant colors used in this portrait. The reds add an intensity to the portrait that really gives credit to the man’s frustrations.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bondage Girl # 13 (illustrated by John Carmine)

In Brief Lives, Delirium is lost and wanders into a bondage club.

In the club she encounters a woman named Lisa who looks a little like Death. Once she realizes that this woman is not her sister she becomes agitated and starts screaming that she wants her sister. It is Desire, not Death, who comes to help her younger sister.

This woman is one of the women standing in the background when Desire arrives to help Delirium

She can be seen in Sandman # 41, on page 11, in panel 4.

This is not a typical perspective for a portrait, but it’s incredibly effective and has a definite eroticism to it. This extreme close up is really well done. I like the positioning of her lips over the ball and the positioning of her head with the strands of hair off to the side. This is a fantastic portrait!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ghost Boy # 58 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

In Season Of Mists, Lucifer abdicates his position as the ruler of Hell and decides to send all of the residents away. He empties Hell of all the demons and tortured souls and locked the doors behind him as he leaves. Some of them returned to where they died, others went to visit their living relatives.

This Ghost Boy returned to St. Hilarion’s School For Boys where he lived for a crucial and influential part of his life.

He is in the auditorium when the Headmaster is addressing the returning students.

The Ghost Boy appears in Sandman # 25, page 14, panel 5.

I really like Anna’s interpretation of these Ghost Boys and this portrait is no exception. I absolutely love her approach to this character. She definitely gives him an ethereal quality with her use of blues to contrast the blackness and give the appearance that the boy is insubstantial.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Island Spirit # 4 (illustrated by Lukas Ketner)

In the last issue of Sandman, The Tempest, we see William Shakespeare writing the final play for Morpheus and the final play of his career.

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 similar to that of Morpheus 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.

Lukas did a wonderful job with this portrait. There is definitely has a magical feel to the character captured by this portrait, which I really like. He certainly feels like a creature that would inhabit this island prison.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Monk # 2 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In Endless Nights, the people in Alain’s court live a life out of reach from Death.

As the day loops, Alain entertains his court with a variety of activities such as masquerades and letting his court watch him get squashed by a large bull elephant. Of course, on some days Alain announces that it’s a day of penitence and mortification.

On those days, a group of monks come to the palace and hear the confessions of the citizens of Alain’s court and after the confessions the penitents kneel and are flogged until their blood ran across the mosaic floor.

This man is one of the Monks of Alain’s island.

This is a fantastic portrait by Max. In the published comic the Monk’s robes are dark gray, but I like that Max gave this Monk a red robe to symbolize the blood that they cause to flow with each day of penitence. The deep red is a contrast to the blackness of the background, which really makes this portrait stand out.

It's been awhile since I've shown one of Max's paintings or drawings on the back of his portrait, but I wanted to show this one. It's equally as nice as the portrait and a different perspective on the character.

Here is Monk # 2 from Alain’s island…

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Nurse # 1 (illustrated by John Carmine)

Ellie Marsten succumbs to the Sleeping Sickness in 1916 and is admitted into a charity ward surrounded by others who are victims of the Sleeping Sickness.

Throughout the years in the charity ward she is attended on by several doctors and nurses.

This nurse is one of her nurses in 1955. She sits beside Ellie, sometimes reading to her, waiting for her to wake up.

This nurse appears in Sandman # 1 on page 20, in panel 2.

This is a wonderful portrait by John. I like how he presents the character. I like her expression. Also, the use of watercolor for the background and for the highlights in her outfit really make this portrait stand out.

Here is Nurse # 1…

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bar Patron # 6 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

Dream and Death visit a pub in England sometime between 1362-1370 and 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 4, in panel 5.

This is a fantastic portrait from Lars. I really like the gritty appearance of the man, which is historically accurate and appropriate as well as the detailed backgrounds putting this man in a pub in the 14th century. I like Lar’s interpretation of this character having a blackened out eye. Perhaps he is missing an eye. In the published comic his eye is indeed dark, but I always took it to be that he was sitting with this eyes shadowed a little bit. Lar’s approach definitely makes for an interesting character, which I appreciate.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Audience Member # 2 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

Tiffany, who was an exotic dancer at the Suffragette City strip club, undergoes a life changing experience when she sees one of her friends, Ishtar, dance so beautifully and with such power and emotion that the club blew up.

Tiffany alone escapes and is given a moment of comfort by Desire, who gave her his/her jacket.

In the final chapter of Brief Lives, Tiffany appears on a talk show and talks about how this experience has changed her life, about how the “palace of sin” was destroyed and an angel appeared to her giving her an Armani jacket.

This woman is one of the audience members of the talk show.

She appears in Sandman # 49 on page 22 in panel 2.

I like this portrait from Anna. There are little details of this portrait that really make this perfect. The line work of her pulled back hair is exceptional and makes a huge, but easily missed, difference when giving this character life.