Monday, November 30, 2015

Julius Caesar (illustrated by Max Rugers)

Julius Caesar was an ambition Roman general that became a powerful dictator of Rome. While in power he instituted many social and political reforms. His death (on March 15, the Ides Of March) lead to a civil war and the rise of the Roman Empire under the rule of Octavius Caesar, who later became known as Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor.

The account of the assassination of Julius Caesar has been immortalized in the play, Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare.

Within the Sandman Universe, Julius Caesar makes a very brief, but hauntingly memorable, appearance in August (Sandman # 30).

Octavius, who is also known as Emperor Augustus, and Lycius sit in the market pretending to be beggars and speak of personal legacy. They also speak of Julius Caesar.

Lycius tells Augustus that he wishes that he knew him. Augustus, who is the nephew of Julius, tells the dwarf that he remembers first meeting his uncle and describes him as having the eyes of a hero and that he remembered hearing about the assassination and was named as the heir to Rome. When Augustus returned to the city, he took his revenge on those who killed his uncle and became the first Roman Emperor.

Lycius says, to Augustus “You must have loved him very much,” to which Augustus replied “No. I hated him” and says nothing more of the subject.

After a day in the marketplace, the two men part and Augustus returns home. He removes the make up and goes to bed. That night he dreams, he dreams of a time past when he was sixteen and his uncle Julius Caesar rapes him in the middle of the night and he remembers this nighly ritual. This dream haunts him every time he closes his eyes.

Julius Caesar appears in Sandman # 30 on pages 8, 12, and 23.

Max was put in a difficult position of doing a portrait of a character that is not only based in history, but also a character that is not portrayed in the best of light in the published comic. He did a great job with this portrait. I like the line work on the character’s face and his thin hair matted against his forehead, similar to that in the comic. His eyes do not seem as fierce or as brutal as described in the comic, but there is still a coldness that is a little off-putting about him.

Here is Julius Caesar…

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Magician # 2 (illustrated by Lars Brown)

In 1939, Wesley Dodds visits England while investigating the suicide of his friend Linus Benchley.

His investigation leads him to Fawney Rig, the home of Roderick Burgess.

Dodds, attends a party thrown by Burgess and for the evening’s entertainment several magicians performed, filling the night with illusions and miracles.

This man is one of the magicians that performed at the Burgess party.

He appears in Sandman Midnight Theatre on page 43.

This is a wonderful portrait from Lars. I love his approach to this character. He seems like a typical stage magician, which works perfectly for this story. The blue background and highlights on the magician’s face are perfect for this portrait.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Aurelian Emissary # 10 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

When Cluracan was sent to Aurelia by Titania he was forced to sit though a council meeting, listening to the various Aurelian Emissaries discuss the alliance between the cities.

This Emissary is at the council meeting.

He was there to witness Cluracan’s prediction that the dead would begin to rise to collect the debts owed to them and that dogs would eat the Carnifex’s bones.

He appears in Sandman # 52, on page 13, in panel 3.

I love this portrait. Max deviated a bit from his overly complex and detailed portraits to do something a little simpler, but still incredibly striking and vibrant. I love the shadows and the deepness of the purples that he used to bring this character to life. I think that the shadows really create a contrast that makes the purples and the yellows of the backgrounds stand out quite a lot. I also really like the expression on this character’s face. This is a fabulous portrait!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Demon # 195 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

There are a lot of demons in Hell and this demon is one of the many demons that have gathered as Lucifer and Dream discuss his missing helmet.

This demon appears in the very large crowd of demons in Sandman # 4 on page 12.

Kai decided to take a different approach to this character. Instead working in his detailed ink work he decided to experiment with a pencil only drawing. I really like how this portrait really accents the demon’s muscle tone and I think that is, in large part, because of the use of pencil.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Black Guard # 7 (illustrated by Jeremy Haun)

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

The Black Guard were sent out to search of Barbie and her friends and to 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 throughout the A Game of You Storyline. This particular member of The Black Guard appears in Sandman # 35 on page 7 in panel 3.

This is a fantastic portrait from Jeremy. He did an awesome job capturing both the menacing appearance and the frightening aspects of this character. The blackness inside the helmet with the eyes staring out is quite haunting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Awards Ceremony Member # 6 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

Richard Madoc had writers block, but after trading Erasmus Fry a Bezioar for the muse Calliope he becomes a successful writer and a celebrity.

Richard Madoc won many awards and this woman was in attendance at one of the award ceremonies where Richard spoke.

She appears in Sandman # 17 on page 13 in panel 1.

I really like this portrait from Max. It’s an interesting perspective. I love the way her hair flows across her face. The details and sweep of her hair is absolutely perfect.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dignitary # 246 (illustrated by Ron Chan)

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.

Dignitaries from various planets, realms and realities gather to be a part of this important meeting. This Dignitary is one of many who gathered at the palace.

After discovering Killalla kissing Sto-Oa, Dream seeks out Desire and confronts her, thinking that she had a hand in this betrayal, which, of course, she did. She is Desire after all. This Dignitary is standing near Desire as Dream expresses his displeasure with her games.

This Dignitary appears in the background in Endless Nights, in the story, The Heart Of The Star, on page 18 in panel 4.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Demon # 441 (illustrated by Carl Sciacchitano)

Once the Angels Remiel and Duma took possession of the Key To Hell, the demons and condemned souls were allowed to return and populate Hell once again.

This demon was part of a school of fish-like demons were some of the many demons that were allowed to return. This is one of those fish demons.

He appears in Sandman # 28, on page 1 in panel 2.

Friday, November 20, 2015

London Citizen # 4 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

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 man is one of the people Constantine passed.

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

I really like this portrait from Max. In the published comic, this man is in the background walking down the street. I like Max’s approach with this character. He drew this character in a realistic manner and I can easily imagine him walking the streets of London. I like the background that Max used for this portrait. The torn up paper is a really nice touch.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bondage Girl # 4 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

In the first chapter of Brief Lives, Delirium wanders into a bondage club looking for a change.

The club is filled with people having a good time.

This woman is dancing to Tear In Your Hand by Tori Amos. She really stands out in the crowd, probably due to the fact she is wearing a cone shaped bra.

He appears in Sandman # 41 on page 9 in panel 5.

I really like this portrait from Kai. I really like the feathered line work of her hair and the expression on her face. It’s obvious that she is enjoying the music…and enjoying her time with the man she is with.

Here is Bondage Girl # 4…

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dead Man # 236 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

Orpheus went into the depths of the Underworld to rescue Eurydice. As he approached the throne room of Hades and Persephone he encounters a large gathering of the dead.

To implore the rulers of the Underworld to release his deceased wife, Orpheus sang a song about love and loss. This song caused the dead to weep.

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

He appears in The Song Of Orpheus, on page 33, in panel 3.

This is an amazing portrait from Max. I really like his heavy use of blacks and deep reds in this portrait to convey a sense of despair. This is a wonderful portrait with a lot of emotion.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Halloween Partier in New York # 4 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

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 while lost in the crowd of people, he encountered Choronzon.

This man is in the crowd of Halloween partiers in New York.

She is in The Last Sandman Story (from Dust Covers) page 4, panel 1.

This is a great portrait from Anna. I really like his somber expression. He does not seem like he is enjoying the party or perhaps he is a bit apprehensive about the crowds on the streets. Either way, he appears to be uncomfortable and I appreciate Anna’s ability to express that emotion in her portrait.

Here is Halloween Partier in New York # 4…

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Man # 21 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

Destiny is the focus of one of the stories in Endless Nights and we get a vague glimpse of the mysterious character.

Destiny’s book contains all of the history that has ever happened, that is happening and that will happen, for every person and creature with the entire universe.

This man is another person that is not necessarily a character, but more of a representation of a character in Destiny’s book.

He appears in Endless Nights, on the 5th page of the Destiny story.

Kai did a great job with this obscure background character. There is very little known about him aside from possibly guessing at his personality based on his stance. Kai brought a serious look to the character, but that could be simply due to the use of pencil instead of ink or watercolor. I really like his expression. To me, he seems slightly amused.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Resident Of The Dreaming # 37 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

On the day the Kindly Ones entered The Dreaming, Morpheus spent the afternoon walking through the hallways of his castle speaking to each of the residents, listening to their complaints or concerns and acknowledging and appreciating their work.

This is one of the residents of The Dreaming who met The King Of Dreams that afternoon.

He appears in Sandman # 64, on page 5, in panel 1.

This is a fantastic and disturbing portrait from Max. This portrait is constructed with clippings from magazines on the upper half of the portrait and painted on the lower half. This creates a fractured and frightening feeling when looking at it. I have no idea where Max would have found a photo in a magazine that would work so perfectly for this character but he did and it’s a wonderful portrait as a result.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

White Grub Thing # 8 (illustrated by Jeremy Haun)

While trying to avoid The Black Guard and the Cuckoo’s minions, Barbie and her friends discover the body of Tantoblin.

She recounts to her friends how she first met the Tantoblin.

Barbie and Martin Tenbones were on their way to the Arch Of The Porpentine when they were attacked by the White Grub Things. Barbie described them as Fat Children.

These White Grub Things appear in Sandman # 35, on page 5, in panel 1.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Baku # 5 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

There is a tale that is told about a Monk and a Fox. Perhaps it is a fairy tale and perhaps a Monk and a Fox really fell in love and when the Monk was murdered the Fox took revenge for the death of her lover.

We will never know for sure, but it has been said that sometimes if you dream and journey to the distant regions of the dreaming where the Baku graze you might catch a glimpse of a Man and a fox walking across the plains…

This is one of the Baku that grazes in the distant regions of The Dreaming.

I absolutely love this portrait from Kai. The line work on the Baku’s fur is delicately drawn and absolutely perfect. This is a great portrait of this creature from The Dreaming.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Citizen Of Barbie’s World # 64 (illustrated by Jeremy Haun)

After Barbie smashes the Porpentine against the Heirogram on the Isle Of Thorns, Dream is summoned to destroy her world and welcomed the citizens of Barbie’s world back into the dark folds of his cloak.

This character is one of the many citizens of Barbie’s world.

He appears in Sandman # 36, page 34, panel 2.

This is an awesome portrait from Jeremy. In the published comic this character is barely more than a blob, but Jeremy created a wonderful character that fits perfectly within Barbie’s world and the Sandman Universe.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Robert’s Workmate # 9 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

While Brant and Charlene are trapped in Worlds’ End, they hear stories told throughout the night as they wait for the storm to pass.

Mr. Gaheris tells a story about a man named Robert who lived in a large city that he loved very much. He worked in the city center, at a desk in a room filled with dozens of men and women who also sat at their desks doing a job similar to his.

This man is one of Robert’s workmates.

He appears in Sandman # 51 on page 12, in panel 1.

I love this portrait from Max. I really like that this character is drawn is mostly subdued grays and I like that his face is turned downward as if he’s looking at some papers on his desk. The portrait feels completely calming and is beautifully drawn.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Michel (illustrated by Mike DeCarlo)

In 1794, during the French Revolution, Michel is one of the men patrolling the streets and who encounters Lady Johanna Constantine and the head of Orpheus.

Michel and Guillaume are standing guard on a street corner in Paris when Johanna Constantine wanders by with a sack. The two men stop her, thinking that perhaps she has some food, but instead she pulls out Orpheus’ head and shows it to the two men.

Michel finds this to be ghastly and thinks that Johanna is a madwoman, but Guillaume sees the gold earring on Orpheus’ head and cuts it off.

They let her pass, continuing on her way to her lodgings and Michel and Guillaume continue on their patrol of the neighborhood.

Michel appears in Thermidor, on pages 3-5.

Mike did a great job with this character. He’s one of my favorites that he’s done so far. I really like the color accents on his face and the somewhat sinister expression on his face.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Worlds’ End Patron # 39 (illustrated by Anna Hybsier)

Here is another of those adorable Worlds’ End Patrons and Anna drew this portrait making the character even more cute and cuddly than I would have expected. He is so wonderfully lovable!!!

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

When the storm pounds against the inn, this little character is frightened by the thunder, as it rattles the windows and as the lightning lights up the night sky.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Frederick’s Dream Girl # 2 (illustrated by John Carmine)

Alex Burgess keeps several guards on duty to watch over Dream, who has been trapped in a glass prison for 70 years.

Frederick, one of Burgess’ guards, drifts off to sleep one evening while he is supposed to be watching the King Of Dreams.

Frederick dreams of a vacation on a warm sunny beach. There were a group of beautiful women playing volleyball in the sand. This is one of Frederick’s dream girls.

She appears in Sandman # 1 on page 27, in panel 6.

I really like John’s portrait for this character. She cute and happy and just the type of person that might visit your dreams. I like the little details on this portrait. Adding the volley ball net is definitely a nice touch!

Here is one of Frederick’s dream girls…

Monday, November 2, 2015

Babylonian Woman # 5 (illustrated by Kai Martin)

In Brief Lives, while discussing prostitution and the sex industry, Nancy tells Ishtar and Tiffany about the Babylonian women she learned about in a class.

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 these women had made love, they were free to leave the temple and begin their lives.

Ishtar commented that that over time this ritual began to fall to the wayside. She, however, considered this ritual to be extremely important and one of the most 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.

Kai did a fantastic job with this portrait. I love the texture used to create her clothing. The brush pen he used created amazing line work adding an interesting look and detail to the folds of her clothing.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Roman Citizen # 109 (illustrated by Max Rugers)

In Fables And Reflections, Augustus Caesar and Lycius spend the day sitting on thesteps of the temple near the marketplace dressed as beggars.

The marketplace is crowded and many people pass them without regard.

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

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

I love this portrait from Max. This man looks like what I would expect a Roman citizen would look like. The line work on his body and outfit is exceptional. I also like the reds used for this portrait. Red is not necessarily a color I associate with ancient Rome, but it works very well with this portrait and gives it a vibrancy that I really like.