This month represents the 25th anniversary of the first issue of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, the genre-defining comic book epic that helped speed the medium’s transition from being seen as kid stuff to being treated as legitimate art and literature. And it’s been a good time for remembrances of Gaiman’s masterpiece: the author is in the process of revisiting his characters in the six-issue The Sandman: Overture miniseries currently being published by DC Comics, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was announced last month to be attached to direct and star in the long-rumored film adaptation.
In galleries in the U.K. and San Francisco, meanwhile, the celebration of The Sandman extends to art from and inspired by the series. At the U.K.’s Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery (in Tunbridge Wells, England) and at San Francisco’s Mission Comics and Art, two different exhibits highlight that work. At Tunbridge Wells, the exhibit features the work of the series’ cover artist, Dave McKean (whose work also includes Gaiman’s Coraline and directing the film Mirrormask); in San Francisco, nearly 30 artists are presenting work inspired by the series. The work on display in San Francisco spans an impressive array of media: ink and pencil comics-style pages, oil painting, and crayon sculptures among them. In any case, it’s exciting to see all of the creativity inspired by the series on display–on two different continents, no less.