Welcome to the four hundred and ninety-sixth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and ninety-five. This week, what role did George R.R. Martin play in the creation of Sandman at DC Comics? What Marvel artist was also an actor in a Tony Award-winning musical? And did Jim McCann really come up with the idea of bringing Mockingbird back in Secret Invasion?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: Neil Gaiman originally pitched his idea for Sandman as a story in the Wildcards anthology.
A few weeks back, I talked about George R.R. Martin’s career during the 1980s. After the commercial failure of his 1983 novel, The Armageddon Rag, Martin had to take a bit of a break from novel-writing. Instead, he got involved in the world of television writing (The Twilight Zone, Max Headroom and Beauty and the Beast) before he returned to novels with his ultra-popular Song of Fire and Ice series of novels.
Anyhow, during that lull period, while he wasn’t writing his OWN novels, he was still involved in literature, as he was the editor of the Wild Cards book anthologies.
These anthologies have been reprinted a number of times over the years and it is amusing to see how more and more prominently his name gets displayed on the covers of the books when they are reprinted…
Anyhow, the concept of Wild Cards is that they all superhero stories set in the same shared universe. The books were popular enough to even merit a comic book series based on the books in 1990…
They debuted in 1987. When they launched, Martin obviously wasn’t sure if they would do a sequel (they did a bunch of them). Well, in 1987 at WorldCon, right around the time the books launched, Martin was approached by a young writer who wanted to be involved if there was a second volume of the series. Due to his lack of writing credits, Martin turned the young man down.
The young man’s idea was for a being who could live in people’s dreams.
I think you’re seeing where this is going, right?
Yep, the young man was Neil Giaman and he took the rejected idea to DC Comics the following year and we got Sandman.
I think it all worked out for the best, no?
Thanks to MTV News, George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman for the information! And thanks to Neil Gaiman (via Will Harris and Tasha Robinson) for the correction on which con it was at (I wrote San Diego Comic Con at first, which is how Martin remembered it)!
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: Does Walter O’Brien, the inspiration for CBS’s new hit series, Scorpion, really have the fourth-highest IQ ever recorded?
On the next page, which famous Marvel comic creator also was a cast member in a Tony-Award winning Broadway musical (during the middle of his comics career, even!).
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