I’m a big fan of Dave McKean’s artwork so I was delighted to see that alongside the new edition of Dust Covers (his covers for the Sandman series), this now existed, collecting his The Dreaming covers and various Sandman Presents and miscellaneous work.
McKean’s illustrations are peerless and unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. They look wonderful in their unadorned, lavishly put together fashion in this book. We also get, as we did in Dust Covers, lots of other smaller work from him littered through the book.
My big gripe with this is that its missing the voices of Dust Covers, wherein Dave and Neil Gaiman commented on the covers and their creation. This would’ve been a perfect opportunity to do that with the various writers of the series. In particular, I would’ve loved to read the dialogues between primary The Dreaming writer, Caitlin R Kiernan, and McKean, but instead we get one page of text, about McKean’s work about The Sandman Overture covers. This shouldn’t surprise me, since Vertigo has always seemingly (incorrectly, in my view) seen The Dreaming as the poor cousin of The Sandman no one should talk about (which is why, bar the one out of print collection that collated various issues from the middle of the run, I guess they’ve never bothered putting out The Dreaming as collection editions WHICH IS TOTALLY SOMETHING THEY SHOULD DO).
Still, it’s wonderful to have McKean’s stellar Dreaming work collected in one book. There’s also a new McKean-illustrated, Gaiman-written comic at the start, but I wasn’t crazy about it, and it’s not a patch on The Last Sandman Story from Dust Covers.
In short, excellent, but if they had’ve treated this book as Dust Covers’ equal, instead of its little brother, it could’ve been much more engaging.