I think I only have the first compilation of Sandman comics, Preludes and Nocturnes, and I've kind of laid off comics for a really long time, because they do nothing but frustrate me with their stupid open endings and "to be continued". I know that I like the Sandman, I knew that I was going to like it, I knew that I would like it before I ever started reading it. I don't really know how to explain that I like the Sandman comic almost by default, before I opened the first comic book.
During the winter break, I catsat for friends that have most of the series. Again, I knew that I was going to like it, but I didn't know that I was going to lose my shit over it.
I became completely infatuated, and it was helpful that Morpheus reminds me of Trent, definitely. I fell in love with him and every time I went to catsit, I would read two of the compilations (the owners knew this), and it was like going to see my lover, I was going on a date. Towards the end, I noticed that they were missing the last two issues and I went on a really bad trip and just stopped spending time at their place, because it was like I'd broken up with a guy that I really liked and I didn't want to be there anymore. And there was a nostalgia and a feeling of lacking when I went again, because my insides wanted to sit down and read more, but there was no more to read. It was confusing and it made me sad.
Morpheus kept reminding me of Trent, because he's usually top lit, with the scraggly, messy hair, scrawny like Trent used to be, back in the Downward Spiral days. He is freaking adorable.
So, my first impulse was definitely to draw Morpheus and I picked a picture of Trent that has something to do with the Downward spiral, but I don't know what it is the cover of. I have it labelled as "trent insect", because that's what his eyes remind me of.
I got quite frustrated with the stories in which Morpheus doesn't show up and he's only vaguely related to them. I love how charming and polite he is. It's like I have a legit crush on this dude, I'm blinded most of the time to how proud and stubborn he is. He was the first drawing that I did.
I have very little concern about his appearance when I look at the drawing, because I know that it turned out fucking perfect. I look at him and his twin star eyes and I feel like I could dive into him and kiss him.
Neil describes his eyes as "pools of night" and "twin stars", which is so beautiful and romantic, and I wish I had a lover with such eyes and he could look at me with them.
I don't know, really, why in particular I decided to draw Death. She is definitely way too cool and chill for me. Neil Gaiman said that there is a cabbalah story about death that says it is such a beautiful creature and you fall in love so hard and so fast that your soul comes out of your eyes. He said he didn't want a Death who agonized over her role, or who took a grim delight in her job, or who didn't care. He wanted a Death that he would like to meet in the end. Someone who would care. Like her. In the wikipedia article, she is described as: "pleasant, down-to-earth, perky". So for my drawing, I wanted her to be warmly and intimately looking at the viewer and smiling. I wanted the smile to be a Milla sort of smile, a smile that you give a person with whom you keep a secret and only both of you know, a smile that says you trust them and you're together in whatever it is. Because of the nature of said smile, there should be some mischief in it, so hopefully there is a little of that, too.
Desire was the most difficult and elusive one. I did two bust drawings of him, before I realized that a bust drawing would break what I had going with Death and Dream, because those two are close ups of faces. So I had to look for a face and a facial expression that I felt suited Desire. I also kept confusing him with pleasure, because I guess he just comes off as hedonistic and capricious to me, and that is also why I guess I liked the idea of making a self portrait out of him.
Also, I know that Desire is neither and both male and female, but I think of him as him. He's a very beautiful boy, one of those model types, with whose beauty I cannot deal with and makes me uncomfortable. I think that's why I ended up with Milla as my reference and I also think that she would be fucking perfect to be him in a movie.
Neil's description (one of the descriptions, anyway) of Desire in the comic is as follows: "Desire smiles in brief flashes, like sunlight glinting from a knife-edge. And there is much else that is knife-like about Desire. Never a possession, always the possessor, with skin pale as smoke and eyes tawny and sharp as yellow wine: Desire is everything you have ever wanted. Whoever you are. Whatever you are. Everything."
The line: "Desire smiles in brief flashes, like sunlight glinting from a knife-edge", I think might have been what did it for me.
So, Desire looks down at us, with disdain and condescension, parted fleshy, pillowy, inviting lips, half closed ochre eyes, a hedonistic molasses feeling about him.
So here they are.