From Michael Doran at Newsarama:
DC Comics kicked off their editorial presentations at this weekend’s Wizardworld: Chicago convention Friday afternoon with their Evolving Vertigo panel…
…Perhaps the highlight of the panel was the announcement of a new manga-style graphic novel written and illustrated by former Sandman artist Jill Thompson starting the female faces of the Endless – Death, Delirium, and Despair.
Currently under the working title of Eternal Horizons, the original graphic novel plays off an idea by Gaiman.
Various people from DC asked me about doing a manga Sandman during Book Expo America explained Gaiman. I said no, I didn’t think so. They said please. I said no. Karen [Berger] said Jill Thompson. And I remembered how much I’d enjoyed Jill’s Little Endless book, and started thinking about it as something like the Sandman Book Of Dreams, where I got a great deal of pleasure looking at non-canonical Sandman stories…. and I said yes.
I suggested to Jill that the story take place during Sandman: Season of Mists, so any scenes with Morpheus in are scenes in Season of Mists’. For the rest of it, she gets to have fun showing what happened when the Dead came back. And I’m looking forward to reading it…
Eternal Horizon is going to be a 192-page shoujo manga style project that tells us what Death, Delirium and Despair were doing while Dream had the Key to Hell during the Season of Mists’ storyline, added Thompson.
Asked why a manga-style Endless story, Thompson said we’d have to ask Gaiman and Berger as they approached her about the project, but added that from her point-of-view it seems that the Sandman characters and mythos seem to be a perfect fit for this style of manga which usually contains a score of fashionable, sexy androgynous characters, heavy interpersonal relationships, high drama and important symbolism.
I’m anxious to get started on it and I think it will be a cool new way for readers to be introduced to the Sandman stories, she said, jokingly saying she’d like to put prizes and stickers in the book like real manga.
Taking up Thompson’s suggestion, we asked Berger why they’re putting Sandman and manga together?
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past few years, knows how huge the manga market is, replied the editor. This is a whole audience of readers, both male and female, who don’t read American comics. We thought a Sandman or Death book could visually and thematically be done well in the manga style, and be a great route into attracting more people to our material, particularly during Vertigo’s 10th anniversary next year.
We also felt that it was important to get closer to pure manga’ by doing a low-priced, chunky, dense book, not as conventional single issue comics like the stuff Marvel did.
Again, coming in at 192 pages, the black & white volume will be booksize, or about 7×5 inches.
Jill immediately leapt to mind as the perfect writer/artist for this project, and luckily, she was as excited about the book as we were! Berger continued. Her talent and evolution as an artist has been amazing, particularly on the Li’l Endless book she did for us last year. The initial character sketches she’s done for this are sensational, and the plot couldn’t be better.…
…And speaking of the Endless, work on The Sandman: Endless Nights hardcover continues, written by Neil Gaiman with Moebius illustrating a tale of Destiny, Milo Manara on Desire, P.Craig Russell on Death, Bill Sienkiewicz on Delirium, Gaetano Liberatore on Destruction, Miguelanxo Prado on the Sandman, and Barron Storey on Despair, plus a cover by Dave McKean.
Neil’s just about done with the last two stories, said Berger. We’re planning to release Endless Nights early next year to kick off Vertigo’s 10th anniversary. The art’s just starting to arrive… Prado’s Death is to die for!
Wayne named February 2002 as a likely ship date, and added one of the stories is a straight on DCU story that will blow people away.
There is a graphic of Thompson’s manga version of Death accompanying the story.
Also from Michael Doran’s Newsarama coverage of Wizard World:
…Asked for an update on Neil Gaiman’s mysterious 1602, (Joe) Quesada said Gaiman’s script for issue #1 is in and artist Andy Kubert is currently at work on it. Quesada expects issue #2 in any day, and said Gaiman is currently writing the project as an eight-issue mini-series. And because Gaiman wants it to come out monthly, the project will launch in spring 2003 at the earliest in order enough lead time/issues in the can.