Groth: My impression is you and Sam [Keith] didn't harmonize on the storyline.
Gaiman: No, we didn't. I think we started to harmonize a bit by the end, but I remember for Sandman #1 I sent him about two feet of reference, none of which got in there. Sandman #1 definitely didn't work. Sandman #2 worked a little bit better just because it was full of these Wrightson grotesques anyway. Three was horrible - #3 I knew was going to be horrible before we did it, because the idea was trying to draw a very realistic little English urban horror, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, Hellblazer-y kind of thing.
Groth: Was that "Dream a Little Dream of Me"?
Gaiman: Yep. And getting Sam to do that was like asking him to fly. It wasn't what he wanted to do, it wasn't what he was happy with, and it's a very strange little mess. By #4 I'd at least seen a lot of his work on the first few and got to write page descriptions. I'd say, "Sam, we've got a million demons here, from horizon to horizon, and they're all different," and know that that was the kind of thing he'd complete sink his teeth into - he even inked those things, he like them so much. But he also cheered up. At the end of #3, he quit, and it was a source of relief to everyone because he was so miserable. I'd have these conversations with Sam and I'd think he was going to put his head in an oven. He was by now convinced that when Sandman came out he would lose any credibility he's ever had in the industry., I remember we had to fight with him to keep his name on it. At one point he turned around, shortly before Sandman #1 came out, phoned Karen [Berger], and said he wanted it to go out under the name, "The Meat." Karen said, "No, don't be silly!" So when he phoned up and said, "Look, I'm quitting - I feel like Jimi Hendrix in the Beatles, I'm in the wrong band here, I'm out," he did another two issues after that and was a lot happier. He perked up as soon as he quit.
The Comics Journal #163, November 1993
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