Sandman Act II had a virtual panel at NYCC2021! The highly second part of the Audible adaption of Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece hits the Audible app this weekend! So it makes sense that it would have a presence at this year’s con. This is the age of COVID, however, so instead of in-person appearances Neil Gaiman, director Dirk Maggs, voice actors James Mcavoy (Morpheus), and Kevin Smith (Merv Pumpkinhead) appeared in a virtual panel hosted by Tiffany Smith.
Despite being a slightly detached experience, (it seemed odd watching a panel in Main Stage instead of having the talent in person), the cast did have some insights to give on their experience. Kevin Smith talked at length about how inspirational Neil’s work had been on him when he was writing and making Clerks. “If you’re a creative, it’s fuel. As you watch his imagination unfold, your imagination can’t help but unfold as well.” When Kevin got the call to participate he figured he was going to be Merv. And he was right. He remarked he had a way to make Marv sound “very Jersey”.
Dirk Maggs said that his job was mostly to stay out of the way of the actors and the power of the source material. Gaiman compared the experience to theater, saying “If you do not pay attention if you do not engage, you kind of lose it.”
Another challenge that presented itself to the team was how to adapt “A Game Of You”. The comic contained one of the first trans characters in comics and they wanted to make sure they got that right. Gaiman and Maggs worked closely with GLAAD to make sure that they were being true to the original story, and cultural changes since then. “You’re going back a long way. We still want this to be this comic and that story… we had long, long conversations… and then GLAAD looked at what we’d done, and that gave us the confidence.”
So, with the upcoming Netflix show and this Audible adaptation, it’s a great time to revisit the series or discover it for the first time!