Signature Showcase: Neil Gaiman
The Tinted Window of Gaiman’s Sandman, and Subjective Morality
A study of the degree of moral relativism in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.
Can I tell you something?
I haven’t read much Neil Gaiman.
Now, I still read the memes, I know about “Gaimanda” and I am painfully aware that this powerhouse of literature has written many of the episodes of shows I loved as a child [ 1 ]. That last bit makes me feel more oblivious than the teenagers in a 1980s slasher-flick. Now, I have seen Good Omens, and found that entertaining.
So, realizing I was woefully behind on this pop-culture phenomenon, I shouted: “To the graphic-novel dispensary!” Hopping in my Prius, I promptly frightened the regulars at my local comic shop, who didn’t know I was back in town (it’s 2020, and they had no idea I’d left Chicago to return to my home). Suffering the humiliation of ordering something I was very much behind on (while still being in their system for some obscure titles I’d picked out), I got what I needed a few days later. That left me to pour through everything, which I’m thankfully good at, in a short amount of time.
So now that I’m up to speed with—say—everyone else in the world right now, let’s dive in. I have to say, reading this material feels very similar to reading Terry Pratchett’s offerings. Does that make sense? I have no idea.
An Overview of The Sandman
The story follows Dream, one of the seven Endless, the concepts that comprise the universe. Dream, (Morpheus, Onieros) is the isolated Dream King whose emotional journey shows his increased personalization away from simply being the abstraction he was primarily created as.
The Sandman follows symbolic logic just as often as physical logic, which is relevant given its subject matter. Because stories are intrinsically linked to dreams in the world of The Sandman, Morpheus’s role in the story is also a commentary on the nature of stories, and how they relate to the physical world. The whole thing forms a meta-narrative running the gamut on the relationship between fiction and reality. As a work that comments on our making stories, it thus compels its commentary on how we view narrative in real life, and as such runs in contrast to the prevailing worldview, which relates directly to how the work’s relation to moral absolutism and moral relativism is framed, that it deconstructs the prevailing worldview mainly by its emphasis on narrative and resulting worldview [ 2 ][ 3 ].
Inherent in this are both symbolic languages and derivations from older sources, both from ancient myth and later philosophers like Campbell and Jung. In their inclusion and analysis, the book gains its deconstructionist viewpoint, much of which leads to the relation of personal beings, as the Endless appear to be, with the rules they have to follow compared to humans. These rules are different and seem to deny any moral absolutism because it wouldn’t be right, in the context of the story, if Destiny of the Endless were to try and defy what was written in the book, for example, or if Desire let people simply live their lives in peace. They shouldn’t—and couldn’t—do these things in the context of the story.
In that context, one has to ask: What is it to see the world? It is an adventure, but to relay what you have seen is a story. As you tell a story you also share a piece of yourself. In a story about Boy Scouts, you can see people in the story maturing. Fire building, plant identification, swimming, and leather working—all of these things are parts of who your character becomes. Every person is a story, and when you read any given person’s story, you begin to understand how the adult you know became the person they are, for good or evil.
“Destruction: Our sister [Death] defines life, just as Despair defines hope, or Desire defines hatred, or as Destiny defines freedom.
Morpheus: And what do I define, by this theory of yours.
Destruction: Reality, perhaps.” [ 4 ]
Morality in The Sandman
A lot of stories are morality plays. A close, modern version of that is the horror movie (misbehaving teens, those greedy treasure hunters, and similar characters are often the first to die). Basically, the people who are “wrong” tend to die, often in a manner that their “sins” somehow bring upon them. It’s one way some authors and playwrights delineate a clear version of good and bad. Other fiction these days goes with moral relativism, demonstrating that what we view as conventional morality might not apply equally across the board, depending on status, upbringing, surroundings and the like. That doesn’t work well with some, who might say that such a code is basically about to drop the whole “pretense” of morality altogether [ 5 ]. Imagine the people who supported the Comics Code clutching their pearls as it’s dropped/ignored one day.
There’s a common saying: “Never talk about religion or politics in polite conversation.” It references how divisive and contentious these topics are and how easily they can cause disruption to an otherwise peaceful event. In reference to how these two topics are related to the questions of morality, what is good and what is evil, and what your place is in the bigger picture are themes that run through The Sandman.
The Sandman has garnered massive critical acclaim, including more than 26 Eisner awards [ 6 ]. Issue 19, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” won the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, a move so unprecedented for a graphic novel that the awards administration released a statement that comics and graphic novels are not intended to be eligible for the category’s award. As of this writing, there has been no other comic or graphic novel to achieve this award [ 7 ][ 8 ].
The Sandman focuses on self-centered morality bordering on moral relativism. It gets even stronger a contrast when compared to the stereotypical depictions of “superheroes” as moral black-and-white figures, of defending the philosophical orthodoxy of their society. This is a trend which The Sandman, along with other works released in the same Age of Comics (like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns) commented on and examined. This popular conception in the comic fandom led to the 1990s and early 2000s era of comics being as deconstructive and brooding as they were.
With that we come to our first dilemma: few people look at what they are doing as wrong. If you look at all of history’s despots, you will find that no matter how horrific the things they do are, the person causing these things to happen believes that they are doing what is best for them and their nation or people. When we look at the work of Neil Gaiman, we notice an interesting perspective regarding morality tropes; good and evil very rarely enter the equation. One of the first things one might ask is why Gaiman has a history of looking at the world situationally and not morally.
Gaiman’s strategy in his various stories is to stop short of saying any single thing is inherently evil. The jaguar killed little Billy because, for one, the jaguar was hungry; two, little Billy was stupid. Why is this relevant? Because Billy’s bereaved mother thinks the jaguar must be declared evil and needs to be killed as it ate her son—much in the way sharks are viewed in similar circumstances. However, few people who aren’t vegan look at a chicken cutlet and declare themselves a murderer. Some humans have within them the ability to look what some consider “evil” in the eye and say it’s okay. Let us take a look at a character that has received a significant amount of negative press: Lucifer.
Enter the Lightbringer
Let’s talk about how Lucifer is “written.” Who here remembers stories from (or at least about) the Bible [ 9 ][ 10 ]? The First Angel, or whatever you’d call him, isn’t known for racking up a massive kill count. I imagine that if you’re a Bible scholar, you might be able to name some deaths that he’s at least partially responsible for, but I can’t think of a one. Compare that to his “Dad” and it’s a stark contrast. Sodom alone would probably weigh the whole thing in favor of Abraham’s deity. Sodom and Lucifer have one other thing in common: disobeying the laws of the god of whichever Good Book one reads (Lucifer from pride; the Sodomites for disobeying the laws of hospitality; that second one gets a lot of (mis)interpretation, which you might have seen around). You don’t see him really do a lot outside of tempting Jesus. And no, the serpent in Eden is probably a different character, so let’s head that off now [ 11 ].
Yes, the show a lot of you love (I still haven’t sat down to watch it; my viewing queue is worse than my workloads), is based on Gaiman’s version of Lord of Hell. Fox green lit it before it became a streaming phenomenon, and so a lot of you are probably very thankful for that [ 12 ][ 13 ].
Gaiman took the character we all know (or have at least heard of), made him a character, and gave him a spin-off [ 14 ]. He wants out of the whole deal. No God, no Hell, no responsibilities, no immortal affairs. Just him, a bar, and a human romantic interest. There’s more than a hint of simple rebellion here; that was already Lucifer’s gig. No, this is part of the hero’s journey: rejection of the call. Sure, it took the Lightbringer a few thousand years to make it to this step, but better late than never, right? But here, that rejection becomes a whole different story. It’s a literal rage against the… construct? No, that doesn’t sound right. Anyway…
Let’s turn back to the titular Sandman. Dream—Oneiros—isn’t a person, his having a family notwithstanding. Not really. He’s a concept, as many of these characters are in some way.
Gaiman’s Lucifer, as a character, has a great many flaws, but as written, he is never as evil as we have been taught. Per the Bible, God has a much higher kill count than Lucifer, yet Lucifer is considered more evil than God. Again, per the Bible, Lucifer’s biggest sin appears to be disobedience. Yet if God wanted Lucifer to be obedient then all he should have to do is create him so. Citing failure on God’s part seems appropriate. As he is all knowing, he should be aware of what was going to happen. However, He missed it in humans and he missed it in angels: both disobeyed Him.
In the graphic novel Lucifer (a spinoff of the original Sandman graphic novel), Lucifer is shown to be more interested in discovering himself and getting away from his “family” who, in his mind, are all in the wrong. If you look at what he says from a morally relative perspective you can understand his point: he hasn’t done anything wrong, he merely showed God that others saw the world the way he saw it, and God punished him by making him the warden of Hell. This once again follows the concept of no one doing things that are “evil” ever actually see themselves, or their actions, as evil. Religion is based on faith; this means that you don’t need proof. The word from on high is good enough for the devout. Unfortunately, this puts a lot of people looking at what to a non-religious person seems to be siding with the bad guy who, in this case, is God.
In The Sandman, the primary character Dream is, much like the incarnations of immortality, the personification of something that is commonly believed to be a thing or a concept rather than a person. One of the concerns of Dream and the rest of the Endless have is that they cannot be held to the same idea of morality as we humans as their foundational existence is not ours. This rather linear ideology is true of all of the Endless—until it is not. Changes in story also often represent changes in character. The first incarnation of Dream was a primal force of nature with no goal other than to just do that which he was programmed to do, but Dream has adventures and interacts with people both in “real life” and in the dream realm. Making friends and learning what life is all about, Dream’s time spent with and exposure to the multitude of worlds cause him to develop as a being as well as change from his original purpose—and each deviation he takes changes him more and more from his original purpose, to wit: the anthropomorphic personification of dreams.
But what is it that Dream actually does? Clues throughout the series see him doing things that any king would be doing: taking care of the kingdom, dealing with enemies—but who (or what) are the enemies of dreams? Why are there beings that don’t want dreams to happen? But most of the stories don’t focus on this; they instead focus on Dream and who he is. More importantly, they focus on who he becomes.
When we first meet Dream, he is imprisoned in a dungeon as the result of a ritual that captured him in a weakened state. As it turns out, dreams have power. They sometimes grant the ability to alter reality. In the short narrative “Dream of a Thousand Cats,” the reality cats instinctively know is one of a previous world before humans dreamed of overthrowing them. In this reality dreams may be true or they may be lies and only Dream knows the difference. With the knowledge that dreaming can change reality his imprisonment makes sense; after 70 years a captive, he wants to fix the damage done [ 15 ].
However, this is not technically his job. His job is to maintain the garden, not to design one, and part of what he ends up doing is redesigning a whole new world. Would you change a good thing into a bad thing just because the good thing was not “supposed” to be there? If someone traveled back in time and killed Hitler and the world became a better place would you undo that and visit the horrors of war upon the world to put it back where it “belongs?” The post-incarceration Dream is faced with just such a dilemma. While his choices are technically irrelevant, the thought process he goes through to come up with a solution is the foundation of the entire story.
Telling Right from Wrong
This brings us to the root of the problem. If doing harm is “right” and undoing harm is “wrong,” we are faced with a reality that places natural progression over the greater good. Josef Stalin is reported to have once said that “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic” or words to that effect [ 16 ]. One must question if it is the nature of power that after a time one only looks at situations such as World War II, or any war for that matter, as just a matter of numbers.
Meanwhile, for those who send children off to fight and possibly die, this becomes a very real and emotionally crippling situation. Do the powerful stop seeing us as people and just view us as statistics? It’s certainly true that people in power often make decisions that lead to mass suffering and death. Is it because those in power have no compassion? What about the necessity of resisting an aggressor? If the British and the French hadn’t fought the Germans, they risked erasure as a culture. Dream is often asked such hard questions and his answers are often surprising. At one point he is forced to kill his own son. He does this because he, after gaining a different perspective on life while being a prisoner for 70 years, decides to try and correct the things he has made mistakes with in the past. This ultimately puts him in the position of having to kill his own child. While this eventually causes the death of Dream, the story continues [ 17 ]. This is due to the bulk of the story being built around the changing of the main character from a force of nature to a force of change for good. Despite the case being made for relativism, moral ambiguity, and a lot of not taking responsibility for your own actions, Dream makes the leap from savage hurricane to gentle rain. The path by which he achieves that is a story that covers huge swathes of time as he is immortal.
Confronting Past Mistakes
Know how the central deity of this universe makes mistakes? So does our hero. Dream is in the same kind of boat. His powers are such that he shouldn’t really be lacking foresight, having all the time in the world to consider and predict the effects of his actions. But for that, he has to focus. He needs to see the little picture; he needs to see the big picture; he needs to know all the little ripples in the river his pebbles cause. When you’re a cosmic force, it’s easy to miss the details: a mortal sees you and questions their purpose; you forget an objective point in a dream mean to influence someone; you make salad taste like steak for a day. The first step for Dream is realizing he’s made the mistakes to begin with. After that, he can take actions to correct what he’s done. Like anyone else, he has to contend with all of reality; undoing the bad while attempting to not undo the good, whether said good be of his own making or not.
After that, Dream has to look at things from the mortal perspective. He’s a cosmic force, after all. The “little guys” have a different view by necessity. Queue that moral relativism; can the mortals and immortals be held to each others’ standards? Likely not. After all, it’s hard to fault a cat for stealing another animal’s food (or the food off of its human’s plate). Now Dream is in the position that many other protagonists throughout the series will find themselves in: reflecting on what he did and what he should have done. Pride, greed, complacency, and other factors weigh in here. On top of that, he’s reminded he’ll be around forever. He needs to think long-term. This or that desire simply isn’t a priority if it can be viewed in mortal terms. This is the sad truth of the Cosmos, but part of its surreal beauty. This is what brings the reader, for just a moment, to the point where they view the universe as a deity themselves. They too can think over the span of millennia, and not just about tomorrow’s lunch break.
While Gaiman may not have intended to support moral relativism, he does support some level of relational reality in The Sandman, where reality is formed in the subjective of the dream. It is mentioned that Dream has control over the worlds. This relates, as The Sandman is inclined to do, with the nature of storytelling to Gaiman, which he views as a very truth-filled lie that shape people to be better. He describes his philosophical approach to stories in his Newbery Award Acceptance Speech for The Graveyard Book:
We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write [ 18 ].
When we look at Dream post captivity, we see two very different things that have happened in his mind. One is his understanding that if he hadn’t made some of the bad choices he had made in the past, he wouldn’t be in the situation he was in. Two, and most importantly, choices, have consequences, regardless of whether they are good or bad. Choosing wisely may have been one of the best things he learned from all this, but alas no good deed goes unpunished; in his attempt to fix the things he did wrong he eventually undoes himself.
This is one of the common flaws of the kinds of characters that Gaiman so likes to build. These characters have such a narrow view of the world that they often make decisions that hinder them. These decisions are not intentionally limiting or damaging, as no one designs a world to make their lives harder, but they frequently make choices without considering the ramifications. The question on moral relativism comes down to a single point: How large of a mistake must one person, one deity, or one country make before realization dawns that all the problems before them are caused from within. In the comic it took Dream being imprisoned for 70 years.
America has been chewing on a number of social issues since its inception. Its financial issues stem from well before the 1920s, and its political issues from well before the 1860s. The bigger picture seems to be so large that no one in power wants to accept it. The first thing that most political figures do is to give a financial boost to their friends and supporters. After that, it’s lip service to the people they claim to be supporting; lastly, one or two of their campaign promises so they will get elected again. In Gaiman’s acclaimed novel American Gods, which deals with many of the same themes as Sandman, many of the new godly characters are much like Dream was in the very beginning: the personification of myths legends and ideas.
Over time you see them for what they really are, which is scared beings afraid to die and looking for any way they can to maintain life and power for as long as they can. You can see how the new gods make decisions on a purely instinctual level, making them almost like rabid animals in their behavior towards humans and gods. Unfortunately, the old gods aren’t much better, as they are simply playing a game of chess against one another and trying to maintain and maybe expand their grasp on godhood.
The failure of entities and gods is one of the cornerstones of many of Gaiman’s stories; no matter what the power level of the being, the making of mistakes and the addressing of the humanity within gives you a vehicle to look at the greater message the story is trying to tell. No matter who or what we are there is the potential to make the world a better place. By providing us with beings that make very large mistakes by being petty, narrow minded, shortsighted, and self-centered in other words, human—he shows that being great isn’t about being powerful. As the powerful make mistakes, one thing is made clear: with huge power comes the potential for huge mistakes with consequences in proportion.
Doing what is morally responsible isn’t always about good and evil, although that is what many will try to bring this situation down to. If you look at it in its simplest form, it is to make decisions based on what is good for the largest number of people. In a world where Evangelical Christians push legislatures for bills to take money from the poor and the elderly in direct opposition to the teachings of the being they worship, one can see how some have turned away from a “greater good” mentality and turned toward a much more morally relativistic view, one defined by the idea that “I only do things that benefit me directly.”
According to moral relativism no single act is good or evil, wrong or right; one has to see the individual choices in a context that can be put into a different light, one that involves asking yourself if what you are doing is the right choice to make for you at that moment. Shooting someone in the face is generally wrong. Shooting someone who’s broken into your house and is planning to hurt you or your family is less wrong than randomly shooing someone because their music offends you. The attacker’s viewpoint on the subject is irrelevant when weighed against the survival of you and your family.
This brings us back to the dilemma posed by little Billy’s death at the hands of that “evil” beast. Most people will realize that when survival is on the line some extreme behavior is to be accepted, yet they don’t extend those same courtesies to creatures that eat humans. The swift and immediate response is always a death for the animal. It is hard to come up with a reasonable solution when instinctive fears and cultural bias are in the way, but one thing we can see and understand readily is that we have to come up with a better solution than, “Well it’s okay with me.” If you don’t like the way your solution feels when turned around and aimed at you, perhaps you are putting forth a bad and possibly evil solution. Meanwhile, if you are comfortable with that solution, you may need to re-examine your views on morality before you get shot in the face for invading someone’s home in the middle of the night with intent to do harm.
Live Adaptions and the Problems With Expectations
So not long ago, relatively speaking, we got a live-action production of Sandman. As of this writing, it’s still going on, having debuted on Netflix in 2022 [ 19 ]. But, it figures you can’t make everyone happy. As a fan of several IPs, I personally dread the casting choices for each of them well in advance of an adaption ever even being announced. So it’s no surprise that a fanbase that has followed Gaiman’s work for years was never going to be 100 percent behind any individual choice for even the most minor characters, let alone major ones.
Enter the “Color-Blind Casting” that was used to determine who would play these beloved characters. An actress who met particular resistence was Kirby Howell-Baptiste, who portrays Sandman’s incarnation of Death. The major issue that some fans had came down to her being of African descent, rather than a lily-white, gothic caricature of the end of life [ 20 ]. Defending the decisions made, Gaiman himself stepped in before the show made its debut, directly addressing the fact that Howell-Baptiste wasn’t an exact match for Death’s usual appearance in his original work:
“The comics establish that the characters look like whatever we want them to look like. Anyway, Kirby’s amazing. And I think that people who have been grumbling that she doesn’t look like Death are going to not be grumbling [any more] once they see her be Death” [ 20 ].
This kept up with other actors, including the casting of Mason Alexander Park as Desire of the Endless. The most vocal dissenters continued to voice their outrage, and the showrunners again found themselves having to re-affirm their choices to the public, addressing the complaints of a few who couldn’t see a non-binary individual as someone associated with lust [ 20 ].
Again, you’re never going to satisfy everyone. But it’s hard to argue with the person who determines what is and isn’t canon for the IP itself. Still, people do love to argue with authors about their own work, a fact you can verify at many a convention. I suspect that Gaiman will have to put his foot down with angry fans for some time to come.
Summary and Conclusion
Okay, I hesitate to put words in peoples’ mouths, but here we go.
This stuff gets weird. Okay, not a real revelation there.
It gets subjective. When The Sandman makes a moral point, it makes sure you know why a choice might be morally gray. Human decisions are complicated. The decisions of celestial, infernal, and ethereal beings are arguably even more so. Add to that the frailty of not knowing whether a given option is the “right one,” and you get the conflict, inner and outer, that makes for good storytelling.
But there’s another layer here, that of surrealism. Nothing here feels quite real, not usually. But that means Gaiman can do one thing as the narrator: comment from the outside looking in. What does reality mean to Gaiman? What does he think it should mean? A lot of times, protagonists in a given tale reflect on what they should have done, what might have been, and whether they made the right decision. I’m going to cite a very different pop culture character he has written for (albeit not this quote): The Doctor. There is a point where his young companion, Turlough, gives up a diamond, which has been dubbed “Enlightenment,” rather than condemn the Doctor. Our titular character praises his decision, and another companion says the Time Lord is only pleased because the young man gave up Enlightenment for him. The Doctor responds with “Enlightenment was never the diamond; enlightenment was the choice” [ 21 ].
- “Considered one of the modern masters, as one of the most prolific authors of our times, Mr. Gaiman has certainly left his mark.”
Source: https://flickr.com/photos/28721787@N00/48200731 “Neil Gaiman, signing books after a reading from ‘Anansi Boys’ in Berkeley, 2005.” Jutta on Flickr.
- “While original depictions seem at odds with recent casting for the Netflix series, Gaiman’s Endless have always been fluid, composite beings. Destruction even posits they come to reflect the opposite of their names, with his own penchant for creation and art, Death the joie de vive, Dream paradoxically, the boundaries of reality.” Source: https://www.netflix.com/title/81150303 Gaiman, Neil, et al. “The Sandman.” Netflix, 5 Aug. 2022, www.netflix.com/title/81150303.
- “Much of his prodigious body of work have been adapted to small and silver screen, from Stardust to American Gods, and even Coraline.” Source: www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/klang-malaysia-20-march-2019-hand-1349499149 Klang, Malaysia – 20 March 2019 : Hand hold a STARDUST by NEIL GAIMAN book for sell in the book stores.” Zety Akzhar, Shutterstock.
As SFS’s Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Cardinal has found his editorial duties at Steam-Funk Studios often reconnect him to parts of fandom he’d have otherwise overlooked. Andrew has DJed, catered, and run travel logistics in the goth scene as DJ Rasclin. Other credentials include staffing for Anime Central and work for the US Census Bureau. As the second of our Senior Editors, he advises on strategy for both The Unconventional and The Living Multiverse, remaining a steady guiding hand.
- Kovalic, John, “Congratulations to Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer on Tying the Knot,” Dork Tower, 5 Jan 2011. dorktower.com/2011/01/05/dork-tower-wednesday-january-5-2011. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Gaiman, Neil, et al, The Sandman. DC Comics/Vertigo/Black Label, 1998–.
- Speer, Cindy, “The Sandman Summary,” NeilGaiman.com, ca. 2014. neilgaiman.com/Cool_Stuff/Essays/Essays_About_Neil/The_Sandman_Summary. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- “The Sandman Vol. 7 Quotes.” Goodreads, Amazon. goodreads.com/work/quotes/40666827-the-sandman-vol-7-brief-lives. Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.
- Gowans, Chris, “Moral Relativism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta, ed., Mar 10, 2021. plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-relativism. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Neufeld, Ellen, “Eisner Award Winners: Graphic Novels,” Emory University LibGuides, 7 Aug 2020. guides.libraries.emory.edu/c.php?g=449511&p=3369239. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Herrmann, Brenda, “Enter Sandman,” Chicago Tribune, 20 Dec 1991. chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1991-12-20-9104240093-story.html. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- “World Fantasy Awards 1991.” Science Fiction Awards Database, sfadb.com/World_Fantasy_Awards_1991.
- Isaiah 14:12–21, King James Version, Biblia. biblia.com/bible/kjv1900/isaiah/14/12-21. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Ezekiel 28:11–19, King James Version, Biblia. biblia.com/bible/kjv1900/ezekiel/28/11-19. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Leith, Mary Joan Winn, “From Seraph to Satan,” Bible Review 20 (2004). baslibrary.org/bible-review/20/6/2. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth, “‘Lucifer’: Fox Orders DC Comics Pilot with Jerry Bruckheimer & Len Wiseman Attached,” Variety, 19 Feb 2015. variety.com/2015/tv/news/lucifer-dc-comics-drama-pilot-order-fox-1201436618/. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Bucksbaum, Sydney, “How ‘Lucifer’ Moving to Netflix Made The Show Even More Addictive & Twisty,” Bustle, 8 May 2019. bustle.com/p/how-lucifer-moving-to-netflix-made-the-show-even-more-addictive-twisty-according-to-the-showrunners-17304366. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Darius, Julian, “A Brief Consideration of Gaiman’s Usage of Lucifer in The Sandman,” Sequart Magazine, 20 May 2002. sequart.org/magazine/2849/a-brief-consideration-of-gaimans-usage-of-lucifer-in-the-sandman/. Accessed 10 Mar 2021.
- Gaiman, Neil et al, “Dream of a Thousand Cats,” collected in Neil Gaiman et al, The Sandman: Dream Country. DC: 1991.
- O’Toole, Garson, “A Single Death Is a Tragedy; A Million Deaths Is a Statistic,” Quote Investigator, 21 May 2010. quoteinvestigator.com/2010/05/21/death-statistic. Accessed 12 Mar 2021.
- Gaiman, Neil et al, Brief Lives (The Sandman #s 41–49). DC: 1994.
- Gaiman, Neil, “2009 Newbery Award Acceptance Speech: Telling Lies for a Living… and Why We Do It,” Horn Book, Jul 2009, 10. Reproduced at alair.ala.org/bitstream/handle/11213/7954/2009-Newbery-speech.pdf. Accessed 12 Mar 2021.
- Sandman. Created by Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer & Allan Heinberg, Netflix, 2022–Present.
- Fuge, Jonathon. “The Sandman Creator Neil Gaiman Defends ‘Color-Blind Casting’ for Netflix Adaptation.” Movieweb, Valnet Inc., 29 Jun. 2022. movieweb.com/the-sandman-creator-neil-gaiman-defends-color-blind-casting-for-netflix-adaptation/.
- “Enlightenment, Part Four,” Doctor Who. Written by Barbara Clegg, directed by Fiona Cumming, Season 20, Episode 20, BBC, 1983. Reference: drwhoguide.com/who_6h.htm. Accessed 12 Mar 2021.