Well, today is the publication date for Annotated Sandman, volume 4, out from Vertigo/DC Entertainment, and I have to say that #32 (yes, this is my 32nd book, not counting self-published) is just as exciting as #1, published way back in 1994. The Sandman project was a great thrill for me for many reasons. First, it allowed me to work closely with my friend Neil Gaiman, one of the finest humans on this earth. Second, it was pioneering–no one had ever done anything like this before, combining the original comic with footnotes, and it was a learning process for all involved. Third, I love comics. Comics were probably the first books I ever read, and the chance to be a professional member of the universe of comics was a very special thrill. So: Many thanks to senior editors Karen Berger and Shelly Bond of DC, who believed in the project, and many many thanks to Neil, who pitched the idea to DC and whose participation made it happen. Special thanks also to Scott Nybakken, who edited volumes 2, 3 and 4, Steve Korte, who edited volume 1, and Sherlockian pal Lucy Keifer, who worked hard on our “Table of Characters,” indexing every single person depicted or named in the 78 issues of The Sandman comics.
It’s also the day after publication of New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels in electronic format. This was a long time in the making, with Norton doing all the hard work, and I’m delighted to have all three volumes now available in this format. There are two big advantages to the e-book: First, the images can be enlarged. W. W. Norton and I went to enormous lengths to produce very high-quality scans of the images, and now they can be truly appreciated. Many of these are the beautiful original magazine illustrations of the Canon, while others are rare photographs and drawings. Second, the text is now searchable. We regretted not having the budget to include an index to the 3,000 pages, but this is now made partly moot by the search feature. Of course, the print books are absolutely gorgeous, so every true Sherlockian needs both formats!
More books are in the pipeline: New Annotated Frankenstein has been turned in to Norton for pre-publication processing, due out in October 2017; Laurie R. King and I are just finishing up editing Echoes of Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon for Pegasus Books, due out in October 2016; and Laura Caldwell and I are midway through editing Anatomy of Innocence: True Stories of and by Exonerees (a working title), also for Norton, an amazing collection of the stories of persons wrongly accused of crimes, wrongly convicted, wrongly incarcerated, and ultimately exonerated, as told to an incredible group of well-known mystery and thriller writers. That one will be out in January 2017. Meanwhile, I’m thinking hard about the next project! Stay tuned!