“It’s like the comic, it’s like the comic!” Enthusiasm exploded from the booth, where Pol Lucas, sound technician, followed, with a fan’s passion, the transformation of one of his favorite works: Sandman, the magnum opus of Neil Gaiman. On the other side, in front of the microphones, a huge cast with Carlos Bardem as narrator, Carlos Di Blasi as a dream, the protagonist, Mina El Hamini as Death and so many and so many others (more than 100 voices) to populate an essential work of the comic history that has now undergone a radical transformation process. After becoming a great best-seller in its english version, where he broke all the records of the format, now come to its spanish version via Audible Amazon, the branch of the tech titan dedicated to this sonic narrative. This first part covers the first three volumes of the decalogy of the original work: Nocturnal Preludes, The dollhouse and Land of dreams.
What once sounded only in the mind, when navigating the tortuous sandwiches (white on black) of Sueño or the chaotic and colorful (black on rainbow) of Delirio is now an entirely sound experience, with music, effects, actors and a thought script exclusively for this medium. What is lost is the obvious, the layout; pictorial art, constrained to the space and format of the comic, with which Sandman and his brothers, the Eternals, came to life. What you gain is a vibrant experience, one that growing audiobook consumers will know, even if it’s a blockbuster display in this case. In the absence of images, Sandman it is curiously a much more cinematic, vibrant and spirited experience, because the pause of contemplation has been replaced by the rapid rush of the voices of its protagonists and its narrator.
Bardem, the narrator in question, who was visualized, as “a storyteller.” “What I felt was something that connected you with those first humans who listened to a story around a bonfire.” takes the witness of Neil Gaiman in the dubbing in Spanish. From the original, it is clear what was left. “The enthusiasm. Imitating Neil Gaiman would not work because, apart from being very complicated, the period of the sentences in Spanish does not fit. But I appropriated his enthusiasm. You when you hear Neil Gaiman counting The Sandman, You notice that the uncle is enjoying it. There is a vibration of enjoyment and passion in how he tells it that I have tried to convey. I hope I have succeeded. “
The role of Sueño falls to Carlos DiBlasi, a dubbing veteran with a thousand battles in video games, series, movies and now this new and powerful sound fiction. For DiBlasi, unlike Bardem, who experienced it as a discovery, it was a reunion that made him “very excited.” “I had a girlfriend in the early nineties who was a fan of Sandman and she introduced me to it. Besides, we liked the sinister a bit. ” “You were goths [risas.]. “Well, well, a little [Sonríe.]”
That period in which it was enlightened Sandman, the nineties, it was not accidental and it defined the appearance of the character. “I remember that many grundge bands, which were starting to emerge at that time, assumed this gothic aesthetic. And they were all tremendous fans of Sandman”DiBlasi recalls. DiBlasi’s cartoons are in his blood, because his sister, Lidia DiBlasi, was an illustrator in mythical magazines such as The viper or Cairo. “In fact, I still have to have my parents’ house, although I have not found them yet, but they have to be there, my comic books Sandman. “
The surprise of recognizing McAvoy as Sandman in the English version came to DiBlasi by ear. “My voice sounded, my voice sounded, and suddenly I looked for him and said, it’s him. He is an actor that I love. ” DiBlasi wanted to maintain an atmosphere for Spanish dubbing that is evoked in the sound fiction of Sandman both for the interpretation and for the sound effects and that summarizes in one word: “Ethereal. It is the cadence of the voice, of the words, how some words retain them, others lengthen them, something that English allows more than Spanish. But I really didn’t have to push myself, because Sandman is 100 percent. At least the memory of the comic evoked me while I was listening to it. “
Bardem, who did not know the work before facing the task of narrating it, speaks of “cultural feat”. His case is a paradigmatic one of the comic book reader in Spain, one that we have already commented on in Ka-BOOM numerous times and in which Rodrigo Sopeña delved, with great success, during an interview at the Jornadas del Tebeo in Avilés. Bardem, like many, read comics in his childhood and adolescence, “Marvel comics”, but disconnected from the world of the cartoon in adulthood.
However, this work confronts him with what he does not hesitate to define as “cultural feat, a tour de force by Neil Gaiman ”. “It fascinates me when I meet an author who has a complete panoply of tools. That he is capable of taking you to the worlds of Shakespeare, to hell or to the most sordid of New York of the 70s and makes you create every scenario ”. DiBlasi agrees: “It is a way of showing that the comic is also culture.” Bardem even dares to navigate, with elegance, stormy waters, mentioning the new-minded censorship: “One would have to wonder what Sandman would be like if it were done today, because I do not know if we are going backwards in narrative audacity.” In this same newspaper, Javier Marías established a controversial parallel between the census tools of Francoism and the fourth wave of feminism.
Sandman is, heard, as fascinating as it was three decades ago, when in that dream vertigo in which the essential Karen Berger allowed the golden British – Gaiman, Morrison, Moore and Ennis would be her four dark musketeers – to sow their most exalted nightmares. It is a different experience, exciting and complementary to what it is to read the masterpiece on paper. Even, according to Bardem, it can even be simultaneous. “Friends I have, very, very crazy about the comic, they are telling me that it is becoming fashionable to listen to the Audible version while reading the graphic novel. I’m going to try it because I find it fascinating. ”New ways to reinvent old knowledge in a world where the boundaries no longer between genres but between the arts are becoming liquid, fluid, like that robe of darkness that surrounds Sueño and its tribulations.