I wanted to get away from traditional comic-book covers, which I thought were very boring: usually a fight scene. By issue eight, Sandman was already becoming a little strange – as much about ideas as an adventure story. So I thought the covers should represent that. Since the interior artists changed all the time, I was the only consistent visual element. I wanted the covers to be a filter, a window of slightly surreal, melancholy, thoughtful imagery to pass through. The first issue was influenced by the posters for Peter Greenaway films – rather too heavily, actually.

Some covers were painted, some drawn, but many of the first few were 5ft-high collage-type works made by me that we took to a high-res photography studio to shoot – this was all pre-computers. I ended up wandering around London with Neil trying to find interesting bits and bobs to use as imagery. We liberated a fantastic-looking broken door from a skip, and found odds and ends in antique shops. People started donating things: I did a signing in London and someone gave me a lamb’s heart in a block of resin. It got used a few times.