comScore Sandman Burlesque | Dr. Sketchy's | The Mary Sue

Incredible Sandman Life Drawing Class/Burlesque Show

We tend to pass on geeky burlesque here because we don’t want to be the site that does a full post whenever a star of the Justice League Porn Parody sneezes.

But Dr. Sketchy’s recent tribute to Neil Gaiman‘s Sandman blew us away.  Dr. Sketchy’s isn’t exactly pure burlesque.  Referring to itself as an Anti-Art School, it’s an international franchise that mixes burlesque with life-drawing.  From Wikipedia:

A Dr. Sketchy’s class may consist of a burlesque dancer (such as Veronica Varlow) or some type of performer (drag queens, trapeze artists, or roller derby girls) as the featured model, with drawing contests during breaks. Sketchers are known as “art monkeys”, a term borrowed from the Madagascar Institute. Dr. Sketchy’s features heavy drinking games, comedic skits and onstage go-go dancing.

What makes the Sandman tribute so amazing is a combination of costuming, casting, and performer characterization.

The performers were dressed as Death, Delirium, and Desire, three of the seven Endless siblings.  Sandman focused on mainly on Dream, the anthropomorphic personification of creativity, story, and the unconscious.   His sister Death appeared mostly as a… well, big sister, happy to dispense useful advice and/or a motivational kick in the pants when needed.  She’s considered one of the most friendly of the Endless to mortals, because unlike the others, she meets all of them at least twice.

Desire, one of Dream’s younger siblings, is neither one gender nor the other.  I’ve often remained skeptical at the ability of a live performer to present a truly androgynous Desire, but I think Dr. Sketchy’s nailed this one.  Naturally, Desire is one of the cruelest of the Endless, probably even worse that its twin Despair, and spends most of the books idly plotting against its brother without really considering the possible consequences of its actions.

Delirium’s appearance changes each time she shows up in the books, sometimes mid-scene.  Gaiman himself has written that the tragedy of Delirium is that despite being older than stars, older than cultures, she will always be the youngest of the Endless.  She used to be Delight, way back when Earth was still mostly molten rock, and we’re never really told why she felt she had to change.

What?  Of course I have an extensive theory as to why!

There are many more pictures over at, all of them (including the ones in this post) taken by Lauren Goldberg.  Oh, and btw, this month the NYC Dr. Sketchy’s is doing a Transmetropolitan tribute. Allow us to personify our feelings towards this:

(via Neil Gaiman’s Journal.)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.