I’ve been keeping an eye out for news on this ever since Neil Gaiman started talking about it on his blog a while ago. I’m a huge Sandman fan and a Neil Gaiman fan. The Beat has a look at comparisions between an original page from an original Sandman comic, and the re-coloured page for the Absolute edition. The page looks stunning.
The Absolute Sandman will re-print all ten volumes of The Sandman with better paper, re-done colours, and probably some minor copyediting. The original artists and colourists are being consulted throughout the process. Volume 1 should be out later this year.
I am so excited about this! It will probably be sold at a premium price, if the price of the Absolute edition of Watchmen was any indication (Mental note: may need to get this one, too). I never got myself the hardcover editions of the Sandman trade paperbacks. I was a poor student at the time, and read way too many comics to be able to afford hardcover editions. Now that I am a less poor officer worker, I’ll be buying those hardcovers (which I assume they will offer, since it’s Absolute). Since The Sandman was probably my absolute all-time favourite comic book, the price isn’t a complete turn-off.
EDIT: Amazon.com lists the release date as 1st November 2006.