The Sandman series discussion thread (Spoilers!)

Friday

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I bought the first Sandman hardcover today. On a whim really. I only had one title on my pull list, plus Wizard, and one TPB came in, so it was time to explore the TPB box. I’ve been on the edge of picking up The Sandman in trade for a while now, holding off for 2 reasons. If I bought it I’d want to get the hardcovers, since I’m a format whore, and the price of said hardcover. 29.99 and up. Well, my LCS said they’d give me 30% off, and there I was. I started reading it in the store, eager to dip into whats supposed to be one of the masterworks of sequential storytelling. I read the first issue collected there, then stopped, and went on with the rest of my night. When I got home I cracked it open again, finishing it and coming out impressed. A high quality story, with good artwork for the time. I set it down, checked message boards, ate a can of peaches, and then something odd happened.

I wanted to read it again.

This hasn’t happened to me in a while folks. My friends believe that I’ve become so inundated to all forms of entertainment media that nothing can impress me anymore. They think I’m jaded, and always expect me to have a “well it could have been better if” at the end of a movie. For the most part they’re right. But damn if Sandman didn’t make an impact.

I’ve been a fan of Neil Gaimen for what seems like forever, yet I never picked up any of his comic work until 1602, which while being an inventive and refreshing take on classic Marvel characters had failed to impress me anymore than most of DCs Elseworld tales had. I’ve always been more impressed with his novels. Good Omens had me howling, and also turned me on to Terry Prattchet’s writing. Shadows and Glass was an excellent set of short stories, most of which I’ve recounted to people to give them a taste of his writing style. American Gods, which when you exclude the chapter with pointless homosexuality (2 characters, not seen before or after in the book have creepy Djinn sex. It could have been cut) was an excellent read. I’ve even got Stardust collecting dust somewhere. I think it’s safe to say I’m familiar with the man.

This trade is what I love about Neil Gaiman. It’s pure imagination poured out onto the page. It’s everything I’ve loved in his novels, tempered by artists and inkers. On the surface this is a simple revenge story. Morpheous, King of Dreams has been captured in a binding spell gone wrong. In 1916 a man tried to unsuccessfully capture Death, and bind it to do his will. He gets dream instead, and keeps him in a cage (metaphysically speaking that is) for close to 70 years. In that time the domain of the Sandman, the dreaming goes to hell, both figuratively and literally. Once freed from his prison Morpheous goes about punishing the son of the man who imprisoned him, as the perpetrator himself is long dead, then attempts to regain his 3 items of power, running afoul of such DC icons as John Constantine, Mister Miracle, The Martian Manhunter, and the amazingly well used Doctor Destiny, who has been redefined in my eyes. In addition Gaimen manages to tie this Sandman in with the previous Golden Age character of the same name. After all, something had to have been causing Wesley Dodds’ prophetic dreams, didn’t it?

The first 7 issues collected are all about establishing a place for this mythos into the already overburdened DC universe. In it you see that this is all taking place in the normal continuity, not in its own world, and this is an important thing to remember. It would have been easy for them to simply cop out on this point, and make the entire series a stand-alone book. An imaginary tale to turn a phrase from the past. By rooting the series in the DC mainstream continuity they both gave Gaimen a great toy box to play with, and allowed writers to continue the exploration of the darker side of its own universe, wich we had begun to see in Swamp Thing and Hellblazer. The only real problem with this is Hell. We’ve seen a lot of Hells in DC, and it seems that The Sandman added yet another one to the list. But we got Etrigan in it too, so I guess I can’t even gripe there too much.

The last issue in the trade deals with the Sandman’s feelings on his place in the world after he’s finished searching out his items of power. It’s a stand-alone issue, focusing on the characters of Dream and Death. Morpheous has become listless since he’s completed his initial tasks, but with the help of his sister he finds new footing, looking forward to the reconstruction of The Dreaming instead of lamenting his time imprisoned. This was easily the best one in the trade, and the one I’m most likely to reread later.

If it seems like I’m being cagey about details here it’s because I am. I want you all to go get a copy of Preludes and Nocturnes sometime. It’s an excellent piece of comic literature, and deserves its top shelf status with Watchmen, Kingdom Come, The Dark Knight Returns, and Marvels. This is one of the great ones folks, don’t let it pass you bye. The writing is top notch, and the art is only hampered by the age and rotating artists. I'd have loved for this to have a more uniform look, but if they all stay in the same style, as was shown here I'll be happy.

10/10 writing
9/10 art

Recomendation: Buy it if you love comics.
 

Friday

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I just realised that I lied in my review. For what its worth I read a copy of Superman/Green Lantern: The Legend of the Green Flame a while back, well before I read 1602.

Any comments here?
 

Dr.Strangefate

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Hell yes! SOMEONE IS READING THE SANDMAN!!!!!!!

WOOOO

yeah... My favorite volumes are numbers three and five (Seasons of Mists, and A Game of You), then A Dolls House (number 2) with number one coming in right at four.... Meaning to say that the series is ALL awesome.

Yeah....

I agree with your review though...

Did you catch the name of Alexander Burgess (the son of the guy who captured Morpheus).... thats the name of the main character in the Clockwork Orange movie (Alex has no last name in the book).

*sigh* I love Neil Gaiman.

I want to have his babies
 

Friday

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Dr.Strangefate said:
Did you catch the name of Alexander Burgess (the son of the guy who captured Morpheus).... thats the name of the main character in the Clockwork Orange movie (Alex has no last name in the book).

*sigh* I love Neil Gaiman.

I want to have his babies
Can't say I caught that, but I haven't gotten to read A Clockwork Orange yet.

Honestly, with as often as homosexuality has shown up in his books, sometimes with almost no reason atall, he may be game for that man.

So would anyone else here be game for a series of reviews on this, probably about 1 a week?
 

Dr.Strangefate

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Baxter said:
Can't say I caught that, but I haven't gotten to read A Clockwork Orange yet.

Honestly, with as often as homosexuality has shown up in his books, sometimes with almost no reason atall, he may be game for that man.

So would anyone else here be game for a series of reviews on this, probably about 1 a week?

if it weren't for the fact that he was married with three kids...
 

Friday

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Dr.Strangefate said:
if it weren't for the fact that he was married with three kids...
Hey, some guys just cover :wink:

Honestly, I know he's straight, I just think its wierd how often it comes up in his writting. I mean its like Masterbation in Steven King books.
 

moonmaster

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Gaiman's a genius. I love him. I first read Sandman a few years ago (my local library has a comic section. They've got stuff like USM, Batman: DKR, and all the Sandman trades). It's really incredible stuff; you gotta read the rest of it.
Volume 1 is great. The '24 hours' story with Dr. Destiny is one of the most disturbing comics I've ever read. The 'Cereal' convention in the Doll's House was also pretty creepy. The 'Sound of her Wings' story made Death one of my favorite comic characters ever (I also loooove Dream's raven. He's funny and endearing.).

And about the gay thing, I think Gaiman just supports gay and lesbian causes. Oh, and thanks for acknowledging the Stephen King/masturbation thing. I thought I was the only one who noticed.
 

Friday

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moonmaster said:
Gaiman's a genius. I love him. I first read Sandman a few years ago (my local library has a comic section. They've got stuff like USM, Batman: DKR, and all the Sandman trades). It's really incredible stuff; you gotta read the rest of it.
Volume 1 is great. The '24 hours' story with Dr. Destiny is one of the most disturbing comics I've ever read. The 'Cereal' convention in the Doll's House was also pretty creepy. The 'Sound of her Wings' story made Death one of my favorite comic characters ever (I also loooove Dream's raven. He's funny and endearing.).

And about the gay thing, I think Gaiman just supports gay and lesbian causes. Oh, and thanks for acknowledging the Stephen King/masturbation thing. I thought I was the only one who noticed.
Now, my library doesn't do anything like that. Lucky bastards.

I pidked up V3 yesterday, since they were out of 2. Probably be a review of it up soon.

As for the King/Gaimen sexuality in thier books, the first time you read one of those scenes you think "a nice touch of reality." But it seems like they get hung up on it all, feeling the need to put it in most of thier works.
 

thee great one

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

I read this arc. It was fantasic. I always love magic stories. This was great from hell to earth to the dream land. I like how it had some DC characters make cameos like Constantine, Dr.Destiny, The Demon, and Scarecrow. I loved the Cain and Abe thing. Great stuff. Now to decide if I should continute or what for my trades. The only thing that hurts it is the art.

A
 

Friday

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

Ice said:
I can't move the thread somewhere where it's already at. :?
Damn you Ice! Damn you and your reality manipulating ways!

So Having finished the run of Sandman (minues a few extensions, Dream hunters, Endless Nights) I've got to say that Season of the Mists was my favorite arc. At no point do you know whats going to happen. Gaiman takes what could easily be a very formulatic story and turns it into one of the better series of political manuvers I've seen in a long time. It manages to culminate the first half of the series wonderfuly as well as setting up for the last half. It even manages to explain where the JSA actualy where when they fought the battle of Ragnarok. :D
 

Ice

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

I'm thinking of checking out Sandman (I never read anything about it). I want to read everything from the beggining (in chronological order, that is. Well, whatever the best way is). Though ProjectX2 keeps telling me it sucks balls and what not.

So what is Sandman about (without spoiling)?
 

Friday

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

Ice said:
I'm thinking of checking out Sandman (I never read anything about it). I want to read everything from the beggining (in chronological order, that is. Well, whatever the best way is). Though ProjectX2 keeps telling me it sucks balls and what not.

So what is Sandman about (without spoiling)?
The Sandman is about stories. Its about Morpheous, the Kind of Dreams and one of the seven Endless beings that have existed since the beging of everything, embidying various aspects of humanity. Its about how we as people react to our fiction. Its about a man held prisoner for the better part of a century and how it changed him. Its about themes in literature and life. Its about having the power to do nearly anything but being unable to weild it.

Its a giant love letter to everything we've been told, be it myths, stories, life, and what we know to be true. Its god damn brilliant and amazing that it all comes together as well as it does.
 

ProjectX2

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

Ice said:
I'm thinking of checking out Sandman (I never read anything about it). I want to read everything from the beggining (in chronological order, that is. Well, whatever the best way is). Though ProjectX2 keeps telling me it sucks balls and what not.

So what is Sandman about (without spoiling)?

I don't think "it sucks balls", but I was disappointed by all the overhype it received.

EDIT: ... and the execution of the story.
 
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Friday

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

ProjectX2 said:
I don't think "it sucks balls", but I was disappointed by all the overhype it received.

EDIT: ... and the execution of the story.
Explain how the execution was something that disapointed you. I found the overall exection to be one of its strongest points.
 

Ice

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

Well, regardless, I'm going to look for it soon and pick it up. The story sounds interesting enough for me to get. So I shall get it.
 

nigma

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

didn't even know there was a thread for this,

i read this a little bit ago, and i liked it. for the time that it came out. it ruffled a lot of feathers.

this was a weird read for me, it took me a while to understand what was going on. but when i re-read this. (the is about the 2nd book i've add to re-read after 100 bullets. that never gets old) it made a lot more sense. i got this not cuz of the hype, i didn't even know there was any. but just cuz. and i have the 2nd one in, and still have to read that.

So overall, it was a time where marry Poppins was the cool thing, and fighting a guy thats stolen your own powers over people was strange. I still don't get the whole doc thing, does that have any back story?
 

ProjectX2

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

Baxter said:
Explain how the execution was something that disapointed you. I found the overall exection to be one of its strongest points.

I don't know, I just found it disappointing. It gets all this hype about one of the greatest comic series ever, and I thought it was a confusing story at best. Maybe this means I need to reread it through a couple of times, but I was expecting an interesting story and I didn't find one. I'm not alone.
 

Friday

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Re: Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (Spoilers)

ProjectX2 said:
I don't know, I just found it disappointing. It gets all this hype about one of the greatest comic series ever, and I thought it was a confusing story at best. Maybe this means I need to reread it through a couple of times, but I was expecting an interesting story and I didn't find one. I'm not alone.
I can see you finding it confusing. Everything isn't easily laid out, but putting it together is one of the selling points for me. Its refreashing to have a story that requires some work on the part of the reader to enjoy instead of having everything so laid out for you that everyone knows whats going to happen from the start.

And I realise its not everyones cup of tea, but you can still respect it. I didn't enjoy Watchmen atall (ducks and covers) but I don't slight it.
 
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