Neil Gaiman - The Sandman (series) - 10

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Neil Gaiman - The Sandman (series) - 10

Postby Darb » Fri Apr 09, 2004 1:00 pm

The Sandman Series

What happens when you have an oh so rare confluence of supreme talents (each of whom are among the best in their respective fields) who team up to produce a graphical series ? You get a once-in-a-generation, cutting edge, high-water-mark masterpiece like this one.

Speaking as a former hardcore collector with over 5,000+ issues at home, this series is easily one of the very best graphic novels ever produced, period. No questions asked.

This fabulous comic series has been conveniently re-published by Vertigo as an 11-part Graphic Novel:

1: Preludes & Nocturnes
2: The Doll's House
3: Dream Country
4: Season of Mists
5: A Game of You
6: Fables & Reflections
7: Brief Lives
8: World's End
9: The Kindly Ones
10: The Wake
11: Endless Nights

What's it about ?

Basically it's a long series of 11 sweepingly surreal short stories, told a GN format, about "The Endless" ... a quasi-divine extended dysfunctional family of metaphorical beings who struggle with their overall role in the greater scheme of things (i.e., reality), with each other, and with the mortals whose lives they intersect. Their names are Dream, Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delight/Delirium and Destruction.

I'll close with an eloquent excerpt from the prelude of Book 4, by Harlan Ellison (himself the most acclaimed and award winning short story writer currently living):

Harlan Ellison gushed:

"Possibly the only dismaying aspect of excellence is that it makes living in a world of mediocrity an ongoing prospect of living hell ... how dreary and burdensome and filled with anomie are the remainder of one's waking hours trapped in the shackled lock-step of the merely ordinary, the barely acceptable, the just ok and not a stroke better ...

In any field of endeavor, an occasional talent will manifest itself and, through its bare existence, we perceive how mundane has been the effort [prior to that point] in that field or genre ... and recognize how much higher thereafter is the high water mark.

The point being: {Edit: the peerless excellence of} Neil Gaiman's work on The Sandman ...


Highest recommendation marks from moi. A must read for anyone who enjoys high brow surreal fantasy.

As of this writing, I've read parts 1-4 and 7, and all the rest are on order and will land in my eagerly grasping hands in about 4-7 days. :thumb:

Neil's Website: http://www.neilgaiman.com/index.asp
Buy The Sandman: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/19392/103-4906529-7192612

[Mod: common series review linked to each component book in series.]
Last edited by Darb on Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:31 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby bob k. mando » Fri Apr 09, 2004 11:32 pm

ha, you've finally begun to act on those recommendations you asked for oh so long ago (has it been 9 months already?). giving me a run for my 'procrastinator of the year' title are you. if you'd waited a bit longer you'd have been eligible for next years award. :mrgreen:

i concur on 'The Sandman'. this is the comic that really started to break the graphic story-telling form through into pop culture at large (to the extent that comics have broken through) with t-shirts, posters and issues popping up in the background of various movies and tv shows while it was being published. 'Sandman' also had a much higher percentage of female readers than any other american comic up until that time. pre-adolescent male power fantasy it is not.

following neil through the various mythological traditions (some of the pantheons making appearances include australian aboriginal, norse, judeo-christian;numerous angels and demons, egyptian and japanese) is quite interesting. i can't vouch for his accuracy in depicting some of them but i can say that the ones that i do know about he seems to have gotten pretty much right. for instance, gaiman deserves kudo's for normalizing the DC Comics mythology with accepted christian teaching by moving satan's residence from hell to earth. this is in marked contrast to garth ennis's theological incompetence on DC's "Preacher".

a warning though: this isn't your grandpa's copy of 'Superman'. Sandman deals with mature themes ranging from death in many forms, serial killers, prostitutes, drug users / use, satanism (i think aleister crowley even shows up in an issue or two), demonology, nudity, magic, suicide and insanity (to name a few). parental guidance is highly suggested.
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Postby jweb » Sat Apr 10, 2004 3:47 pm

Ditto and ditto.

10+/10.

Gaiman is a master storyteller who likes to switch mediums frequently. He's written for comics, books, childrens stories, TV, and more.

The Sandman itself features moments that are incredibly thought-provoking, funny, witty, heart-wrenching, disturbing, and terrifying. And sometimes all of the above. Despite "having pictures", The Sandman has more depth and quality than many "real" books. It is definitely a top contender, if not a shoe-in, for being the best piece of illustrated literature ever.

So how about it, Kilt? Are you finally going to add these to the DB? I already sent you all the info and everything (including ISBNs)...

P.S. Once you've read The Sandman, you just have to read the Gaiman spinoffs. Especially The Books of Magic, and the 2 Death GNs.
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Postby Darb » Sun Apr 11, 2004 5:51 pm

BKM: yes, mucho thanks for the recommendedation from 9 months ago. :thumb:
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Postby KiltanneN » Sun Apr 18, 2004 9:03 pm

jwebster wrote:So how about it, Kilt? Are you finally going to add these to the DB? I already sent you all the info and everything (including ISBNs)...


Done.

Bit of work - but worth it...

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Postby jweb » Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:07 pm

:clap: :worship:
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Postby Darb » Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:47 pm

I just ordered Good Omens and American Gods, and sent a 10% discount to the club account.

If anyone would like to buy these books within the next 7 days, contact kilty for a discount.
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Postby Superenigmatix » Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:51 pm

I've just finished american gods and I can highly recommend it - and Brad I think it will be right up your alley - lots of ancient mythology to ponder over.

I would like to see Hollywood make a movie of it - not a chance without completely neutering the book!

sE

oh and don't read the blurb on the back - there's a major spoiler in it!
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Neil Gaiman - The Sandman (in progress)

Postby Darb » Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:10 pm

Preludes and Nocturnes /The Sandman /1

MOD ALERT: New linked review created, and old (unlinked) review thread merged onto it. Unfortunately, this post will appear out of sequence, rather than at the top, due to post-merge chronological ordering.

IF YOU ARRIVED AT THIS POINT FROM THE DETAILED BOOK VIEW, PLEASE SKIP UPWARDS TO THE TOP OF THIS THREAD FOR THE START OF THIS LINKED REVIEW.
Last edited by Darb on Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby etitameh » Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:47 pm

fans of Gaiman should definitely check out the site for the upcoming (dunno when) movie MirrorMask. it's CGI + live action, and is a collaboration of Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (who did much of the original cover art for Sandman) and the Jim Henson Company -- my initial impression is it will be much like the movie Labyrinth. whatever it's like, i can't wait! :clap:
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