Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Sandman Reread


Tor loves to reread stuff.  They reread things they've only just read and then reread them again to be sure what they read was to their taste. Their latest target is Neil Gaiman's Sandman series of comic books (or 'graphic novels' if you're sensitive about being seen reading a 'comic book').  I'm not a big comic book reader - I've recently enjoyed the excellent Dungeons and Dragons series from IDW publishing (and I hated Alan Moore's Watchmen, another high profile title I thought I should read) - but Sandman remains the best comic book series I've ever read.

Gaiman uses the long imprisonment of Morpheus as the engine for practically the entire series. Morpheus was the cork holding the dream-stuff inside the bottle, and he spends several story arcs worth of his time trying to clean up the mess others left behind when he wasn’t there to stop it. More importantly, perhaps, Gaiman shows us what it’s like when our hero isn’t there. I mean, he’s on the page, but he’s impotent, shackled. The loss of Dream means the loss, to a large degree, of story. And if Sandman is about anything, and it is, it’s about the power of story. This whole series is like the pilgrims headed to Canterbury, taking turns telling their tales. It’s Scheherazade weaving fictions to stay alive. It’s Neil Gaiman, building a structure through which he can tell a multitude of stories from different times and different places, but with the advantage of a single narrative thrust to tie it all together.
Full Story: HERE

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