Monday, July 17, 2017

Long Comic: "The Absolute Sandman" by Neil Gaiman

Long Comic: The Absolute Sandman: volume one by Neil Gaiman and multiple artists, 2006, 9781401210823.

OK, so I finally read the Sandman stuff and, based on years of hype and praise, I am underwhelmed. Maybe I also have to be familiar with the quality of comics that came before this to recognize the work's importance.  

This is a fancy reprint from DC's Vertigo imprint with issues 1 through 20 of Sandman stories plus extra stuff. Since Gaiman wrote the series you can be sure that there is some great storytelling. I still did not give a rat's ass about some of them. According to library catalog Absolute Sandman is a five volume series with pub dates from 2006 to 2011.

Sandman is a god - a lesser god I suppose - who controls dreams and the dreamworld. In 1905 (or so) he is captured by some Englishman who are having an occult ceremony intended to catch Death. They catch Sandman instead and he is stuck as a captive for the next 70 years (or so). The first 10 or 15 issues involve Sandman returning and reclaiming his dream realm and chasing down a few errant dreams - creatures - that left the Dreamworld. There is some fanciful artwork and Sandman has Robert Smith style rat's nest hair.

1. A Midsummer Night's Dream won a 1991 World Fantasy Award. Midsummer was the first comics winner for Short Fiction and induced a rules change for that category. Sure, this was a god story but I really do not care about Shakespeare. You can explain to me all you like about the cultural and literary importance of the man's work but that does not mean I enjoy it.
2. Collectors was good. A 20-year-old woman is looking for the 12-year-old brother she has not seen in 7 years. She ends up at a hotel that has been taken over by a convention of serial killers. Sandman shows up chasing down one of his errant dream creations.
3. That is all. I'm not going to comment on each issue in the book. 

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