the sandman (vol. 1)

The Sandman

Graphic novels are my new favorite things. I guess it helps that I’m starting with some of the best–maybe it’s all downhill from here.

After reading and loving Saga (a new issue came out yesterday, get on it!), I dove into Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman on numerous recommendations for it. And, surprise surprise, I’m into this one, too.

Right now it reminds me a lot of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The Sandman himself seems a lot like Roland. I’m not sure if I like the Sandman yet, and it took me a long time to warm up to Roland, too. But both worlds are so rich, and all the character so interesting, that I’ll follow the Sandman wherever he wants to go.

And go he does. Through worlds and dreams and people’s minds, we learn more about the rich universe Gaiman created. The Sandman, or Morpheus or Dream or the other many names he goes by, has been around a long time. He’s an immortal who rules the realm of dreams. His siblings are responsible for other kingdoms, and though I’ve heard of Desire and Despair, I’ve only met Dream and Death.

(Death is pretty fun. She’s spunky and charming and I’d like to hang out with her and the rest of the siblings a little more.)

The Sandman’s story starts out when he is imprisoned by humans looking to steal his power. But Dream has all the time in the world and waits for his chance to escape. As he waits, his dream world falls apart. When he breaks out, his journey to put his realm and himself back together are just beginning.

So far we’ve met Cain and Abel in a twisted but sometimes hilarious story (please check this out just to see their baby gargoyle–it kills me when adorable things appear in comic books). Dream has dueled a demon in an escalating and awesome battle that reminds me of Roland and his ka-tet’s riddle competition with Blane the Mono. Familiar DC Comic faces like the Scarecrow appear as minor characters. There are horror stories and funny stories and human stories and demon stories. And if this is where we start, I can’t wait to see where we end up.

(A word of warning, some images are definitely not ok for children or subway riding when someone is looking over your shoulder. But the art is great, too.)

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