Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gaiman's Sandman

The Sandman No. 1

I very recently read the first issue of Neil Gaiman's comic book The Sandman. I'd been looking for books in English for my son En-Uk to read, as I believe I may have mentioned. I usually like Gaiman's stories, and Sandman comes highly recommended, e.g., by Norman Mailer, who said:
Sandman is a comic strip for intellectuals, and I say it's about time.
I found that quote in Nick Clark's article from two years ago, "Comic strip for intellectuals: Gaiman announces surprise Sandman prequel" (The Independent, July 13, 2012), but Mailer must have uttered it some time before he actually died, back in 2007.

My response to this first one is mixed. The beginning was a sprawling, very confusing mess (hence a need for the prequel mentioned by Clark, I suppose), and the middle threatened to get mixed up with the superheros of the Justice League -- would Superman fit with a character such as Morpheus, a.k.a. the Sandman? But the story eluded that error (save for a brief encounter with "The Martian") and moved in more mythic realms, sort of.

Anyway, I warned En-Uk about the confusing beginning, and he later agreed with me on that but is still reading this comic for intellectuals, so maybe it will lead him toward greater literature . . .

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At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
I've seen "Sandman" around for years, I'll have to check it out finally. On the 'graphic novel' front, Ben got me a copy of the big box that contains "Building Stories" by Chris Ware. This thing is truly something; it's a 'novel' that's comprised of about 14 separate, individual books/pamphlets/posters, that are in no known order but do rather amazingly cohere as one dives in and starts reading them all. I was telling Leigh how, I'm sitting there in the evening and pick one out of the pile and look at it, and say to myself, jeez, this'll take me like 10 minutes to 'read', and then I look up at the clock and it's an hour later! Quite weird, and definitely enjoyable. Pete

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'll have to look into that 'big box' by Ware -- though I'm wary of such literary experiments.

Jeffery Hodges

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