New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.
In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.
This book also includes the story “The Sound of Her Wings,” which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl Death.
I love Neil Gaiman. There. It had to be said.
Now, having said that, I will say this – I haven’t read all of his novels. Yes, I have Neverwhere on my shelf, but have only read a few chapters in. I haven’t read ALL of the short stories in Fragile Things or Smoke and Mirrors. I’ve put numerous books in my shopping cart over at Amazon – the Anansi Brothers, etc. – but haven’t bought them for fear that I wouldn’t be able to get into them. I do, however, love Stardust, Coraline, and most of Gaiman’s work for the younger audience.
I was introduced to the Sandman via Tori Amos fans (Neil and Tori have been friends for a very long time). Tori has made reference to Gaiman in some of her songs and I was always intrigued by him. I knew one day I would read the Sandman comics, but I never knew when that would happen. Until one day when I was a bookstore for ONE book and came out with about 9 (I never said I had willpower when it came to books), with the first instalment of the Sandman comics in my bag.
Then it sat on the shelf, until one afternoon I just picked it up and started reading.
I never thought that I would get wrapped up in a graphic novel before, as this is the first one I’ve ever read (I doubt Archie comics count as graphic novels), but this one was great. Very adult, very dark and deep, and I finished the first installment with a mad crush on the Sandman (He’s like Gaiman – he looks like a rock star).
I’m currently re-reading this story since I want to actually finish reading the whole series of Sandman graphic novels in the coming weeks and I felt like I should say a little bit more about this fantastic comic, since I really didn’t say too much in my initial review.
First of all, I will say that my crush on the Sandman still stands. I think this is mostly due to the illustrations. I didn’t mention it before, but the illustrations for this graphic novel are amazing–very dark and disturbing in some scenes, so much colour and detail in others, and they really add to the story. I find that it’s a slower read than other graphic novels I’ve read recently because I want to search each and every illustration to see what might be hidden within–there’s so much greatness going on that I can see myself reading this over and over again as the years go by.
I read that Gaiman thinks that this isn’t the strongest instalment of the series, so I have high hopes for the rest of the books. In fact, rereading this book has brought back my love for Neil Gaiman and I’ve found myself scouring the shelves of Amazon for all he has to offer–my library needs to be completed! I really love how his writing can span from writing for children, to writing for adults, to writing graphic novels, and all that falls in between. I just love it! Not many authors can pull this off.