9781563894657 / 1563894653

The Sandman Companion


Publisher:Dc Comics



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About the book:

Ever the victim of the Literary Establishment's arrogant snorts, comic books would not silence the critics until works like Sandman showcased the true potential of the medium. The only comic to win a major literary award, the story of Neil Gaiman's 2,000-page opus was always going to be a fascinating one, as the ethereal realms of the King of Dreams spawned some extraordinary human dramas. Sandman's one immutable triumph was Gaiman's expert fabrication of tales rich in myth, magic and mysticism, all drawn from eminent literary influences (Shakespeare, Roger Zelazny), yet occurring just a stone's throw from the superhero antics of the DC Universe. With The Sandman Companion,author Hy Bender explores the genesis of Gaiman's modern fairytale, dissecting all 10 volumes of the series and offering concise analysis of the series and its vivid elements. Yet, while Sandman cries out for serious critical examination, Bender does the sensible thing and leaves that to Gaiman himself (extensively interviewed here) -who does not disappoint with his insightful candour. Phenomenally well read, Gaiman is acutely aware that words are much underrated in an image-dominated medium, and whose concerted effort for the stories to beat the forefront was the series backbone- though successfully aided by vividly eclectic art styles. Strong, memorable characters were forged from brilliantly simple twists of logic, such as his sexy Goth chick incarnation of Death: "[Death] has been doing her job for a long, long time, and she's very skilled at it, so I figured why can't she be nice about it?" There is a fine balance between stuffy academic insights and cloying fan-boy enthusiasm, with Bender producing a tome that cannot fail to enhance your enjoyment of this acclaimed series. While some may cry for more depth, this has hardly been a wasted opportunity, with Bender allowing Gaiman to provide an excellent record of one of Comicdom's greatest triumphs. Danny Graydon

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