Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Sandman Written by: Neil Gaiman

Why hello there readers, the Endless, what a concept huh? The endless, that is something that is hard to come by in our realm, in our world, and in our lives. I am somewhat meloncoly at the moment, first I would like to take a moment to remember a wonderful man I had the joy of being able to call family. Al, he was a very upstanding guy, but had a similiar stubborn sense of humor I enjoyed greatly, he will be missed. It is amusing that I finished the Sandman series on the day he was buried, a fitting end to this series to end with a wake and funeral. Neil Gaiman, he is a wonderful writer, I've always enjoyed his works, and Sandman was my first introduction to Mr. Gaiman the series ran from 1989 and ended in 1996, I didn't read this series until I was 12 a bit after the series had ended, but I was well acquainted with many of the characters and a few of the worlds, realms, and tales Gaiman brought to his series, so it was as if I were introduced to this supernatural world having been exposed to so many tales already, and here I am closer to 20 years later reading this series once more, and it was as if I had forgotten how influenced I was by this series and Mr. Gaiman. Before I continue reviewing this series I would like to also acknowledge the amazing artists Dave McKean, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Kelley Jones, Jill Thompson, Marc Hempel, Michael Zulli, Charles Vess, if I have missed some I hope you read the series for yourselves so you can really appreicate their talents. And, of course the inkers, letters, and colorists who gave the artists and Gaiman's art and words such depth. They are Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Steve Parkhouse, Charles Vess, P. Craig Russell, George Pratt, Dick Giordano, Stan Woch, Shawn McManus, Vince Locke, John Watkiss, Alec Stevens, Mark Buckingham, Michael Allred, Steve Leialoha, Tony Harris, Marc Hempel, D'Israeli, Glyn Dillon, Teddy Kristiansen, Richard Case, Michael Zulli, Jon J Muth, Kent Williams, Kevin Nowlan, Todd Klein, John Costanza, Robbie Busch, Steve Oliff, Danny Vozzo, Lovern Kindzierski / Digital Chameleon, Jon J Muth, Sherilyn van Valkenburgh, and ofcourse the other creators Mark Dringenberg, and Sam Kieth. Instead of reviewing this series by issue or even by volume I have decided to review it in its entirety simply because it all flows so well together from beginning to end the plot it seems is all woven even by the minute events or sentences all events lead to one final ending, and ending where there are the Endless. The series introduces us to several characters and all though I was familiar with, the concept of these "family" these... "Endless" was wholly unique to me. The series follows one of these Endless quite closely he is known as Dream and at a great part of the time Morpheus, and in the beginning Dream is captured, and is taught that perhaps even though one is constant ever going that perhaps sometimes change is inevitable even if you do not realize you yourself are changing. Dream is one of the Seven Endless, the others his "brothers and sisters" are Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium who was once Delight, and there is a final brother one who I won't name, because that would spoil that story, but I'll give you readers a hint, his name starts with a "D." The endless are basically anthropomorphic personifications of their given titles and duties. Dream, having been captured for quite a number of years is freed finally in "present day" and goes about seeking vegence upon his captors and seeks to rebuild his kingdom, the Dreaming. The series brings in classical heros and villians and old tales and mythologies from the Christian, Greek, Norse, Egyptian, Irish, etc... though the main story arch takes primarily in the Dreaming and our "Waking world." The tales themselves span of billions of years and jump from past to present almost seamlessly and paints Dream as quite the Tragic Hero. We the readers are taken at times to other realms and witness other characters tales, but read and watch carefully readers because Gaiman it seems knew just where his series was going to go from the very beginning. This started off as a DC publication, but eventually ended at Vertigo and consequently a few DC characters appear throughout the series, but not nearly as much as in the beginning of the series and the very end of the series. The series will definetely not be for those who cannot appreciate a good death joke or those who are easily squeemish. There are many classic lessons that almost beg for us to say at the end of their telling, "And, the moral of the story children?" But, sometimes bad things just happen and even if we the readers don't believe in the old, new, Gods, Fei, etc... or even the Endless, Gaiman through his writing teaches us that just because you don't believe it, doesn't mean they don't believe in you. If you like dark tales and are not afraid to pick up a series that will hold you captive and cause you to weep and churn your stomach and mess with your mental health, then Sandman is series for you. I loved this world and all of its inhabitants when I was just exiting my childhood and love it even more now, and it for me readers remains, Endless.

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