Talkin’ About Comics, The Gushing Praise Edition: The Sandman
Today, at six in the morning, I want to talk about the comic that has literally changed my life. Lets talk about Neil Gaiman’s, “The Sandman.” I came across this book whil It is, in my opinion, the greatest comic that was ever written and I have not come across its equal.
Within the pages of the ten Sandman graphic novels, Mr. Gaiman manages to weaves a story that somehow leaves you with a sense of wonder. Even today, I’ll read one of them, finish it and then just stare off in space for a minute or two, just taking it all in. Its that sense of wonder that makes Gaiman’s writing so special, something about his touch, the texture of the story and the pictures together that weave together in a nigh perfect way. Gaiman’s novels, which are all good reads, also possess this quality but to a lesser extent, the comic’s art gives his words space to breath.
You can of course dissect the book and level criticism at it. It is not an example of perfection. It is very narration heavy, entire pages can give way to blocks of expository text and other minds have argued that the stories are predictable and follow the same old get the mcguffin narrative structure of “normal” fantasy stories. But I find when you are reading the book it any imagined flaw tends to slip through your fingers, like sand itself. A friend of mine once told me that he keeps telling himself he’s not a fan of Gaiman’s work, that the retelling of old myths as mordern tales has been done a hundred times before. He then confided that this attitude last until he finds one of Gaiman’s books in his hands and then he remembers why that really doesn’t matter.
Within the pages of Sandman, Mr. Gaiman weaves a myth that is so compelling that the reader wants to believe in it. That knowing that a flawed but noble being watching over our dreams would be a comforting thought. The Sandman is a at once a terribly fickle entity and completely human at the same time.
As trite as it is, reading “The Sandman” is what made me realize that comics really were not just about strips and capes. Comic can tell any story and with a vividness that can truly suck in the reader. It made me want to create comics and started me on the path to create Walking the Lethe. It is my greatest of hope to some day tap into that same sense of wonder the Mr. Gaiman’s writing inspires with my own writing.
Where do you find your wonder?