"The most wonderful thing about the success of “Sandman,” Gaiman said, was the fact that it was the first comic that was largely “sexually transmitted.” “For years, male people had wanted to get female people they knew into comics, and they would give them copies of ‘Batman’ or ‘The Punisher,’ and the female people were always strangely unmoved by this. But now, the male people would give the female people that they liked or wanted to know better or perhaps were sleeping with ‘Sandman,’ and the female people would say, ‘Do you have any more copies of this? Where is the rest of it?’ And then, when they broke up with the male person who had given them ‘The Sandman,’ they would take the ‘Sandmans’ with. And then they would go, ‘Ah! There is another male person I quite like! I will impress them with my knowledge!’”"

— (from this)

I liked this interview a lot when it came out. I was 14 and at my most impressionable in all the right ways. I was only faintly aware of Neil Gaiman as someone I might want to go become a fan of, and I remember this interview inspiring me to read Sandman. (I think it also inspired me to get really into Elvis Costello.)

I was sad to see that it wasn’t online, so now it is. It’s a nice time capsule. Sandman was current. Ice-T references were topical. Everything was nice.

My favorite moment in Sandman, from the finale by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.
The first time you read Sandman, you realize early on that while Morpheus is ostensibly the lead character, he’s seldom the most interesting. You don’t dislike him, but he doesn’t stand out. Several of the best stories barely even involve him.
Then you get to the ending, and you see how the entirety of Sandman ties together into one big thing— a story about stories. You understand Morpheus’s role. You get what’s really going on. You catch how borderline meta the whole thing has been, with Morpheus representing Neil Gaiman more than might have been obvious. You figure out how central of a character Morpheus was, even when he was nowhere to be seen.
"I am prince of stories… but I have no story of my own. Nor shall I ever."
And then, when you go back and read Sandman again with this in mind, it’s different. Better. Sadder, but happier. And that’s when Morpheus becomes your favorite character.

My favorite moment in Sandman, from the finale by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.

The first time you read Sandman, you realize early on that while Morpheus is ostensibly the lead character, he’s seldom the most interesting. You don’t dislike him, but he doesn’t stand out. Several of the best stories barely even involve him.

Then you get to the ending, and you see how the entirety of Sandman ties together into one big thing— a story about stories. You understand Morpheus’s role. You get what’s really going on. You catch how borderline meta the whole thing has been, with Morpheus representing Neil Gaiman more than might have been obvious. You figure out how central of a character Morpheus was, even when he was nowhere to be seen.

"I am prince of stories… but I have no story of my own. Nor shall I ever."

And then, when you go back and read Sandman again with this in mind, it’s different. Better. Sadder, but happier. And that’s when Morpheus becomes your favorite character.

a nice bonus of Sandman is that talking about the Endless also sounds like you’re talking about the things they represent too

Delirium used to be my favorite, and Dream used to be boring. Now, Dream is my favorite and the one I relate to most, more than I realized. Delirium used to seem charming and fun, but now seems cutesy and grating sometimes. Destruction is still one of my favorites, but I’m less like Destruction than I like to think I am. And I like Death, but not as much as everybody else does.

Does that still work if you use lowercase “d”s?

two quotations from neil gaiman’s bio at the end of sandman: endless nights that make me like him more

  1. He thinks the best graphic novel he ever wrote was Mr. Punch.
  2. He is listening to the Breeders’ Title TK on a battered iPod as he types this.

emilyhoffman:

Before I begin writing about my reaction to these issues I would like to make note that I am following the order of stories as presented in The Absolute Sandman books. It has been explained to me that certain issues were published differently and therefore they are often put in strange places in…

The “August” issue is one of the first Sandman issues I read, and one of my favorites. Just one long philosophical conversation about the nature of power. When I was 15 and dazzled by the idea that comics could be about more than just people fighting, this was exactly what I wanted.

I also LOVE Bryan Talbot’s art in that one (and all of his Sandman art in general). The attention to detail is ridiculous. He drew page after page of two guys sitting and talking, and managed to keep it exciting, varying everything from their mannerisms to the people around them to little details like the accumulated garbage on the street. Easily one of my favorite Sandman artists.

upon rereading

I like Delirium less than last time, and I like Dream more than last time.

This page by Marc Hempel may be my favorite page from Sandman. I’d hang a framed copy of this on my wall.

This page by Marc Hempel may be my favorite page from Sandman. I’d hang a framed copy of this on my wall.

Good time for a reread (or a first read).

(Currently up to Worlds End in my own reread.)

"A Hope in Hell," "Passengers," and "24 Hours"

emilyhoffman:

I’m in. “24 Hours” was the story that did it for me. I find this series most interesting when it’s about bizarre slice of life/human experience things that just happen to have this sci-fi aspect going on too. I really liked “24 Hours” for that reason. The sci-fi/horror stuff was totally there but it didn’t feel like that was the point. Bette, the waitress who is also a writer but keeps her writing secret was a perfect character for me and the diner offered a great place to see lots of different people in different situations. I hope the series continues in this direction. 

I still feel like not being a real comic book nerd does put me at a minor disadvantage when reading this. I have enough cultural literacy that non of the references to other parts of the DC Universe are really throwing me but I feel like I could get a lot more out of them the allusions if I had a fuller understanding. Knowing everything is hard.

You’re going to get a lot more of the kinds of things you’ve been liking, and a lot less references to other DC stuff (as Sandman increasingly becomes its own thing in its own little world with its own fanbase). Disadvantage: fading. Enjoyment: scratching the surface.