16 votes

The Sandman comic series has probably been the strongest influence on my life in recent times. Does this resonate?

Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by various brilliant artists, The Sandman series has definitely had an enlightening and positive influence on my life. Much like Dream will say, it feels like the comic speaks true words.
For me — and I struggle with having had no role model — this comic series provides exactly that, in a way.

I wonder, whether people here have read it, or bits of it, and what their opinions are.

22 comments

  1. [3]
    TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link
    I proudly own the Absolute editions of this series, with the first one signed by Gaiman himself. It's the only time I immediately went out to buy the nicest version of a book, graphic or...

    I proudly own the Absolute editions of this series, with the first one signed by Gaiman himself. It's the only time I immediately went out to buy the nicest version of a book, graphic or otherwise, after reading through it.

    What a wonderful series. I should re-read them this year.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      everydayanchovies
      Link Parent
      So jealous! So you read through the individual comics, and then decided to buy the absolute edition? I wonder if it has extra bits and pieces sprinkled in on top of the original works...

      So jealous! So you read through the individual comics, and then decided to buy the absolute edition? I wonder if it has extra bits and pieces sprinkled in on top of the original works...

      2 votes
      1. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        Pretty much. There are a few bonuses here and there but it's the gorgeous paper and ink quality that is the real prize. Also, it helps that Amazon was selling them at a reasonable price (half off!).

        Pretty much. There are a few bonuses here and there but it's the gorgeous paper and ink quality that is the real prize.

        Also, it helps that Amazon was selling them at a reasonable price (half off!).

        3 votes
  2. patience_limited
    Link
    Now I get to go back and re-read Sandman because I remember there were scenes that made me bawl my eyes out, or sit back and sigh deeply, "That's soooo true." I recall a segment where Death...

    Now I get to go back and re-read Sandman because I remember there were scenes that made me bawl my eyes out, or sit back and sigh deeply, "That's soooo true."

    I recall a segment where Death featured, and she said a few things which got me through a suicidally bleak night. That's nothing to take lightly, and I hope it accomplishes the same for others.

    What I don't know is how wise and true it will all seem after almost 30 years of subsequent life experience (yes, I read it when it was first released).

    It's more gratifying than I should really admit when something I loved remains intergenerationally satisfying (yo, Dungeons and Dragons fans?).

    4 votes
  3. [2]
    KapteinB
    Link
    I've always been told how amazing this comic is, so a few years back I finally got around to start reading it. To be honest: I don't get it. The first volume (Preludes and Nocturnes) was fine....

    I've always been told how amazing this comic is, so a few years back I finally got around to start reading it. To be honest: I don't get it.

    The first volume (Preludes and Nocturnes) was fine. There was certainly some potential in it, but it seemed awfully rough around the edges. I figured it's probably one of those comics that have a weak start and improve massively as it goes on, so I decided to give it another chance and buy the second volume.

    The second volume (The Doll's House) was also fine. Somewhat of an improvement over the first, but still not great.

    I gave it a third chance, and volume three (Dream Country) was ... also fine. That was a couple of years ago now, and I haven't really felt the desire to read more of it.

    There are definitely things I like about the comic. Gaiman is good at creating interesting characters and scenarios, but I'm continuously disappointed with how the story arcs end. Most of them seem to end with Dream showing up to declare that this shit has gone too far, and it ends now. And then it ends, because Dream said so. It's always a disappointment, and feels like wasted opportunities for something more interesting.

    So yeah, I don't really get the praise this comic has received over the years. Am I missing something? Am I not the target audience? Have I just not reached the good parts yet?

    4 votes
    1. Catt
      Link Parent
      As someone who loved the series, but couldn't get the same love of it from anyone I recommended it to, I'm going to answer - yes and no. I would say the 10 volumes are quite similar in feel, so if...

      So yeah, I don't really get the praise this comic has received over the years. Am I missing something? Am I not the target audience? Have I just not reached the good parts yet?

      As someone who loved the series, but couldn't get the same love of it from anyone I recommended it to, I'm going to answer - yes and no. I would say the 10 volumes are quite similar in feel, so if you've read three and aren't into it, it might just not be for you. The Dolls House is actually one of my favorites, second to basically the final arc. I would also say three books in, you actually haven't really gotten to what I consider the point of the stories yet.

      If your interested in giving it another shot, I recommend the latest Sandman Overture. It's short and beautiful and touches on similar themes. I also loved Dream Hunters which isn't as fluid as the original series.

      2 votes
  4. [4]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I have said many times that the Sandman comic series by Neil Gaiman is not just the best comics I have ever read: it is, without a doubt, THE best story I had contact with, in any media, ever. I...

    I have said many times that the Sandman comic series by Neil Gaiman is not just the best comics I have ever read: it is, without a doubt, THE best story I had contact with, in any media, ever. I literally cannot praise Sandman enough and get nervous/overly-excited when I try to do so. So I just tell people to read it.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Have you read Alan Moore's runs on MiracleMan or "Swamp Thing*? If you enjoyed Sandman those two might also both be up your alley.

      Have you read Alan Moore's runs on MiracleMan or "Swamp Thing*? If you enjoyed Sandman those two might also both be up your alley.

      3 votes
      1. mrbig
        Link Parent
        I read Swamp Thing. It's awesome.

        I read Swamp Thing. It's awesome.

        3 votes
      2. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        You just reminded me that The British Invasion, a scholarly review of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Grant Morrison's respective impacts on modern graphic storytelling, has been cluttering up my...

        You just reminded me that The British Invasion, a scholarly review of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Grant Morrison's respective impacts on modern graphic storytelling, has been cluttering up my reading list for a while. Time to get to it!

        3 votes
  5. Barskie
    Link
    Its a beautiful work, really brings to mind a certain atmosphere and mood when you read it. Sort of like one of those timeless classic fables.

    Its a beautiful work, really brings to mind a certain atmosphere and mood when you read it. Sort of like one of those timeless classic fables.

    3 votes
  6. [8]
    ibis
    Link
    I got up to Nada story-line and dropped it. I read it around the same time meToo was all going down, and I just was not in the mood for a male protagonist that rapes his love interest then locks...

    I got up to Nada story-line and dropped it.

    I read it around the same time meToo was all going down, and I just was not in the mood for a male protagonist that rapes his love interest then locks her in a cage in hell for all of human history.

    But what really made me rage quit was when, after literally committing suicide to get away from him, and then after a hundred billion years (or something idk) in a cage because of him, Nada gets a bit cranky for a moment before immediately forgiving him and confirming that she still loves him. What a joke.

    Until then I’d kind of been enjoying the whole dark power fantasy aspect of the story, but that whole thing just ruined it for me.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Micycle_the_Bichael
      Link Parent
      Yeahhhh I haven't read the whole series (only the first book) so I won't say anything definitive. However, from reading the summary of the plotline on multiple wiki pages and sites, it doesn't...

      Yeahhhh I haven't read the whole series (only the first book) so I won't say anything definitive. However, from reading the summary of the plotline on multiple wiki pages and sites, it doesn't look good from so many aspects I have a hard time seeing a way the plot could be portrayed in a way that isn't really bad.

      2 votes
      1. TheJorro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It's supposed to be pretty fucked up within the context of the story. A lot of Sandman is a commentary on how messed up mythology is—these kinds of stories are pretty common across mythologies...

        It's supposed to be pretty fucked up within the context of the story. A lot of Sandman is a commentary on how messed up mythology is—these kinds of stories are pretty common across mythologies around the world.

        The whole point is that Dream realizes in the modern day that all the things gods, humans, endless and others have done for thousands of years before were pretty fucked up, and that's why some of his siblings (who have already learned this) have moved on from their "endless" roles when it seems like a contradiction to their existence. It's a theme that's constantly reinforced throughout the series. One of the early storylines is that Lucifer (i.e. Satan) realizes how dumb the concept of Hell and eternal damnation is, and closes up shop. He gives Dream the key to it if Dream is so interested in keeping the status quo going since Dream, who has always been kind of an idiot, doesn't understand what's going on yet. The constant flashbacks to times long ago (which is a lot of what this Nada storyline is) are to show the difference between the standards of then and now.

        You won't get this nuance out of plot summaries, they pave over so much that it's unrecognizable. Of course, it helps to remember that this was also around the time period of Watchmen and Frank Miller's TDK book, and all three accidentally ushered in the era of shitty grimdark comics after their successes so it's all a bit edgy in retrospect.

        4 votes
    2. [5]
      Grendel
      Link Parent
      Wait did he rape her? I thought they were consensual lovers. Am I remembering wrong or did I miss that somehow?

      Wait did he rape her? I thought they were consensual lovers. Am I remembering wrong or did I miss that somehow?

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        ibis
        Link Parent
        Here is how I remember it : She originally pursued him, but when she realised he was a god she ran away (because it’s forbidden for humans to be with gods). Then there is a really disturbing...

        Here is how I remember it : She originally pursued him, but when she realised he was a god she ran away (because it’s forbidden for humans to be with gods).

        Then there is a really disturbing sequence where she turns into a gazelle (or something similar) and he literally hunts her. Then she stuck a rock inside of her to break her hymen because she hoped that he won’t want her anymore if she isn’t a virgin. But that doesn’t stop him either, and he beds her. It’s pretty obviously not consensual, but Gaiman doesn’t seem to think of it as rape rape because she pursued him and wanted him before.

        She later commits suicide to get away from him, only for Dream to find her spirit in death. When she rejects him again he puts her in a cage in hell.

        3 votes
        1. Grendel
          Link Parent
          Thanks for that review. It has been a few years since I read it, and I was also pretty young so it may have gone a little over my head. That definitely sounds awful.

          Thanks for that review. It has been a few years since I read it, and I was also pretty young so it may have gone a little over my head. That definitely sounds awful.

          3 votes
        2. [2]
          everydayanchovies
          Link Parent
          That’s pretty accurate. Have you heard/read Gaiman saying he doesn’t consider this rape rape? I think Gaiman is into the business of writing stories that could be true. They don’t necessarily need...

          That’s pretty accurate. Have you heard/read Gaiman saying he doesn’t consider this rape rape? I think Gaiman is into the business of writing stories that could be true. They don’t necessarily need to avoid conflict topics.
          In my opinion, I’d rather be confronted with such things being possible (rape for example) than not see them brought up at all.
          I do get your point tho, having the protagonist rape someone ought to be a turn off to people looking to relate with him.

          Consider this too: the series focuses on Dream’s emotional growth. He gradually becomes less of a dick as the series progresses.
          Maybe Gaiman wanted to make dream rape someone so that later he could regret it.

          1. ibis
            Link Parent
            No, that was my interpretation of how the narrative handles the rape. Dream is depicted as "bad", but in an edgy anti-hero way - not in an actual "bad guy" way. Throughout the whole arc he still...

            Have you heard/read Gaiman saying he doesn’t consider this rape rape?

            No, that was my interpretation of how the narrative handles the rape. Dream is depicted as "bad", but in an edgy anti-hero way - not in an actual "bad guy" way. Throughout the whole arc he still looked cool. The comic made rape look badass, not bad.

            The whole series is a power fantasy, and the Nada arc leaned into it - the narrative and the art-work fetishises Dream's power over her.

            Consider this too: the series focuses on Dream’s emotional growth. He gradually becomes less of a dick as the series progresses.
            Maybe Gaiman wanted to make dream rape someone so that later he could regret it.

            I think you are giving Gaiman way too much credit, but if this were true, it would piss me off much much more.

            You're suggesting that Gaiman deliberately wrote a rape-plot where the rapist was the hero, and wrote a rape victim whose character arc involves: getting raped, killing herself, getting locked up in hell for millennia, begging her rapist to let her out and being refused, being the damsel in distress for her rapist to save, before closing off her arc by forgiving her rapist and admitting that she still loves him?

            Are you saying that it would be good if he deliberately wrote a rape victim as perpetually powerless - who was locked up and then saved by her rapist, before finally being reincarnated - but only because her rapist magnanimously allowed it?

            I'm honestly sick to death of the rape and torture and murder of female characters being used as a plot device to further a male character's development. Gaiman doesn't even allow this female character to properly resent her own mistreatment! because Dream is an author insertion, and having Nada not love Dream would ruin the fantasy.

            3 votes
  7. moocow1452
    Link
    Definitely have to add that to my pull list. Wanted to get around to Sandman for the longest time, and will have to actually enjoy it instead of using it as time filler at work.

    Definitely have to add that to my pull list. Wanted to get around to Sandman for the longest time, and will have to actually enjoy it instead of using it as time filler at work.

    1 vote
  8. skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm a fan and the Sandman series is certainly impressive. But I'm wondering what you mean by "strongest influence?" To me, it seemed important while I was reading it due to all the references to...

    I'm a fan and the Sandman series is certainly impressive. But I'm wondering what you mean by "strongest influence?" To me, it seemed important while I was reading it due to all the references to myths, legends and so on, but also like its own self-contained world and after I was done reading it didn't seem to have much to do with real life. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

    1 vote
  9. envy
    Link
    I think you want wonder, not wander.

    wander

    I think you want wonder, not wander.

    1 vote