I Wish I Liked Sandman

I just got done reading the first Sandman collection, Preludes and Nocturnes, by Neil Gaiman. When this first came out I was in the Army and not reading comics, so that’s why I initially missed it. But I started reading comics again by ’92 or ’93. I’m not sure why I avoided it at that time, and ever since. I do know that I was actively avoiding it. I knew about it’s popularity and it’s critical acclaim. I even knew that lots of people whose opinions I respected loved it. I still didn’t bother to check it out. I might have been put off by what I’d seen of the art. At the time I liked my comic book art much more… comicbooky. I certainly had no objection to the subject matter. Fantasy has always been a large staple of my reading diet. Though not so much in comic books, I realize. So that could have been a factor also. At the time I started reading comics again I was only just starting to get away from the standard superhero books.

Anyway, the other day I decided to rectify my oversight. So I picked up the first two collection and I just got done with the first one today.

Here’s the thing. I like Neil Gaiman. I tore through both American Gods and Neverwhere in just a few days and loved them both. I like his writing, and I like the subjects he writes about. The collective consciousness, the stories that makes us human and the myths and epics that stretch across humanity. This is stuff I love reading about. And I like comics. I’ve been reading them since I was maybe 8 years old, with only a few breaks. What I’m saying is I love the things that make up the Sandman comics.

But I didn’t love the Sandman comics. I didn’t hate them, but I just didn’t get much of a rush from them. They were not the sort of thing that makes me itch to get to the next page. I wasn’t grateful at the end of Preludes and Nocturnes that I’d purchases the second volume so I could dig right in. In fact, I think I want to start something else first (one of Brust’s Vlad Taltos novels, to be exact). To be fair, Gaiman his self has called the first books awkward. I wont pass final judgment on Sandman until I’ve read The Doll’s House.

After all this time I was really looking forward to these books. You know when you find out a friend hasn’t ever read some author whom you love and who is perfect for your friend? I felt that sort of anticipation. Sort of a bummer.


Okay, I just finished the second collection and I now understand why Sandman was a phenomenon. It’s great! Not my favorite comic, but it certainly is deserving of it’s reputation. I’m looking forward to getting the rest of the collections now.


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