By Nick Eskey
Okay, perhaps not a British comic, but seeing as “Sandman” was written by a British man, and is in English, its good enough for me.
Outside of the comic spectrum, Neil Gaiman has published a number of best-selling books such as “American Gods” (one of my personal favorites), “Coraline” and his latest “Ocean at the End of the Lane” to name a few. Anything the man writes I’m guaranteed to love.
From 1989 to 1996, Gaiman attracted a close audience to his first entry into comics. His well-developed story and characters, as in all of his work, is what got me to love it. The main character Morpheus, “The god of sleep,” becomes imprisoned for nearly a mortal’s lifetime. When he does escape, he has to gather the powerful items that were also taken away from him.
The writing was indeed unique, just like the comic’s art style. The covers and the content inside were more abstract than a lot of what was already out there. It was like smoke and water compared to polished steel. All you had to was just look at the cover, all the work of Dave McKean, to know it was a Sandman comic.
Last year, we saw a return of the god of sleep in Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman Overture.” Mr. Gaiman is still at the writer’s helm (aka “a keyboard”). So far the comic is just on its fourth issue (Neil Gaiman will never half-ass a story). This comic deals with the events preceding, and what would lead him to be weakened enough to be captured. The coloring and renderings are a tad crisp from the original, but the flowing style still is there. I’ve been personally keeping up with the issues, including getting the variant covers.
The dark and almost macabre subject matter isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps it’s my love of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Thriller books that keeps me enthralled. But if you’re also a fan of those genres, definitely give this comic a chance. And if you’re already a Sandman fan, add this to your collection.