Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It was hard for me to get into Sandman. The first reason is because the art in Sandman is never anywhere near as good as the writing. The second reason is either because of Neil Gaiman's egotism or because of how ridiculous Gaiman fans are. Neil Gaiman is often compared to Alan Moore, and let's face it, he's no Alan Moore. He may be the next best recent comic book writer to deal with myth, lore and zeitgeist, but he's at least two levers below Moore in skill and creativity.
But Sandman is good. It's really good. It will stick with you when you're done. It is intensely anthropological, with Dream and family describing all of human mythology since the dawn of this world. There are tricksters and creators and beings of great power. Like the trials of Hercules, plots are often linear and revolve around tasks. But like much of ancient literature, it will linger on seemingly unrelated one-shot stories, perhaps about a bold Englishman who is granted immortality or about a cat who starts a revolution in feline dreaming that could change reality. The story stands alone, but occasionally reaches into the DC Universe.
Sandman is good. I still don't know if I can say this about the rest of Gaiman's corpus, but Sandman is good.