The Sandman Vol. 1 – Neil Gaiman

So a couple weeks ago I crossed the line into full nerd-dom and made my first foray into the world of graphic novels.

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I have no shame about this. I have embraced nerd-hood and am happier than ever.

Since then, I have finished all of the Scott Pilgrims and the first volume (Preludes & Nocturnes) of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.

Yeah. Point one about comics – I can consume them faster than I can blog about them.  This should have been obvious, right? Graphic novels are… well, mostly graphics! More pictures than words! If I can get through a chunky Marian Keyes in one day, I can get through a graphic novel in my twenty minute commute. Easily.

Duh.

obvs

Aaaanyway. I started with The Sandman because I already love Neil Gaiman and I was super excited about the story and the writing. Because I am a complete novice, I didn’t realise that The Sandman actually takes place in the DC universe, and there are in-jokes and cameos from established characters. As a beginner, I picked up on this because it was pretty obvious (I guess Dr Destiny is a Batman villain? He lives in Arkham Asylum, at any rate) but I felt like I would appreciate the whole thing a lot more once I’ve done some wider reading and I’m up on my canon.

The art is gorgeous, of course – I’m a pretty visual learner (Google the VARK test if you’re not sure what I’m talking about) so this medium really appeals to me. Because I’m a fast reader, though, there were moments when I had to make myself slow down and really appreciate the artwork. (NB: On the Kindle app on the iPad, there’s a feature that lets you flip between panels instead of pages – this is frankly AWESOME and really helps me focus on each panel rather than skimming the page too fast.)

Volume one, comprised of the first eight comics in the series, tells the story of Morpheus, the Price of Dreams, captured by the leader of a secret society by accident (he was aiming for Dream’s sister, Death). This act of hubris kicks off a narrative that touches on modern myth, fantasy, horror (the chapter called ’24 hours’ is truly chilling), as well as musings on the nature of life, death, and dreams (funnily enough!). Honestly, I was so not disappointed. Like I said, I really love Gaiman’s work, and this had all the hallmarks of his that I adore – the dark humour, the poetry, the deeper questions of life, the universe and everything. There are nine more volumes, and I cannot wait to read them!

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