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The Annotated Sandman, Vol. 1 (The Sandman Annotated 1)

4.48 of 5 stars 4.48  ·  rating details  ·  378 ratings  ·  44 reviews

Meet the Endless, a family of immortals that govern all aspects of life and death throughout the universe. However, one of theirown lays captured--Dream, the Lord of Sleep. As Dream makes his escape and returns to his duties after 70 years of imprison-ment, he encounters countless characters from myth, legend and comics, from Lucifer himself to t
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Vertigo (first published January 27th 2011)
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There are things I absolutely love about The Annotated Sandman , and things I am enormously disappointed with.

I am hugely disappointed with the lack of commentary on most pages, especially as this was sold as Gaiman's way of jotting down his reasons for writing The Sandman, and his driving inspirations for the stories. Given what a landmark series The Sandman was and what an influence it continues to be, I expected more profound notes than the history of British rock bands or song lyrics to sho
When Sandman, written by the then-unknown Gaiman with images by Sam Keith and Mike Dringenberg, launched in January 1989, very few comics required annotations. Gaiman, much like his mentor Alan Moore, littered the series with obscure reference and marginalia. The DC title proved to be one of the most popular and endearing of the 90s, running 75 issues and spawning several spin-off series. Eventually Sandman garnered three deserved Eisners and is the only comic book to win a World Fantasy Award. ...more
Paul Bonamy
This is an excellent collection, presenting all sorts of tidbits about the history of the Sandman, and, more interesting in my mind, clues about many of the allusions built into the series. There are also little asides dealing with inspiration for the art, or other little details. For example, in Issue 13 - Men of Good Fortune - the exchanges between Shakespeare, Marlowe, and the Sandman are all in Iambic Pentameter. There's plenty here to fascinate the fan of the Sandman.

The first volume provid
To be completely honest, reading The Annotated Sandman, Vol. 1 was both brilliant and problematic. The problem, first of all, is it was the only way to read beyond the first compendium; I've had the Annotated one sitting idly by for a while as I thought I'd accrue the rest of the smaller, coloured compendiums - but when you're a student, they're kind of dear, and the second volume was never around when I sporadically bought books.

So, it was more to read more of the story in black and white than
I've heard people call Neil Gaiman a hack, maybe because he's an easy read and his public persona is so likable he's easy to hate (or be jealous of, I can relate either way.) This book added to my depth of understanding of what made The Sandman seen a classic: a solid, self-referencing plot, interesting characters and so many subtle and smart references that I made a bookshelf to keep track of them all -

I vastly enjoyed rereading this with the annotated s
Dave Logghe
I'd been wanting to get into Gaiman's Sandman for quite a while so I was really excited to see that the university library had a copy of the annotated volume 1 (Issues 1-20). The annotations were really helpful in keeping me from getting lost. Gaiman draws from so many different sources of inspiration that without this little road map, I don't know that I would have felt the full effect of the writing. I really loved the first 16 or so issues, the continuing stories were really interesting and t ...more
The endless are a family of immortals who govern every aspect of life. They behave just as any siblings do, the bicker, the laugh, they cause wars, and occasionally go missing. The eldest is Destiny, he knows everything that has and will come to pass. Death, who contradicts any so called stereotype for a character of her powers, dresses like a teenager, and consoles those who have not yet figured out that they are dead. Dream is known by many names and can travel by the dreams of humans. Desire ...more
Kurt Rice
Mainstream graphic storytelling has reached near-literary levels in the last 50 years, and the shuffling off of a purely juvenile focus and the limitations of the self-preservative comics code has much to do with that. Those already immersed in the medium understand The Sandman's influence and quality, but for those who are interested in checking out some "comic books"I recommend Gaiman, Keith, and Dringenberg's, dare I say it? Masterpiece. I would give the basic series a solid 4 stars, but the ...more
Alexandra Flores
I love that this is printed in black and white. I've never read it in its original form, but I looked some of the issues up online and I feel pretty comfortable saying I prefer it this way. The line art is a little busier (not the technical term, I'm sure) than I normally like, but I think it suits the atmosphere of the comic--though I will say that sometimes the more detailed backgrounds blend together and can be unintelligible, and I suspect that coloring would fix some of that.

The story itsel
Charlotte Conley
I really love the dark and whimsical way Gaiman has with his work. The artwork is it's own style; it features interesting character designs reminiscent of 80's goth.
My only complaint is the physical book itself has a weak spine in comparison to the size and weight of the book, meaning that you need to be a little more careful with it. Also the large size and weight of the book means that you can't really take it anywhere and may be difficult to handle when trying to find a comfy reading positio
Serge Pierro
As great as it was to read these stories once again, I couldn't help but think that this could have been an even better book! The annotations seemed to be sparse throughout, and it should come as no surprise that the best background information was provided by Gaiman himself. It seemed that too much attention was paid to the biographical material of "minor" historical characters mentioned throughout the book. Although interesting, it was not what I was hoping for. (More Gaiman insight wanted!!) ...more
Zomfg! I read the first issue and was kind of confused at how fast it blew through nearly 70yrs and tried to keep tabs on all the new characters / how their stories were woven together. The second issue was a little more of the same, but started to come together for me. By the time I was at the end of the 4th issue I was really getting into it. I fell hopelessly and utterly in love with Death when we met her in issue 8 - and knew that I need to read her mini-series. The story of the Vortex was f ...more
One major point you can't understand until you're in possession of this monster. This is a huge and heavy book, a 'sit at a desk because the book could hurt you if furniture wasn't supporting it,' book.

Thousands of reviews exist for Sandman so I need not really review it and add to the cluttered praise. It's good, read it.

I do want to praise the annotation and compilation of this volume. The annotation added a feeling of reading a grimoire with notes scribbled in the margins. It adds to the ex
Seth Madej
I surprised myself at how ridiculously much I enjoyed re-reading these stories. I also surprised myself for having this book on my shelf for two years and never realizing that the reprints are in black and white. But that's okay, because The Sandman -- especially these early, true horror issues -- should be read at night in bed with as little light as possible, and the lack of color makes the pages blend into the shadows.

Unfortunately, Leslie Klinger, whose The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes I ad
Essentially, graphic novels/comic books are somewhat lost on me. I am awful at slowing to appreciate the artwork and its contribution to the story.

I'd long been curious about Gaiman's Sandman due to it having long been lauded as an exemplary piece of the art form.

I don't get it.

"It" not being whether Sandman is a major milestone in its genre's lifespan, rather the entire endeavor altogether. I kept getting the idea in my head that were this same story being related in the form of a novel, I'd
Niklas Pivic
This is a black-and-white first volume of the first 20 issues of "The Sandman", an epic series written by Neil Gaiman.

Leslie S. Klinger has annotated this volume, and will annotate the rest as well. The annotations range from historical - e.g. information on William Shakespeare's name and the versions of it - to clerical, the arcane but foremost the explanative, i.e. sorting out everything that surrounds The Sandman canon, i.e. the characters, the places and places.

My first edition actually cont
Amy Keeley
This series showed me I'm too used to comics/manga with long arcs.

The world is beautiful. I'm too used to the simple, amazing elegance and motion of manga drawing, so I feel I can't comment on the art. There were some memorable panels, and some beautiful designs, but most of it just didn't grab me, I'm afraid. That said, the concepts themselves are amazing, both strange and compelling. Dream's portrayal is amazing and watching him deal with various issues in his kingdom was always a joy.

The story is brilliantly written and I love Gaiman's constant tie ins and references with DC, classic literature, etc..
The annotations on the other hand were rather disappointing. They helped to fill in some gaps and references, but they were rather thin and many of them seemed unnecessary or not interesting.
This was terrific to read again. And depressing and enlightening and inspiring and exciting and funny.

And I am sorry to all those colorists out there but this comic is so much better in black and white. It's like a breath of fresh air: there are whole panels I'd read many times before and only now understand what is going on in them.

Long live the Endless.
Kristin Boldon
surprisingly not that illuminating or as comprehensive as I'd've thought. doesn't add much more than what's in Hy Benders book. many unannotated pages, and black paper shows fingerprints. BUT the black and white reproduction of the comic is lovely.
Kitty Landers
It was everything I expected from Neil Gaiman and more! I usually don't like comics, but this was fantastic! Highly recommend it to anyone looking to dip in to the world of comics.
I've been slowly going through this for about a month. It includes the first 20 issues of Sandman (good), in black and white (not so good). The annotations are occasionally insightful, but they're fairly sparse (several issues have less than a dozen, and half of those are notations as to where ads were in the original publication), and some are pointless (who cares if a similar phrase was used as the title of a song 13 years AFTER the book was published? was it inspired by Sandman? No? then not ...more
tequila Corbly
Beautiful story, the artwork is amazing. I have the second volume as well, and I have plans to save up for the third.
Love the Sandman, was thoroughly disappointed by this book. Page after page without any annotations, and the annotations that are in there are repetitive and uninteresting, while parts that I would be interested in aren't included. Why would you include a note for every part of the story that is followed by an ad page, but not comment on things like who the issue was dedicated to and why, and other bits that can't be found out by googling?

Not to mention - I realize this was a big book, but there
Wonderfully enchanting. This has been my first graphic novel, and in truth I was intrigued because my sweetheart loves Gaiman, but also because this edition is annotated. The idea never occurred to me. These stories are inventive and complex. For relative newbies like me (I had thumbed through an old roommate's copy of the first story arc) to old fans, this should be a joy. The black and white illustrations make the stories more dream like than color versions I've seen, and Gaiman's original not ...more
Jeff Murphy
The amount of depth in the script is daunting.
Gaiman changed what comic books could be with this series. Not for the young ones, but not to be missed, either.
Tony Laplume
Neil Gaiman's Sandman speaks for itself. Leslie Klinger's notes provide a great deal of insight into the whole process of reading it, whether he's explaining references or providing us glimpses into Gaiman's original scripts, which apparently always included plenty of commentary from the creator himself. Well worth your time.
This is actually the first time I've read Neil Gaiman's Sandman, and this beautifully produced annotated edition enhanced the experience superbly and was a fine introduction to the Sandman mythos.

While the black & white art did not detract from the book, I would have liked to experienced the original color artwork.
Brian Valeria
[I made the comment earlier today: #21-#28 or so (Lucifer quitting hell) is still my favorite Sandman story line, but this book has already reminded me that #19 ("A Midsummer Night's Dream") was my first and favorite issue of the series!]
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Other Books in the Series

The Sandman (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Sandman: Overture (The Sandman, #0)
  • The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)
  • The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll's House (The Sandman #2)
  • The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country (The Sandman #3)
  • The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists (The Sandman #4)
  • The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You (The Sandman #5)
  • The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections (The Sandman #6)
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“Sometimes, in interviews, I am asked whether The Endless are a dysfunctional family. I do not believe i have ever observed a "functional" family, families are comprised, in equal measure, of unquestioning and undeserved love and of unquestioning and cruelly undeserved irritation: we muddle along s best we can. And that's the best that can be said for us.” 0 likes
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