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The Sandman Papers: An Exploration of the Sandman Mythology
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The Sandman Papers: An Exploration of the Sandman Mythology

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  423 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The definitive exploration of the Sandman mythology.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published May 17th 2006 by Fantagraphics (first published April 26th 2006)
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Nicolo Yu
Oct 11, 2010 Nicolo Yu rated it liked it
Its great reading if you're fan of Neil Gaiman and his work on Sandman in particular. Although not a must read, it is an informative book.
I enjoyed though, as I read it during noon break at work. It helps pass the time while digesting lunch.
Aug 23, 2016 Evan rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
An interesting collection, aimed at a broad audience of both literature and pop culture scholars and comics fans. The writing is accessible, yet still thoroughly footnoted for the academics.

The essays do vary a bit in quality, with some of an exceptional standard of scholarship, and some feeling a little forced. There is a reasonable breadth of topic, though I felt - and many reading scholarly output on Sandman might feel the same in general - that there was a tendency to focus on the Shakespear
Pale Horse
Two of the reviews here -- the longest, actually -- seem to think this was written by a single author. It's not. It's a collection of essays, all written by scholars for scholars and then collected. It's mere existence is nothing short of miraculous and long overdue, if you'll excuse the hyperbole. The Sandman is indeed for geeks, but it is not only that. Nor is much of literature, overlooked comic book literature in particular. The serious attention given to The Sandman here is admirable, and t ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Adam rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Neil Gaiman and Sandman fans
I didn't enjoy this nearly as what I thought I would. Most of it is various people telling you what they think different pieces of the Sandman graphic novel they're reviewing mean. Most of the time, I could agree with them when they said that Neil Gaiman meant this when he did that in the novel, but there were also a lot of reviews where I don't think the author really understood the graphic novel. There was at least one reviewer who appeared to be actively attacking Mr. Gaiman for no particular ...more
Oct 12, 2008 Erinc rated it really liked it
Shelves: about-comics
From my blog: Reviewing Comics

Since its first publication in 1989, The Sandman has been a subject of endless praise and popularity amongst both comic book fans and strangers to the medium. Many has credited Neil Gaiman's masterpiece for drawing fresh crowds into comic book readership with its elaborate plots and complex characters. When the sheer amount of historical and mythological themes that are intertwined within the long arc of the work is considered, it is no surprise that The Sandman is
Mar 20, 2008 leighcia rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As much as I enjoy reading literary criticism, sometimes this book reminded me of why the English department in universities seem mostly useless to me—petty debate and interesting observations that never seem to actually answer any questions. The wrong questions are asked. The answers are never satisfying, just good fodder for cocktail conversation. I read through about two thirds of this book (a collection of academic essays written about Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed comic book series the Sandman)—i ...more
Aug 23, 2008 Audrey rated it liked it
I'm having trouble coming up with a rating for this. I grab everything there is to read on Gaiman's Sandman series, because it's one of those definitive collections for me -- every addition to the canon, no matter how small or large, enhances the whole. This was a pretty uneven collection of lit crit, in my opinion, and the editing could've been better. There were a few pieces that just weren't pulled together strongly enough, and others that really seemed to be stretching. Yet there were 5 or 6 ...more
Jul 22, 2009 Noel rated it liked it
Good for the avid fan, but somewhat trying even so.

There's just too much stretching to find academic meaning in unwarranted directions - the one entitled 'Lesbian Language, Queer Imaginings in Death:The Time of Your Life" went deeply abstract, in particular. Did enjoy the significance of graphic structure in 'Prospero Framed', bt overall found far too many of these essays focused on the Shakespeare related stories. Did enjoy the one that linked Destiny-related stories to themes in Borges' work,
I can not say that all the articles were well-argued, but the important thing of this book is that it opens a dialogue in the area of comic studies, bringing the Sandman in the center. Academia needs comic studies and these articles form a good basis for beginning a discussion. I am looking forward to more related books. Comic books are not for geeks. The Sandman is high literature and this is a good beginning for it to be treated as such.
Oct 22, 2013 Helen rated it liked it
Critical essays can be tough to read, especially when they attempt to dissect something you really love. That being said, it was fun to revisit Sandman in this way, and to see how different critics, even within one volume, can disagree both with me and with each other. Some grammatical and typographical errors, but on the whole good stuff, especially when Neil's work is compared with Terry's and the Discworld.
Jayne Lamb
Jul 27, 2011 Jayne Lamb rated it liked it
Absolutely garden-variety collection of standard academic essays on the Sandman series, which was incredibly exciting when it was published but in hindsight has become dated and a litte ponderous. Wish there had been a few more critical essays - I liked the one that ragged on Harlan Ellison.
Oct 18, 2014 Eric rated it liked it
A series of essays by various authors examine themes and concepts within theSandman storyline. Some were excellent and insightful, some very much not so. Worth a read for me, but probably not a book I'd return to again, and wouldn't recommend to the casual Sandman fan.
Feb 28, 2011 Rusty rated it really liked it
Interesting stuff if you really enjoy Sandman. If not, why are you even reading it?
Michelle Scharlock
Insightful look into the process of making comics back in the 80s-90s.
Sep 12, 2012 Courtney marked it as to-read-immediate-goal
Shelves: own
So excited to have a copy of this! Squee!
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