Becky's Reviews > The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

The Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman
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Jul 17, 11

bookshelves: neil-gaiman, fantasy, graphic-novels, owned, multi-dimensional, mythology, reviewed, 2011
Read on July 17, 2011

I've had this sitting on my shelf for a while, after a friend gave it to me... but flipping through it when I first received it, I was a little overwhelmed. At the time, I had read only one or two graphic novels in my life, and this just seemed dense and honestly, a bit confusing, what with the overlays and all.

So I set it aside, and I'm glad that I did, because that wasn't the right time for me to read it. I would have pushed through it, and probably would have enjoyed it, but it wouldn't have really been the same. I've read more of Gaiman's work, so I'm more familiar with his style now, and I've read more graphic novels, so I'm more familiar with the format now. And both of those things contributed quite a bit to my enjoyment of this one.

I really, really like Neil Gaiman. I don't think I've read anything of his that I didn't enjoy on some level. I particularly enjoy his stories about mythology and lore, though, and this tied into that perfectly. I thought that the blending of mythology and modernity was great. I loved the concept, and the execution was great. The artwork took a little bit to grow on me, as it's not really my style. In fact, I found myself drawn to the kind of ethereal abstract art separating the sections, which I guess are the individual comic book covers. I love that style, a subtly abstract painting that allows the viewer to see something new every time they look. Beautiful.

So, right, the content artwork isn't exactly my style - I prefer simpler lines and sketches. I like roughness and just a kind of bare hint of shape and color to suggest a form rather than detailed drawings. And it wasn't that this didn't have the qualities that I like, because it did, but I just prefer the detail to be kind of sparingly used, I guess, and that wasn't the case here. Not that it was bad, because it wasn't, but I'm a little picky. I'm not an artist myself (my stick figures end up looking like deformed Quasimodos) but I live with one and play one on TV, so I'm fully qualified to be so. ;)

But as I was saying, it took a bit to grow on me. And once it did, I was drawn into the story and I thought it was very, very well done. I loved Dream. I loved that he was flawed, but I appreciated that he knew both his strengths and his weaknesses and how to work with them. I liked how past, present and future tied in together, and how something so taken for granted can potentially wreak such havoc when out of balance.

I really liked this one, and look forward to reading the rest of the series... one day.
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Reading Progress

07/17/2011 page 1
0.0% "Just a whim to pick this one up right now. It wasn't in my reading plan... but when do I ever go by that dusty old thing anyway? :P"
07/17/2011 page 235
100.0% 2 comments
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Fiona I started reading this a little while ago but put it down. (Wasn't in the mood) will be waiting to see what you think of it.


M0rningstar Oh, cool, you're reading The Sandman!


message 3: by Nan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nan I loved this when I read it. You might want to browse through the most recent release when you're in a store--they reinked the pages for the Absolute Sandman release, and finally released those pages in the newest edition. The changes are extreme in some cases, and, I would say, for the better.


Becky Ooooh... Interesting. Thanks for the info, Nan! :)


message 5: by Nan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nan Here's a link to better illustrate the differences: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2006/06...


Bondama That's the number one problem with graphic novels, Becky, and I appreciate your pointing it out. The images that are formed in our heads while we're reading are never going to be the same as another person reading the same material. I was slow to warm to graphic novels as well, for that reason -- but several years ago, when I was desperately looking for anything and everything Neil Gaiman had written, I found "The Sandman" -- and it totally blew me away. I like the re-inked releases particularly, as it draws Dream to the center of the mythology even more.


Becky Bondama wrote: "That's the number one problem with graphic novels, Becky, and I appreciate your pointing it out. The images that are formed in our heads while we're reading are never going to be the same as another person reading the same material."

Do you mean the artist being the other person? I didn't have any preconceived notions of this (aside from the 30-second flip-through I initially gave it), so I didn't really have anything in my head that I was hoping for. My main thing is just that the artwork is a more... gritty/realistic style that I like, personally. And even that's not really the issue, because I don't mind gritty at all... But, well, if you look at the example Nan linked to, the the artwork is cleaner and clearer, with more depth, but it's still not really my style. The shadowing and the musculature are detailed with a lot of little lines - I just prefer fewer lines, even if it means that there is less detail and a more "rough" feel.

That's OK though... if I hold out for something perfectly my style, I'm sure I'll be waiting a while. O_o


M0rningstar Bondama wrote: "That's the number one problem with graphic novels, Becky, and I appreciate your pointing it out. The images that are formed in our heads while we're reading are never going to be the same as anoth..."

It's interesting that you put it this way... Perhaps graphics novels are more like films than books? Then we're not so much making up our own visions of what we're reading, but absorbing the author's visions of his/her own words.

Does this mean films are in fact audio books with moving pictures? ;-)


Ronyell Awesome review Becky! Loved this book too!


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