Comic Books – How Do They Compare?

Hello, my dear readers!

So, comic books…truth be told, I’ve never been a fan. Sure, I’ve read the little cartoons in the newspapers — and they’re cute — but that’s about as far as I’ve gone. Until now.

I recently finished the first volume of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, “Preludes and Nocturnes.” And it was surprisingly good. I originally picked it up on a whim because I like Neil Gaiman’s work and was looking for something quick to read. I devoured it, needless to say.

My first foray into the world of graphic storytelling: it was totally brilliant. I’d always thought that comics, like manga, were for over-obsessed nerds (I’ve changed my mind about both). I’d never even been interested in their film reincarnations. My brother loved all of those recent ‘Avenger’ films, but I could never bring myself to really watch them, and those that I did (Captain America and the first Iron Man), I didn’t enjoy as much as, say, Pitch Perfect. I’ve always felt that I was coming into a character development halfway, and I hate that. I have to read a series of books from the beginning, or watch a television series from the first episode, otherwise, don’t count me in.

But all that aside, although there is one episode that features a couple of ex-members from the Justice League of America (some Martian dude and a sci-fi guy who didn’t know his real name, so used his nickname of Scott Free — oh, and Batman makes a cameo, too), I found this surprisingly easy to immerse myself into. Gaiman is using an original character, and (I believe) quenched his thirst for including known super-heroes in that one part, so I just dealt with that minor aggravation and got over it. Pretty damn quickly.

Cover art for the first volume of Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' series,

Some fantastic cover art by Dave McKean, longtime collaborator with Neil Gaiman.

In brief, the leader of a cult attempts to summon Death, but instead catches her younger brother, Dream. Morpheus, as he is also known, is trapped for seventy years, biding his time and waiting for his captors to die. In the meantime, three of Dream’s tools were seized, and have passed through many hands, going off in many directions. Following Dream’s escape, what ensues is a quest to obtain his beloved instruments and thus regain his power. I don’t do it very much justice, but I’ve just condensed several episodes worth of content into a paragraph. Don’t judge me too harshly.

In the Afterword, Gaiman says he was only just finding his ‘voice’ in the last of the eight episodes collected here. The fact that the rest gets better was an added bonus for me. I’m now itching to get onto the second volume.

HOWEVER: at times, I found it difficult to follow the order that things were meant to be read on the page. Maybe it’s just something I’ll get used to?

I’d love to hear what you think, so feel free to leave a comment!

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7 thoughts on “Comic Books – How Do They Compare?

    • It shouldn’t take me long to devour these whole. They’re amazing!! And the fact that Gaiman says he was really only finding his feet at the end, and that the rest gets better…? *drool*

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