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Endless Nights

2003-09-27 19:16:25.716175+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Yesterday I read Dori's link to Andy Ihnatko's look at The Sandman: Endless Nights, and it convinced me that I needed to get it. So I stopped at Stacey's (where they had it behind the counter), and read it on the ferry. I'm blown away.

In his introduction, Neil Gaiman says:

...I was asked if I could tell the story of the Sandman in twenty-five words or less. I pondered for a moment:

"The Lord of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision," I said.

What makes Gaiman's work so interesting is not just that that is the extent of the story, and yet he can still take 10 books to show layers of metaphors about dreams changing and dying, and in each case coordinated other vastly talented artists to help him show us the characters involved.

The Sandman: Endless Nights[Wiki], is 7 stories of the seven endless, that bickering family of anthropomorphisms that transcend the gods, because the gods require belief, that we come to know and love, if not completely understand, in The Sandman[Wiki] series. Death, Desire, Dream, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny each have their stories, and while the stories stand on their own, they enhance the tales which have come before.

Also amazing in this collection, as in the other comics of The Sandman[Wiki] and his tales of Death, is the spin that the artists who draw each of the stories add to the characterization. From Milo Minara's depictions of the woman who gets what she desires, and is wise enough to be content, to Barron Storey and Dave McKean's fifteen portraits of despair, it's clear that as good as Gaiman is on his own with just prose, where he really shines is in collaboration. Recommended.

[ related topics: Books Art & Culture Comics Neil Gaiman ]

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#Comment Re: Endless Nights made: 2003-09-30 17:35:30.850149+00 by: Shawn

I've heard many people sing the praises of The Sandman[Wiki], but the visual style is so not to my taste that I just couldn't bring myself to actually read them.

The theme, and approach, sounds somewhat similar (in concept) to Piers Anthony's Incarnations series. Wait, don't start frothing at the mouth. I'm sure Gaiman does a better job. (Although I really enjoyed the Incarnations.)