- Win a copy of THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher (Ends 8/14)
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Adult Graphic Novel
The third book of the Sandman collection is a series of four short comic book stories. In each of these otherwise unrelated stories, Morpheus serves only as a minor character. Here we meet the mother of Morpheus's son, find out what cats dream about, and discover the true origin behind Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. The latter won a World Fantasy Award for best short story, the first time a comic book was given that honor.
I grew up on comic books. My dad was an avid collector of silver age Marvel titles like Iron Man, Spider Man, X-Men, and Conan. So it was natural for me to love comics, too, though the height of my interest was in the mid-1980s. I read a lot of comics, and a handful of graphic novels, all based on the popular Marvel titles at the time. I had never read a non-superhero graphic novel -- until now.
I am pretty familiar with Neil Gaiman. Who isn't? But the only books of his I'd actually read were Coraline and The Graveyard Book, both of which I liked immensely. But I kept hearing about all his other work: American Gods, Neverwhere, Stardust, and of course the ever popular graphic novel series The Sandman.
So I finally stopped by my local comic store, Brave New World Comics, and picked up The Sandman Vol. 3. Volumes 1 and 2 were out of stock, but since each volume is comprised of multiple short stories, I didn't think it mattered which volume I started on.
Volume 3 has four stories. CALLIOPE is about an author who holds the muse hostage in order to obtain success and fame, but his inhumanity towards her backfires in the end. THE DREAM OF A THOUSAND CATS tells the story of when cats once roamed the earth as masters of humans. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S TALE is an odd twist on the Shakespeare comedy. My favorite story was about a woman who is unwillingly transformed by the Egyptian Sun God, Ra. All the stories were clever and had endings that made me think and question. The artwork was dark and foreboding, and once I started a story, I had to read it all the way to the end. After finishing the last story, I found myself wishing I had bought volumes 4 and 5 at the same time.
If you're not a fan of comics, manga or graphic novels, then The Sandman might not be for you. But it wouldn't hurt to pick up a copy and give it a try. You might be pleasantly and creepily surprised.
Violence: Moderate (mentions rape in one story)
Sex: Moderate (again, mentions rape in one story)