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The Sandman Companion by Hy Bender
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The Sandman Companion

by Hy Bender

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1,1461510,931 (3.85)34
  1. 20
    Hanging Out with the Dream King by Joe McCabe (ghilbrae)
  2. 10
    The Sandman Papers: An Exploration of the Sandman Mythology by Joe Sanders (Jannes)
    Jannes: Academic treatment of the Sandman comics. Worthwhile for the enthusiast.
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» See also 34 mentions

English (14)  Finnish (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Hy Bender’s The Sandman Companion: A Dreamer’s Guide to the Award-winning Comics Series examines the original run of Gaiman’s Sandman in detail, beginning with the series’ creation through what was then its ending with the storyline “The Wake” and issue 75. Bender structures his book into three parts. The first discusses the formation of the series and DC’s Vertigo line, the second examining each of the major storylines in detail, and the third looking at characters’ origins, Gaiman’s use of language, and the series’ influence as of 1999, three years after the final regular issue.

In the second part, Bender first summarizes the major points of each storyline, then discusses “some things worth noticing,” before featuring an in-depth interview with Gaiman about that specific storyline – what inspired certain parts, things he’s proud of or would do differently, challenges from DC editorial. Being written in 1999, the only spin-off that Bender discusses (and that briefly) is the Sandman Midnight Theatre one-shot. Due to the book coming out in 1999, Bender can only make a brief reference to The Sandman: The Dream Hunters in his second appendix along with a quick discussion of the Sandman Presents mini-series about various characters, the Death spin-offs, and DC’s monthly series, The Dreaming. Were Vertigo Books to update this volume, they could discuss these in greater detail and include mentions of Jill Thompson’s Little Endless Storybook books (the Li’l Endless do get a mention on page 153 as they appeared in “Fables and Reflections”), the Lucifer series, Overture, and more. That said, Bender’s work is a must-read for all fans of Gaiman’s Sandman who want to know more about it and learn what literary works Gaiman referenced so they may find them at their local library. It deepens one’s understanding and appreciation of this ground-breaking comics work.

As Bender concludes of the character of Dream, “Like a dream, the Sandman’s identity and meaning depend on your own personal reading of him” (pg. 208). The same may be said of the Sandman comic book and Bender’s work will help readers to find new readings. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Oct 26, 2018 |
More an interesting behind the scenes account, with interviews and amusing stories than a thorough exploration of the themes and symbology of the series. But as a behind the scenes text, it is amazingly thorough! ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
Almost page by page examination of the Sandman as Bender interviews Gaiman about the artists, the art, the characters, the story line and just about anything else you could want to know about the series. Includes credits for each issue and information about related projects. For fans and probably academics. ( )
  ritaer | Aug 15, 2016 |
This companion volume greatly enhanced my enjoyment and understanding of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. There is a chapter dedicated to each one of the 10 Sandman volumes, as well as additional material. Each chapter associated with a volume includes a brief plot summary, comments from Bender on aspects worth noticing, and interviews with Gaiman himself.

I particularly liked the "things worth noticing" sections because some of the items were very subtle, things that I had completely missed on first reading. I got into the habit of reading the volume first so as to avoid seeing spoilers, then I would read the relevant section in the companion, and after that, I would return to the volume for a second look. Of course, some of the fun would be in discovering these things on your own, but I would probably have needed a second, third or even fourth reading to catch them all. ( )
1 vote mathgirl40 | Dec 13, 2013 |
A great companion read to the Sandman series which covers many of the themes and images in the series as well as its characters. Gaiman himself is given a huge amount of space (via interviews) to explain his backgrounds and thought processes when he was creating this universe and all of them are enlightening. There is also room made for many of the artists involved to at least comment briefly on their respective parts. If you want to delve deeper into the creation of the saga, Bender's companion is a highly recommended place to start. The only complaint I have is that Bender sometimes tries a little too hard to find themes between the stories of one collected volume - they were, at least in the beginning, created as separate comic magazines and, although Gaiman had an overall plan, even he didn't know the series would run as long as he did. It is a small complaint, though, since the benefits of the book are great. ( )
  -Eva- | Jul 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The next century's task will be to rediscover its gods. -ANDRE MALRAUX
We have the right, and the obligation, to tell old stories in our own ways, because they are OUR stories. -NEIL GAIMAN
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To Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore, for their wit and kindness
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Mysteries are vital to both our lives and the stories that sustain our lives.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Sandman was a groundbreaking and award-winning series that told the dark and tragic tale of Morpheus, the King of Dreams. A fascinating mythology of horror and consequence, this epic masterfully combined intriguing literature with captivating art. The Sandman Companion is an exhaustive guide to this legend. Revealing hitherto undisclosed information and behind-the-scenes secrets, this book features in-depth interviews, never-before-seen illustrations, character origins, and story explanations and analysis. Also including excerpts from the original proposal for the series, this handbook is the perfect complement to the Sandman graphic novels. --Publisher description.

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