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The Sandman: The Wake (1997)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: Karen Berger (VP-Executive Editor, Editor-Original Series), Mikal Gilmore (Introduction), Bob Kahan (Editor), Todd Klein (Letterer), Dave McKean (Cover artist)5 more, Jon J. Muth (Illustrator), Shelly Roeberg (Editor), Charles Vess (Illustrator), Daniel Vozzo (Colorist), Michael Zulli (Illustrator)

Series: The Sandman (10 (Issues 70-75)), The Sandman {1989-1996} (TPB, issues 70–75)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,526542,076 (4.47)1 / 73
In the final Sandman tale, Morpheus made the ultimate decision between change and death. As one journey for the Endless ends another begins for the Lord of Dreams and his family. All the final pieces come together for the final moments of the Sandman.
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» See also 73 mentions

Reactions of various characters from earlier episodes to the death of the Sandman ( )
  Robertgreaves | Mar 29, 2022 |
The first part of this, the actual wake, was excellent.

I also enjoyed the Hob story.

It was the Shakespeare one at the very end. I understood why it was there, and I also understood the point it made between Shakespeare's The Tempest and Sandman himself, but I felt, for whatever reason, that the order was slightly misplaced.

A minor quibble. I'd say it's a fine end to the series, but with two more collections on my bookshelf waiting to be read, I'll hold off on that judgement. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
And so as all things must end, so too do the Endless.

After uncountable years, Dream of the Endless has died. Another Dream has risen to take up the mantle (as must be), but before, it's time to say goodbye to the Dream we've all come to know over the last 10 volumes.

The Wake--the first story of this collection--is solid. There's a bit more worldbuilding, callbacks to all manner of previous characters as they give their eulogies, the Endless saying goodbye, and a few thoughts and points of view of the new Dream (they're Endless after all).

It's a fascinating, wonderful story that makes you really feel like a good friend is gone and gives you the time to process that. Well written and well deserved. Even when I could go on reading more, I always do appreciate a story with an ending.

The other stories in this volume... pale in comparison. A few loose ends, but after the Wake... So it goes.

Well worth the read. Onward.

Spoilers and screenshots:



Oh Derlium. :) It's interesting seeing the Endless working together. They don't much. Also, the art style changed again.



Ah dealing with the confusion of the Endless--they can die, but another will rise to take their place. Also surprisingly touching, watching just this once Cain not killing Abel.



The new Dream. Nice color scheme. Interesting to see what is the same Dream and what feels different. I'd actually like to see more of this, but at the same time, I feel like it's okay not to.



Is that Superman and Batman? Because ... that looks like Superman and Batman.



And then they woke. Oh Delerium.

Turquoises. They taste a bit like forever. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Neil Gaiman has not been one of those authors that I tend to enjoy; despite it being highly recommended by friends, I struggled through "American Gods." I found "The Graveyard Books" to be eerie and creepy. But after reading the same quote on love from "The Kindly Ones" over and over, I decided that I should probably have some context for it, and started tracking down the ten volumes. Of course, no one library in any of the nearby systems had all of them, and so I ended up reading book nine first, then the rest in proper order as I found them.

As someone who has attended a fair number of funerals in the past year, and in years prior, "The Wake" is a glorious closure to Morpheus's story. The dissemination of the news, the preparations made for the wake and the funeral, the stages of grief displayed across characters from throughout Dream's reign, the struggles for those left behind. And since this is a story, threads are tied up, conclusions are wrought, plays are drawn to an end. Dream has not always been a sympathetic character throughout the books, but his eulogies by the Raven and Bast, are such that one would be honored to have spoken at their memorial.

I have not read extensively in the graphic novel genre, and I'm not even very good with the visual form of media (TV, movies, music videos, video games, etc), probably due to my reliance on text-based forms of entertainment. I am wary of graphic violence and horror; even reading a Stephen King novel pushes the bounds of my comfort zone. So I went into this experience knowing that "The Sandman" wasn't going to be an easy read. There is violence, sex, language, and horror aplenty in the series, but there is also beauty, truth, existentialism, poetry, life, and death. Of the series, volumes seven, nine, and ten definitely stood out as the ones that packed the most emotional punches, mostly due to their shared storylines of mortality, even for the Endless.
( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
It was a sad and deeply nostalgic first few volumes, even when there wasn't any actual recapitulations going on. It's the nature of a wake, or a waking from a dream. It was the letdown, the reminiscence, the transition that made these so powerful.

Death is not the end, and indeed, it is not the end at all, but the waking from the dream.

Pure poetry.

Of course the remaining volumes do much the same, especially the last with our very own Shakespeare, with Prospero breaking his staff. Ah yes, the strings become clear now, don't they?

Excellent and beautiful writing, all of it. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, NeilAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berger, KarenVP-Executive Editor, Editor-Original Seriessecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gilmore, MikalIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kahan, BobEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddLetterersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muth, Jon J.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roeberg, ShellyEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vozzo, DanielColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zulli, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This book is for Dave McKean, as a small token of thanks.
I do not know what Sandman would have been without Dave, as our public face - creating the covers, the typefaces, the design, all that - and my hardest critic.
It was a long, strange journey, and it was the better for having a friend by my side on the way.
First words
And it came to pass that a messenger was sent our to each member of the family.
Quotations
Entropy and Optimism: the twin forces that make the universe go around.
I like the way colors taste. Except I don't like crimsons...or turquoises... especially when they put their heads into their shells and won't play, and when you break their shells to let them out, they die...
Thou look'st passing fair, milady, excepst thou manglest the Queen's good English and your tits are hanging out.
And then, fighting to stay asleep, wishing it would go on forever, sure that once the dream was over, it would never come back, ... you woke up.
I am prince of stories, Will, but I have no story of my own. Nor shall I ever.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the final Sandman tale, Morpheus made the ultimate decision between change and death. As one journey for the Endless ends another begins for the Lord of Dreams and his family. All the final pieces come together for the final moments of the Sandman.

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Book description
Collects "The Wake" parts 1-4, "Exiles" and "The Tempest," originally published in The Sandman #70-75.
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