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The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes (1991)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: Robbie Busch (Colorist), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator), Malcolm Jones III (Illustrator), Sam Kieth (Illustrator), Todd Klein (Letterer)2 more, Dave McKean (Cover artist), Danny Vozzo (Colorist)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Sandman (01 (Issues 1-8)), The Sandman {1989-1996} (TPB, issues 1-8)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,411272522 (4.2)1 / 536
An attempt to summon and imprison Death, results, instead, in the capture of Morpheus, the Sandman, who must regain the tools of his powers.

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 Sandman: The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes80 unread / 80LibraryCin, July 2017

» See also 536 mentions

English (255)  Danish (3)  German (3)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (267)
Showing 1-5 of 255 (next | show all)
I'd been wanting to read The Sandman for years and years and finally bought myself volume one this month! People always talk about it as one of the best comic books (or graphic novels I guess depending if you want to get snobby about it) of all time, that is literary as well as a fun read. Plus it's Neil Gaiman!

This is the first volume so it takes a while to set up the story. Basically some shady devil-worshipping types decide to try to trap Death, but instead get the wrong member the family and trap Dream/Sandman/Morpheus (pick a name!) instead, and his has a disruptive effect on sleep across the world. The Sandman is imprisoned for almost a century, patiently waiting until his human captor dies of old age. Once free he is weakened and needs to regain three objects in which he had placed some of his power. One was held by John Constantine, one was taken by a demon in Hell and the Justice League of America had confiscated the third from Doctor Destiny who is locked up in Arkham Asylum.

It's really nothing like anything I had ever read before (and I'm quite new to reading comic books in general!) and it took some time to get my head around the mythology that was being built, as intriguing as it is. This story is really a simple "fetch quest" idea and he doesn't have much trouble with any of it other than Doctor Destiny/John Dee in the three parts Passengers, 24 Hours and Sound & Fury. This was pretty awesome though, really creepy and a great satisfying ending. By the end he is back up to strength, and I look forward to what he will do next.

The artwork is brilliant. Dark, really creepy when it needs to be and a bit weird! I felt like it really fit with what Gaiman was trying to achieve. The content and the ideas that Gaiman is exploring are perhaps more literary than your typical comic book fare but it never feels like you reading something too high-minded, and the dialogue and thoughts of the Sandman flow very well. I absolutely loved Death when she turned up in the final part. Gaiman recognises that Death is and should be viewed as a beautiful thing, and not something that we should hold such a mortal fear of. Plus she makes a Mary Poppins reference which is just awesome. I look forward to seeing more of her.

I'm giving it 3.5 stars because while I did enjoy it, I think there is a lot of room and potential for the series to build from here and get better. I will order Volume 2. ( )
  ImagineAlice | May 8, 2023 |
  freixas | Mar 31, 2023 |
4,5 ( )
  lulusantiago | Mar 11, 2023 |
The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes collects issues 1-8 of The Sandman. I read the German translation by Gerlinde Althoff.

Content Note: rape

When the magician Roderick Burgess sets out to capture Death (and end up with immortality), something goes wrong. Instead of Death, he ends up with Dream in a cage. Ever enterprising, Burgess is sure that he can make this work for himself, too. And if he can’t, it is probably better to keep him locked up and not draw attention to the fact that he did. But Dream is one of the Eternals. Even without the magical items Burgess stripped from him, he can bide his time. And his day will come. Meanwhile though, a world without Dream shows signs of decay as a sleeping sickness ravages its people.

I’ve had the Sandman comics at home since about forever (I bought them so long ago, I still have them in German and not English). But as these things go, I never read them. Now with the TV show out, I decided it was finally time. And the start is definitely promising, albeit a little uneven.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2022/09/22/the-sandman-preludes-nocturnes-neil-gaiman-sam-... ( )
  kalafudra | Feb 17, 2023 |
This paperback volume contains the first eight issues of The Sandman comics. Each issue has the original Dave McKean cover and everything has been recolored.

The first seven stories tell of how the King of Dreams is captured by the leader of an occult group and held captive for most of the 20th century. Upon escape, Dream (also known as Morpheus, the Sandman, and many other names) finds his realm of dream and nightmares in disarray but is largely powerless to restore it without his three tools. The remainder of these issues detail his quests to retrieve the tools of dreaming.

While these seven issues are compelling, they're also a bit clunky. Gaiman seems compelled to place Dream in the DC Universe by including DC characters like John Constantine (largely works) and heroes, villians and settings from the Justice League (bad mix). A couple of the issues in which a madman uses Dream's ruby to make people act out their deepest, darkest dreams and desires contain some of the most horrific images I've ever seen in print. This is definitely a comic for mature audiences.

In issue 8, "The Sound of Her Wings," Gaiman finds his voice in a wonderful issue where Dream accompanies his big sister, Death, on her rounds. Although several of the deaths are extremely sad, Death is upbeat and comforting and brings relief and hope to those she takes. It is on the promise of this last issue of the volume that I'll read what follows in the next Sandman collection. ( )
  RobertOK | Feb 8, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 255 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Busch, RobbieColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dringenberg, MikeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones III, MalcolmIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kieth, SamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddLetterersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vozzo, DannyColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berger, KarenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lykkegaard, MortenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living... for the price of wisdom is above rubies."
-- The Book of Job, chapter 28, verses 12, 13, 18
"D is for lots of things."
-- John Dee, All Fools' Day 1989
For Dave Dickson: oldest friend.
-- Neil Gaiman
To my wife Kathy, my pal Tim, and to everyone in jail.  
-- Sam Kieth
To friends and lovers. To Sam, Malcolm, and Neil; may your talents never dim. You made working on this book an indescribable pleasure. To Karen, Tom and Art (without whom this book would not have been possible), thanks for the time and your super-human patience. Special thanks to Beth, Matte, Sigal, the incomparable Barbara Brandt (a.k.a. Victoria), Rachel, Sean F., Shawn S., Mimi, Gigi, Heather, Yann, Brantski, Mai Li, Berni Wrightson (for Cain and Abel) and, as ever, to Cinnamon.
-- Mike Dringenberg
To Little Malcolm.
-- Malcolm Jones III
First words
Wake up, sir. We're here.
But it's funny. I always thought when I became king...
I thought there would be applause.
I though somebody would say something.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This is the comic collection. Do not combine with the audio adaptation.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

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Wikipedia in English


An attempt to summon and imprison Death, results, instead, in the capture of Morpheus, the Sandman, who must regain the tools of his powers.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Contains issues #1-8: Sleep of the just -- Imperfect hosts -- Dream a little dream of me -- A hope in hell -- Passengers -- 24 hours -- Sound and fury -- The sound of her wings
Haiku summary
Naughty Doctor Dee / Controls sleep with Dream's crystal / Awfulness ensues. (elahrairah)

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