Starting Sandman Decades Later

Well, I’m back from my holiday break. I got many wonderful reads for Christmas, but none were quite as beautiful as The Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman. I almost didn’t ask for this book from dear old Santa because I knew I’d have to wait until Christmas to read it. However, I knew that if I’d just gone out and bought it as soon as I could find it, I realistically wouldn’t get the chance to read it until Christmas break anyway, and so I waited.

I was truly glad I did have such patience, because on break, I truly got to sit down and simply enjoy the book. With artwork by J.H. Williams III, that often meant I would literally just keep staring at pages for a long time, until a relative came up and asked me if I was looking at one of those magic eye 3-D pictures, and I would look up suddenly and answer, “What? Oh, no, these pages are just freaking beautiful.” You know they’re very beautiful If we’re this far into a post about a Neil Gaiman book and I haven’t even started gushing about his writing.

Neil Gaiman’s writing though! Amazing.This story, as is explained before the book begins, is actually what happened right before the start of the Sandman series. Gaiman apparently always wanted to write that story, but never fulfilled that wish until just recently, roughly thirty years after the Sandman series first debuted. This book provides the perfect point to start exploring the series, as I personally hope many new readers do. The series may have started years before I was born, (not enough years, though, that he’s a fancy British guy I have to learn about in school,) but I still read and loved the series.

For me, this is another crowning jewel in an amazing series. My entry point was the original starting volume of the series, Preludes and Nocturnes. I simply started reading the series one day in high school, as my Gaiman fanaticism grew larger and larger and I couldn’t justify not having read the series any longer.

It is a beautiful series exploring dreams and other things essential to the fabric of existence, told in only the strange and ethereal yet utterly real sense that you can get from a master of fantasy, with so many memorable  characters you’ll fall in love with and the art, the story, and… and… Wow. I can’t believe I ever thought I could fit every aspect I love about the series, every reason its a comic classic, into one blog entry coherently. I’m starting to get some foaming spittle at my mouth just trying to get all the words out here.

I suppose all I can really say is I can’t recommend the series enough, including all it’s weird offshoots and cousins, which certainly includes Overture. I recommend this and all Sandman books to people that love brilliant fantasy, art, writing, comics,etc. Also, anyone who claims to even have a human soul. Read these things. Read them now.

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