This annotated edition of Neil Gaiman's celebrated graphic series "The Sandman" is a strange beast.
On the one hand, it is designed to satisfy the most ardent fans of "The Sandman." After all, only those already closely familiar with this epic comic series, originally spanning 75 issues and that follows the adventures of the lord of the dream world, will be seeking out additional, meticulously detailed information about Gaiman's work.
On the other hand, one might ask, why would such a tome contain only black-and-white illustrations? Why the colorful glory of the original drawing is not presented in this special addition? Wouldn’t seeing the original art be a requirement for any dedicated fan? Apparently, the publisher of this edition considered this unnecessary, or, possibly, too expensive.
However, even with only black-and-white illustration, “Annotated Sandman” is still a gorgeous book, well fit for displaying on one’s coffee table.
The annotations themselves, placed on the wide black margins of the comics, are of a mixed success. Leslie S. Klinger, a quite famous annotator of “Dracula” and “Sherlock Holmes,” provides a wealth of information here - about “The Sandman’s” characters (their background and histories), mythology, the meaning of many objects in the drawings, changes made to them. Klinger draws readers’ attention to the details of the comics that can be easily overlooked or not understood.
What some fans of the series can have an issue with, though, is the absence of Neil Gaiman’s own commentary about his thought process, inspirations, and intentions. Without his first-hand input, this edition somehow seems incomplete.
“Annotated Sandman” is a work that will intrigue many Gaiman’s fans, but is bound to disappoint some as well.
Meet the Endless, a family of immortals that govern all aspects of life and death throughout the universe. However, one of theirown lays captured--Dream, the Lord of Sleep. As Dream makes his escape and returns to his duties after 70 years of imprison-ment, he encounters countless characters from myth, legend and comics, from Lucifer himself to the tragic Greek hero Orpheusto the HELLBLAZER John Constantine.
New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo titleand one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyondlife and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.