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Showing posts from 2009

And the beak that grips her, she becomes

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In the next ten months of reading all of its volumes or so, I didn't really think it was possible for me to fall in love with The Sandman. I knew I was already a fan since The Doll's House, but my appreciation and affection for Gaiman's work were not as intense or as consuming as I initially thought they would become sooner of later (and that happened later on once I got my hands on Gaiman's collaborative volume with Jill Thompson, but I digress).
I enjoyed what the previous volume Season of Mists had to offer. It was spectacular in scope, touching upon old faiths and religions and the complex interpretation of Lucifer Morningstar, as well as Dream's long overdue resolution with his former lover, Nada. My interest for this series of graphic novels was then maintained and I looked forward to what was in store.
What I got in A Game of You was initially disheartening, only because I was once again thrown off balance from the major plot toward a self-contained narrativ…

"The Dark Passenger"

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I watched the television adaptation first, and Showtime's take on the life and times of Dexter Morgan almost captures everything the actual book itself has presented: the exotic and sunny landscapes of Miami that contrast the dark mind-scape of the titular character, and the self-aware first-person musings and morally ambiguous explorations of the criminal psyche through one of fiction's surprisingly likable anti-hero protagonists.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter is an astonishing work that will become an instant favorite of anyone who has a deep-seated fascination for serials killers and the inner workings of such twisted individuals. But Lindsay's Dexter series was able to put a human spin on the supposed monster that is Dexter Morgan, a blood analyst by day and predator by night who hunts other serial killers to exact justice and punishment. Because he was raised by a policeman whose moral code was able to influence his base urge to kill, Dexter employs morality in his quest to …

Forgiveness and Redemption

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Since The Doll's House, I knew that Gaiman's The Sandman will soon have a special place in my heart. I was nineteen then, and this piece of literature was also a way for me to connect with my mentor (whom I was infatuated with as well). I was eager to get back to the major story arc with the Endless for Season of Mists, and I got exactly that; and a lot more than I anticipated.

In this volume, I've learned more about the Endless (Destiny, Despair and my eventual favorite Delirium make their appearances here) since Gaiman has dedicated a single page to describe and illuminate each and their function/influence over human affairs and existence as a whole. Most notably, Dream's history with the African queen Nada from Doll's was expounded on, and the effects of his cruel punishment of sending her to Hell just because she chose not to be Dream's lover anymore. Desire may be manipulative and callous but it has a point and Death, much to Dream's surprise, agrees.…

Of muses, faeries and cats

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After the multi-arc storylines present in the previous book The Dolls' House, I was not ready for this volume because it was vastly different from what I was getting accustomed to for this series. Instead of a continuation to the major plotlines, Dream Country was an anthology of short stories instead. There is not much to say about this volume because I frankly did not enjoy it in my first reading.

Gradually, I did begin to appreciate the content, especially with Gaiman's delightful take on the Shakespearean story A Midsummer Night's Dream which won the World Fantasy Award. It was only when I started reading the analyses of this particular story in The Sandman Papers that I eventually liked the entirety of what it has to offer so I re-read it several times since and each time I would find a new layer of meaning. For this story, there are a lot of symbols and parodies written in the peculiar structure itself.

The only story I thoroughly enjoyed in this volume even in the…

"Puppets who can see the strings"

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Following the promising premise of Preludes and Nocturnes, this second volume became one of my favorite installments.

I believe this is the book of The Sandman series that captured not only my heart but my imagination in varying ways I did not expect it could. This is also the first time that Gaiman explored the vitality and freshness of his material and the result was a provocative examination of the unconscious and often catastrophic desires of human beings that are caught up in fulfilling such dangerous things.

Before the actual central story begins, the volume opens with Tales of the Sand, a short narrative pertaining to an African queen Nada who falls in love with the Dream king himself. It was considered unlawful for mortals to develop a romantic affiliation with an Endless so she was punished for it. This story able to cast a light on the nature of Nada's significance to Dream (she was first seen in Preludes, trapped in Hell because Dream was unable to forgive her). Anot…

"Dream A Little Dream of Me"

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Back in 2009, it was my second time to be a freshman in college (and my third course at that). To ensure that I stayed focused, I joined the student paper and there I met the associate editor who became my mentor in many ways than one; and he introduced me to Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series. I felt his excitement when he started to share this piece of literature with me, and I was greatly touched. I then ventured on with the knowledge that this is the first time I will ever consume the medium in a graphic novel form (that being collected into a single edition as oppose to monthly individual issues which I was more accustomed with in high school--I read a lot of X-Men back then). I have a pretty limited view of comic books before this; my doses of the medium are all about superheroes. So when I encountered this first volume of The Sandman, I was not expecting to find a delectable juxtaposition of gothic elements, cultural folklore, and historical fiction. But it's exactly what…