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READ PDF º The Absolute Sandman, Volume Four ï One of the most popular and critically acclaimed book titles of all time, New York Times best selling author Neil Gaiman s masterpiece The Sandman set new standards for mature, lyrical fantasy and graphic narrative Now, Vertigo and DC Comics are proud to present the last of four definitive Absolute Editions collecting this groundbreaking series in its entirety The Absolute Sandman, Volume Four reprints issues of The Sandman and features an introduction by Karen Berger, editor of the original series and founder of the Vertigo imprint This volume also includes a survey of exquisite memorabilia from the Dreaming, the original script and thumbnails by Gaiman and artist Marc Hempel for the first part of The Kindly Ones from The Sandman , and the complete script by Gaiman for the title s final issue, together with thumbnails, pencils, and paintings by artist Charles Vess The Fox And The Flies: The World Of Joseph Silver, Racketeer And Psychopath Volume Four ï One of the most popular and critically acclaimed book titles of all time This Imagined Permanence New York Times best selling author Neil Gaiman s masterpiece The Sandman set new standards for mature Playful Puppy (DK Readers L1) lyrical fantasy and graphic narrative Now Doing Business in China Vertigo and DC Comics are proud to present the last of four definitive Absolute Editions collecting this groundbreaking series in its entirety The Absolute Sandman Wagon Train Adventure Volume Four reprints issues of The Sandman and features an introduction by Karen Berger Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes editor of the original series and founder of the Vertigo imprint This volume also includes a survey of exquisite memorabilia from the Dreaming Quick Dinners the original script and thumbnails by Gaiman and artist Marc Hempel for the first part of The Kindly Ones from The Sandman The Princess of Celle and the complete script by Gaiman for the title s final issue Winking, Blinking, Wiggling, and Waggling together with thumbnails The Prompter pencils I Want to be a Ballerina and paintings by artist Charles Vess I have just attended the wake of a character I first met about two years ago I did not grieve, in the sense of experiencing feelings of sadness But I did ponder the journey of this character and my relationship with him and his world When I began reading The Sandman a couple of years ago, I did so with great anticipation for this most highly lauded of continuing comics stories With the first two volumes, I could see how far the creators were reaching With so much good said about the series, I have just attended the wake of a character I first met about two years ago I did not grieve, in the sense of experiencing feelings of sadness But I did ponder the journey of this character and my relationship with him and his world When I began reading The Sandman a couple of years ago, I did so with great anticipation for this most highly lauded of continuing comics stories With the first two volumes, I could see how far the creators were reaching With so much good said about the series, I was sure that before the end, they would surely grasp that for which they reached If so, I was experiencing the great potential of the story as I began it, even if I never felt that the book was truly reaching it Now I close the back cover over the final page of this epic, which I finished in a third of the time it originally took to be published With these final two collected stories, I believe that Gaiman and his collaborators came the closest to attaining the great heights for which they reached in this highly ambitious tale Of all that I read in the series, this was my favourite Still, I do not believe that the book ever fully succeeded at everything it intended to do Now, when I consider my thoughts on a book, I try to rate it in its own context Therefore, I may rate a piece of grocery store pulp fiction as highly as a book by Steinbeck But this does not make the two equal So, this may be the height of Sandman s story, here as the story ends, and I may find it imperfect But for a book that aimed so high, even to not reach that height, it still soars higher than most These final chapters of the story of The Sandman, Morpheus, The Dream Lord of The Endless, deal with death, and loss, and change, and the cycle of life Morpheus has come around over the firstthan fifty issues of his episodic tale, and now knows his limits in a way he did not at the beginning He understands consequences to his actions, even in the world of dreams, that he did not know when we first met him The arc is satisfying Now, he must die in order to change A new Dream Lord, who is still the Dream Lord, must continue past him In his passing, we have opportunity to visit many of the characters whom he touched over the run of the entire series Members of his family, The Endless, are given voice, as are most everyone else we have met of any significance Since the wake for Morpheus occurs in the Dream World, and all who dream are invited, the reader is also present My own experience reading these pages is that I did feel as though I had entered the book, and was experiencing the wake with these other characters, in ways I have never before felt so immersed in a comic It was very well done, and quite moving My complaint with this book, though less than any before it, is with the art Unfortunately it took until Book 8 for me to realize that there are remastered versions of all of The Sandman volumes Some that I read were these recoloured versions Some were not I cannot know if I would have enjoyed the entire seriesfrom the very beginning if I had been reading these updated versions As it was, and is, I have struggled to penetrate the illustrations in this series from the very beginning There were times when I felt I was simply enduring it, art that was actually ugly to look at When the art was so bad that I couldn t enjoy looking at the pages, how could it not completely obfuscate the meaning and tone and flow of the story it portrayed This is a collaborative medium If plot, character, and world are all gorgeously rendered in script, but sloppily presented, I cannot call the finished product good That said, this last collection was the most beautiful, and the most consistent, of the entire series I never prefer to read any series with a rotation of illustrators, especially when they change in the middle of stories, as they often did in this long running limited series But in this final collection, we have fewer artists, who are used in such a way as to not interrupt the flow of the narrative This I appreciated The illustrations for The Wake were actually my favourite of the entire series Were I given opportunity to read again from the beginning with this illustrator only, I would read the entire series again, and maybe have a better experience I recognize that The Sandman broke serious ground in the world of comics We re it not for The Sandman, perhaps we would not have books like Saga today After extremely heavily plotted books such as The Watchmen by Alan Moore, and violence and pessimism were turned way up in books like Frank Millers The Dark Knight Returns, it is nice that the next wave of adult comics contained something as thoughtful and feminine and mysterious and creative as The Sandman It needed to be When I read it and consider the teenager I was when it was released, I know that that young man would have loved this series, had he discovered it on the shelf when it was first being published It would have been good for me The explorations of gender and sexuality, and the relationships of life and longing and death and expression were exactly where I lived as a sad, black clad, nail polish wearing teen in the nineties But it isn t the nineties any And I can appreciate everything that The Sandman gave us so that I can enjoy Monstress today without having to pretend that it is as perfect a book as everyone says Even Neil Gaiman has improved as a writer since this series was first published Much that I am enjoying as I read American Gods can be found in the pages of this comic, in a lesser form I still prefer the greater form My absolute favourite thing about this entire series has been the covers and the design by Dave McKean It does not surprise me a whit that this book was so collectable in single issues when it was first on the shelves These covers are true things of beauty For all the harm that was done to the story in the inconsistency of art within, the consistency of these designs on the covers must have helped ameliorate the damage in the original floppies Had I seen these books on the top shelves of my local comics shop when I was in high school, rather than being distracted as I was by Spider Man s clone saga, I m sure I would have been transfixed I am therefore very excited for the arrival of my special edition of American Gods in the mail, which should arrive any day now This late Christmas present from my father and mother in law is designed and illustrated by Dave McKean His collaboration with Gaiman raises the work of them both So, I close the book on The Sandman I am not sorry to do so As much as I did enjoy this final volume, I know the effort it took to get here These impact of these stories rests heavily on all that came before it I did not enjoy much that came before it Therefore, I do not recommend this series to any casual reader There is so muchin comics now that does what The Sandman tried to do in its day, but so much better Neil Gaiman has grown and improved as a writer since these books were finished I would point anyone to any of what came from this work before I would ever point them to this work However, for anyone who has read and loved Neil Gaiman srecent work, I might cautiously suggest checking out this series To those readers, I would insist that they find the highest quality version of the books that they can, to read the books in print, not digitally, and to make sure they read the remastered recoloured version Similarly, to avid readers of creator owned comics of the 21st Century, I might carefully suggest that they might enjoy exploring some of the first of what gave us the room for the vast array of choices in the world of comics today To any reader of The Sandman, I would warn that if the art is a hindrance to your enjoyment at the beginning, it will be a long, long time before it ceases to be so I am thankful for this book, and this series But I won t read it again The Sandman Volume 9, The Kindly OnesTrade Paperback 320 pagesFully Remastered Edition Matching Absolute Edition Volume 4 Vertigo, 2012Various artistsCovers by Dave McKeanandThe Sandman Volume 10, The WakeTrade Paperback 187 pagesFully Remastered Edition Matching Absolute Edition Volume 4 Vertigo, 2012Illustrated by Michael Zulli, Jon Muth, Charles VessCovers by Dave McKeanFour StarsJanuary 3, 2018 January 8, 2018 Genuinely depressed that this is over Sandman was just one of those reading experiences, where you can t wait to find out what happens next but you re worried that you ll finish it too soon It s been a while that I read a book where I was completely immersed in a new world, so much so that I wish I didn t have to go back to mine I m not much of a graphic novel reader so I didn t expect to have this reaction with Sandman but I was totally wrong Gaiman really shows the depth of his imagination Genuinely depressed that this is over Sandman was just one of those reading experiences, where you can t wait to find out what happens next but you re worried that you ll finish it too soon It s been a while that I read a book where I was completely immersed in a new world, so much so that I wish I didn t have to go back to mine I m not much of a graphic novel reader so I didn t expect to have this reaction with Sandman but I was totally wrong Gaiman really shows the depth of his imagination, as well as his skill as a storyteller, and he s definitely on my list of favourite writers for coming up with this beauty Speaking of beauty, Dave McKean s covers are to die for As for the books, the Absolute editions are totally worth the money The print is amazing and the books themselves are gorgeous It was roughly 25 years ago I first read this series in the original run of graphic novels Back then, this story affected me deeply, and changed the way I viewed the possibilities of what comic books could be It set me on a lifelong love of Gaiman s writing Now, all these years later, I m overwhelmed by how great this story is, how deep are the emotions it evokes in me I ve been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to express what this book means to me, and I keep failing Th It was roughly 25 years ago I first read this series in the original run of graphic novels Back then, this story affected me deeply, and changed the way I viewed the possibilities of what comic books could be It set me on a lifelong love of Gaiman s writing Now, all these years later, I m overwhelmed by how great this story is, how deep are the emotions it evokes in me I ve been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to express what this book means to me, and I keep failing This is simply one of the greatest graphic novels ever written I read a third of this last night with a mug of cider and a few chunks of coffee cake I got up at five this morning and came downstairs to finish it The house was dark and I didn t turn on the light in the living room because I didn t want to disturb the dog, so I felt my way down the stairs in my stockinged feet The door into the bedroom opened and closed behind me, and I stopped, and waited Hello I said Daddy, said a sleepy six year old voice right behind me I wasn t mad keen on the I read a third of this last night with a mug of cider and a few chunks of coffee cake I got up at five this morning and came downstairs to finish it The house was dark and I didn t turn on the light in the living room because I didn t want to disturb the dog, so I felt my way down the stairs in my stockinged feet The door into the bedroom opened and closed behind me, and I stopped, and waited Hello I said Daddy, said a sleepy six year old voice right behind me I wasn t mad keen on the idea of a sleepy six year old going down the stairs in the pitch black of an early winter morning, but I couldn t go past him to get to the light and leave him alone, so together we went slowly downwards in our stockinged feet Nicky sat at one end of the table while I filled the kettle and prepared the porridge and made my coffee, then I sat down at the other end with my pot of coffee and a cup and Sandman volume four We must be very quiet, said Nicky We mustn t make any noise or we will wake Martin and he will be cross Martin s a sort of lodger He s very nice and I don t think he d get cross, but Nicky was right, we must be very quiet.I started to read.I think Neil Gaiman wrote at night a lot, so it felt appropriate to be reading this at five in the morning There wasn t a storm lashing the windows with wind and rain, though I noticed later it was foggy, but that was later I didn t notice Nicky go back upstairs I was vaguely aware of Eddie getting up and moving around upstairs I didn t notice the morning getting brighter, dimming the glare of the lights At some various I did stir the porridge and turn the heat up and yell at the boys to come down and eat and for Eddie to walk the dog and I left the table long enough to take Annemarie s up on a tray and made some Van Morrison jokes Have I told you lately that I love you Yes, but you haven t told me there s no one above me can t remember what comes next I fill your bowl with porridge Take away your bowl with noporridge You make my breakfast that s what you do Breakfast runs automatically now, and nothing spoils a morning read like burnt porridge So I finished it I didn t want it to finish, but it did Poor Lyta Hall Poor Dream Poor Clara Poor everyone It really was all about death, wasn t it The story resolves in The Kindly Ones, but the real emotional climax is The Wake Death and grief and loss and mourning and then waking up and moving on as best you can At some point Eddie sat down to eat his breakfast and said Oh, there s a hair in my porridge Good thing it isn t a rabbit Eh Eh I seem to remember Marc Hempel s art not being popular with everyone I may have been unsure of it myself at first, but God, it s amazing And Mike Zulli on the wake, and John J Muth and then holy moley Charles Vess reprising older, wiser, sadder Shakespeare in The Tempest The unresolved mystery of who Puck and Loki were really working for lingers None of my own theories really fit properly, and I guess I appreciate leaving one thing unknown and possibly unknowable to haunt and nag the reader I do hope it has a solution though if there was no solution to the mystery, even if we never discover what it is, that would be a cheat.I think reading The Sandman may have been the one thing I ever did that was cool, and I didn t do it because it was cool, I did it because I loved it, and it became cool for a while I m not sure anyone noticed me doing this cool thing while it was cool, but maybe that s what s cool about it I still have Overture to read, which I ll get to tonight, and then there s assorted extras like The Dream Hunters and the Death collection and Books Of Magic, which is only vaguely related, which I ll get to eventually At some point I might try to write something about the whole series from beginning to end, but not now, which is why this review is mostly about me going downstairs in the dark in my stockings with my six year old son behind me like a little familiar spirit I can go back and read Sandman again, but moments like that come and go, and I d like to be able to recall it long after it would be forgotten if I hadn t written it here Try to remember things, and tell your stories, and be remembered