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Tag Archives: Sandman

The Saturday Comics: The Sandman: Overture

16 Nov

November 16, 2013

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Almost exactly 2 years ago, when DC started The New 52, I dropped comics. The final issue of Flashpoint was my last comic book from either company. Since then I bought only 2 trades, both of which reprinted stories from the 70’s and 80’s.

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The Batman arc on the left made my Top Ten Comics list, and the JLA/JSA/All-Star Squadron crossover narrowly missed the list.

Since then I have not missed comics. Oh, I haven’t completely given up. Last week I read the first two collections of Superior Spider-Man and I think it was great. I also read Batman: Court of Owls not long ago. So I did not totally give up comics but I need to point out that I did not buy any of those books. I read someone else’s copies.

However, I broke my oath this week. I went out and deliberately bought a new, single issue of a current comic. It was the first money I have spent, and the first weekly comic I have read, in 2 years.

The Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman, returning to the character he made famous and the medium it was meant to be read in.

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What can I say? Neil Gaiman is a genius, and J.H, Williams is his perfect complement. I have been waiting for this comic since it was announced last year and I was not disappointed. This is only a mini-series, 6 issues, so it would be a small thing to collect the series and then go back to not dropping comics. However, I am going to wait for this in trade paperback (or better, hardcover.) I have the whole Sandman collection in trades and this belongs right next to it on the bookshelf.

And then no more comics.

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The Saturday Comics: Little Nemo in Slumberland

11 Feb

February 11, 2012

This is easily one of the most revered and influential comic strips ever to grace the newspaper. Little Nemo may not be a household word today (and indeed, it wasn’t in its own time either) but after the gallery I’ll attach a couple of modern homages you may recognize.

From wikipedia, whose Little Nemo entry is unusually  pretty good:

Little Nemo is the main fictional character in a series of weekly comic strips by Winsor McCay that appeared in the New York Herald and William Randolph Hearst’s New York American newspapers from October 15, 1905 – July 23, 1911 and September 3, 1911 – July 26, 1914; respectively.

The strip was first called Little Nemo in Slumberland and then In the Land of Wonderful Dreams when it changed papers. A brief revival of the original title occurred from 1924-27.

Although a comic strip, it was far from a simple children’s fantasy; it was often dark, surreal, threatening, and even violent. The strip related the dreams of a little boy: Nemo (meaning “nobody” in Latin), the hero. The last panel in each strip was always one of Nemo waking up, usually in or near his bed, and often being scolded (or comforted) by one of the grownups of the household after crying out in his sleep and waking them. In the earliest strips, the dream event that woke him up would always be some mishap or disaster that seemed about to lead to serious injury or death, such as being crushed by giant mushrooms, being turned into a monkey, falling from a bridge being held up by “slaves”, or gaining 90 years in age. The adventures leading to these disasters all had a common purpose: to get to a place called Slumberland, where he had been summoned by King Morpheus, to be the “playmate” of his daughter, the Princess.

Sometime during early 1906, Nemo did indeed reach the gates of Slumberland, but had to go through about four months of troubles to reach the Princess. His problem was that he kept being awakened by Flip, who wore a hat with “Wake Up” written on it. One sight of Flip’s hat was enough to take Nemo back to the land of the living during these early days. Although at first an enemy, Flip went on to become one of the recurring heroes. The others included: Dr. Pill, The Imp, the Candy Kid and Santa Claus as well as the Princess and King Morpheus.

The “Slumberland” of the title soon acquired a double meaning, referring not only to Morpheus’s fairy kingdom, but to the state of sleep itself: Nemo would have dream-adventures in other imaginary lands, on the Moon and Mars, and in our own “real” world, made fantastic by the dream-state.

 

 

 

 

 

Of all of the various tributes and homages, this next strip may be my favorite. It is a page from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, itself one of the most revered and influential comics of recent times. although taken out of context, I think the page makes its point perfectly. the characters are all from DC Comics/Vertigo.

And lastly, everyone’s favorite, Spongebob Squarepants!

 

 

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