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Old 06-12-17, 03:17 AM   #21
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

Okay, chapter 3 of P&N, Dream a Little Dream of Me.

This one is fun because of all the music, lol.

And it has one great line: "These things with faces like appendectomy scars were crocheting my intestines into body bags for the blind and dead. I told myself it was only a dream, but it didn't matter. The bastards just kept on bloody knitting."

Fun trivia: On Supernatural, Castiel's iconic trenchcoat look was reportedly inspired by John Constantine's trenchcoat in this chapter. (Of course, Supernatural is really just one big long Sandman ripoff, as its creator admits).

Introduction of Mad Hettie!

Morpheus busting into Constantine's apartment makes me smile-- as much as the story changes and transforms after P&N, the establishment of Morpheus's character is perfect right from the start. In chapter one, you got his ruthless sense of vengeance when he feels harmed or insulted. In this chapter, you get his cold single-mindedness and lack of empathy. Not to spoil, but both of these things are WAY overemphasized in the opening scene of volume 4.
When Constantine finds his junkie ex dying-- Morpheus is like oh, cool, my bag, we're done here. Constantine: "You can't leave her like this." Morpheus: "Why not? Her metabolism is obviously destroyed. The sand was the only thing keeping her alive. She will die soon. Painfully, I would imagine."
It takes Constantine shouting at him for him to think Oh, yeah, I could give her a dream that makes her die happy.
It's clearly within his ability, and he doesn't mind doing it. It just wouldn't have occurred to him, because it has nothing to do with his own goals.
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Old 06-12-17, 03:22 AM   #22
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

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Originally Posted by Ness View Post
I'm only through chapter two, geez. The three women, are they the same characters in American Gods?
Kind of. The female trinity is a staple of mythology. The ones in American Gods are Slavic. The ones in Sandman are more of the classic Greek version. But, other cultures also have them (what immediately springs to mind is the Black Cauldron / Prydain books with the three witches of the marsh).

In P&N, they are established as answering three questions as a boon (when Morpheus asks for the location of his items). He calls them the "Graces" at that point, to which they respond that he's flattering them.
In "Doll's House Part One" that you just read, the youngest says to Rose "You wouldn't want to meet us as the Kindly Ones." But, just as in P&N, they answer three questions of Rose's, although she isn't as careful in asking productive questions.

Quote:
Also, Unity is back, that was kinda cool. Her daughter was way too quick to just accept what she said though. I don't trust it.
It IS quite a strange story. Could be more to it
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Old 06-12-17, 03:25 AM   #23
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

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The fates also remind me of the weird sisters from MacBeth... first Shakespeare reference? They also remind me of characters from a video game I played when I was a kid.
Shakespeare in Macbeth is ALSO referencing that staple of three-in-one female aspect that pops up in so many different mythologies.
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Old 06-12-17, 04:10 AM   #24
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

P&N Chapter Four, "A Hope in Hell"

This is my favorite of this book. Even if it gets too cute with the dialogue.
"I must talk to the Morningstar. I do not have high hopes for the meeting."
"I cannot bluff the demons, as I bluffed the errant dreams with Constantine. But I have the pouch. I have a modicum of power. I have hope."
"I am Hope."
"And walking steadily, my helm by my side, I take my leave of Hell. My hopes fulfilled."

Gaiman has fun with rhyming demons, and plays on classic Dante themes.

Early on, the demon Etrigan says that he has changed, and asks Morpheus if he has changed as well, the first time this theme is really introduced. Later, the palace of hell has changed. Lucifer advises Morpheus that things in hell itself have changed, with a triumvirate ruling.

First glimpse of Nada, in hell. Re-emphasizing Morpheus's coldness: "It has been ten thousand years, Nada. Yes. I still love you. But I have not yet forgiven you."

The challenge itself is pure Gaiman goodness. A war of ideas in a bar in hell. I'll never stop loving that scene.
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Love is no part of the dream-world. Love belongs to desire, and desire is always cruel.


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Old 06-12-17, 04:28 AM   #25
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

The next three chapters have never been favorites of mine.

Notable things, though--

In "Passengers," I love the scene of Morpheus travelling through dreams to get where he's going. That's always fun. There's even a glimpse of Merv Pumpkinhead ("I sit at the front and talk to the driver").

In "24 Hours," we see the death of Judy, the lesbian. One of those small connections going forward.
Also fun: At Hour 14, the three women in the diner become the Three, female trinity, as Dr. D asks for his future.

"Sound and Fury" is fun for its surreality. Gaiman finally REALLY playing with the possibilities of the universe he's set up in this story. And we see Morpheus with his battle helm on. What is most interesting, for me, is how whimsical Morpheus is in victory. Dr. D asks if Morpheus will kill him, and Morpheus just kind of muses "I could." But then decides just to return him to the asylum and fix his dreams. Why? Because he feels like it. I think that is the final touch on Morpheus's essential alien nature-- it communicates the idea that he is nothing close to human. Coming on the heels of his cruel vengeance on Alex, his coldness towards Nada in Hell (and, since you've read the Doll's House prologue, at this point you know that her big sin was simply NOT wanting to be his girlfriend), this strange magnanimity underlines that Morpheus follows no moral rules except his own impulses.

Anyway, I felt like in these three chapters, Gaiman was still trying too hard to tie this in to "regular" comic books, so a lot of it fell flat. When I think of people being turned off of the series by P&N, this is the storyline I think of.

But, it wraps up the origin, he has his items, his captivity is over, he's back in power and in control of dreams again.
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Love is no part of the dream-world. Love belongs to desire, and desire is always cruel.


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Old 06-12-17, 05:30 AM   #26
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

Okay, final chapter of P&N, "Sound of Wings."

This is actually the Everything. It is exposition instead of action, but it's NEEDED. It's the bridge from the origin story to the ACTUAL story.

And it's got cute-ass Death.

I like how at first, there's no real hint as to Morpheus's connection with Death, she's just random chick who sits down and starts talking about Mary Poppins.

But, as Morpheus opens up and recounts his experiences in the previous 7 chapters, you catch on that she means something to him.

AND, it's setting the entire character arc, right there. Morpheus is in some weird stasis after his victory. He's changed. He doesn't know what to do with himself. He thought that once he got all of his stuff back, it would all go back to normal, but it hasn't.

And Big Sis is the one who can knock some sense into his stupid head.

I love this panel:



Because it's a case of the story and the art coming together SO perfectly. It's ridiculously poignant. Maybe I'm reading a bit into it on the re-read, but I think even on first-read that stood out to me. It's excessively NORMAL. It makes these non-humans relatable.

After this set up, we go on a journey with Death.
"She draws him close. From the darkness I hear the beating of mighty wings..."

Death: "Mostly they aren't keen to see me. They fear the sunless lands. But they enter YOUR realm each night without fear."
Morpheus: "And I am far more terrible than you, my sister."
That exchange

Then this utter heartbreak:

But again, art and writing working. Death's face with the matter-of-fact "Yes, I'm afraid so." She has no regret or mourning, but she is nowhere near as cold as Morpheus. Death is kinder, gentler, more loving than Dream.

And with the support of his sister, Morpheus has the impetus to shake off his malaise.

The final panel can mean a LOT of things, whole story taken into account, but that aside, this chapter was necessary to move from P&N into the REAL Sandman.
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Dream the world. Not this pallid shadow of reality. Dream the world the way it truly is. .



Love is no part of the dream-world. Love belongs to desire, and desire is always cruel.


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Old 06-12-17, 08:36 AM   #27
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

Finished chapter 3 of dolls house. Damn, Morpheus is pissed.
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Old 06-12-17, 12:10 PM   #28
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

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Finished chapter 3 of dolls house. Damn, Morpheus is pissed.


pissed-off Morpheus.
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Love is no part of the dream-world. Love belongs to desire, and desire is always cruel.


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Old 06-12-17, 04:04 PM   #29
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

I am SO glad you're doing this, Ness!

You're going to LURVE this series.

Desire is always true to its own nature. It's fickle, it's cruel, but it's also very sweet at times. I think it's important that most of "The Seven Deadly Sins" are directly related to Desire, because Greed is a facet of desire, and things like gluttony, lust, sloth, and avarice are all varying forms of greed. Desire is often something of an antagonist in these stories, but its capricious nature shouldn't be forgotten. I also think it's important to note, and i'm not sure if you've gotten this from the books yet or not, but if not, its really only a very minor spoiler: Desire and Despair are twins.

You'll meet most of the Endless soon enough, and that will help shed a lot of light on a lot of things.

I think Kelly's done a great job of responding to your remarks so far, so i don't want to expand much for fear of going too far just to say something, and also for fear of sounding like a parrot.
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Old 06-13-17, 02:16 AM   #30
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Re: Ness' Sandman First Read

Fake out post to make you think that I read more, but I haven't yet. But I will later tonight.
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