‘Sandman’ Berlin Library Guide Comic Topic
August 31, 2022
BERLIN, CT — In honor of Netflix’s new adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, we’ve put together a quick guide to this classic 1990s graphic novel.
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Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (numbers 1 to 8)
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An occultist attempting to capture Death to negotiate eternal life traps his younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 years of imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, sets out to find his lost Objects of Power. During his arduous journey, Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.
Volume 2: The Dollhouse (Issues 9-16)
A being who has existed since the beginning of the universe, Dream of the Endless rules over the dream realm. In The Doll’s House, after decades of imprisonment, the Sandman has returned to find a few dreams and nightmares have slipped away into reality. Seeking to reclaim his lost possessions, Morpheus ventures to the human plane to learn that a woman named Rose Walker has inadvertently become a dream vortex and threatens to tear his world apart. As Morpheus confronts the last escaped nightmare at a serial killer convention, the Dream Lord must ruthlessly assassinate Rose or risk the destruction of his entire kingdom.
Volume 3: Dream Country (Issues 17-20)
The third volume in the Sandman collection is a series of four short comic book stories. In each of these otherwise unrelated stories, Morpheus serves only as a minor character. Here we meet the mother of Morpheus’ son, find out what cats dream about, and discover the true origin of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Volume 4: Season of the Mists (Issues 21-28)
Ten thousand years ago, Morpheus condemned a woman who loved him to Hell. Now the other members of his immortal family, The Endless, have convinced the Dream King that this was an injustice. To make matters right, Morpheus must return to Hell to save his banished love – and the ruler of Hell, the fallen angel Lucifer, has already sworn to destroy him.
Volume 5: A Game of You (Issues 32-37)
Take a building, mix together a drag queen, a lesbian couple, talking animals, a talking severed head, a confused heroine and the deadly cuckoo clock. Toss vigorously with a hurricane and Morpheus himself and you have this fifth installment in the Sandman series. This story features Barbie, who makes her first appearance in The Dollhouse, who finds herself here as a princess in a living dream world.
Volume 6: Fables and reflections (numbers 29-31, 38-40 and 50)
The fantasy epic of Morpheus, the King of Dreams, as he observes and interacts with an odd assortment of historical and fictional characters across time. Featuring tales of kings, explorers, spies and werewolves, this book of myth and imagination delves into the dark dreams of Augustus Caesar, Marco Polo, Cain and Abel, Norton I and Orpheus to illustrate the effects these subconscious daydreams have had on the course of history and humanity.
Volume 7: Brief Lives (Issues 41-49)
Dream’s youngest sister, the crazed Delirium, convinces him to go in search of their missing brother, Destruction. But Dream may learn that the cost of finding his prodigal brother is more than he can bear.
Volume 8: The end of the world (issues 51 to 56)
A “storm of reality” brings together an unusual cast of characters. They take refuge in a tavern, where they have fun with their life stories. Although Morpheus is never the focus of these stories, each has something to say about the nature of the stories and the dreams.
Volume 9: The Gentiles (Issues 57-69)
Distraught over the kidnapping and presumed death of her son, and believing Morpheus responsible, Lyta Hall calls down the ancient wrath of the Furies upon him. A former superhero blames Morpheus for the death of her child and invokes an ancient curse of revenge against the Dream Lord. The “benevolent” enter his realm and impose a sacrifice that will forever change the Dream.
Volume 10: The Awakening (Issues 70-75)
In which the repercussions of Lord Morpheus’ death are felt and, in an epilogue, William Shakespeare learns the price to pay to get what you want.
Spin-offs and side stories
In an alien world, an aspect of Dream senses something is wrong and dies in flames. In London in 1915, while planning to confront the troublesome nightmare The Corinthian, Morpheus is alerted to the same mistake and is summoned to an alien world to investigate.
A collection of seven stories, each dedicated to one of the Infinites: Dream, Death, Desire, Destruction, Delirium, Despair and Destiny.
Set in ancient Japan, this lyrical tale follows the ill-fated romance between a humble young monk and a magical shape-shifting vixen. When the fox comes across a band of demons discussing a plot to steal the monk’s life through a dream trap, it will take all of the fox’s cunning – and the intervention of Morpheus – to save him. Combining prose with stunning full-page paintings, The Dream Hunters also showcases Amano’s art with an eight-page gatefold bringing ethereal beauty to Morpheus and other classic Sandman characters.
Simon Spurrier, Dan Watters, Nalo Hopkinson, Kat Howard
Lord Daniel’s absence triggers crimes and calamities that consume the lives of those already entangled in his fate. Until he is found, the people of his kingdom must protect its broken borders alone. But the most experienced storytellers are tormented by encroaching secrets, Lucien doubts his own wits, and beyond the gates something awful waits with tooth and claw.
If you think you can unlock the gates of Hell and invite you in, you must be Dreaming! The epic crossover between two of comics’ most beloved fantasy worlds begins here.
John “Jack” Locke has been dead for ten years, but that hasn’t stopped him from posting the occasional letter home…from Hell. Now Mary Locke will do anything to save her brother’s soul. His quest to save him from The Pit will require him to outsmart Roderick Burgess (the most evil man in England), fight his way through the House of Mystery and risk the walking nightmare known as of The Corinthian in a disintegrating realm of dreams!
Sandman Presents: Greatest Tales
Fable writer Bill Willingham’s assorted tales of dreaming, originally featured in The Sandman Presents: Merv Pumpkinhead, Agent of DREAM, The Sandman Presents: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dreams… But Were Afraid to Ask #1, The Dreaming #55, and the 4-issue miniseries The Sandman Presents: Thessaliad.
Sandman Presents: Thessaly, Witch for Hire
The oldest and most powerful witch in the world returns in this collection written by Bill Willingham. This story follows Thessaly as she becomes an unwitting partner in a monster-slaying enterprise with her ghostly nemesis, Fetch.
Death: the high cost of living
From the pages of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comes young, pale, perky, and genuinely likeable death. One day of every century, Death travels the Earth to better understand those of whom it will be the last visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal named Didi, Death befriends a teenage girl and helps a 250-year-old homeless woman find her missing heart. What follows is a heartfelt reflection on love, life and (of course) death.
Death: the time of your life
Death Incarnate, as defined by master storyteller Neil Gaiman (The Sandman), is a genuinely likeable young girl with a fondness for ankhs who genuinely cares about people. It’s no wonder, then, that when a rising star in the music world struggles to reveal his true sexual orientation, just as his lover is drawn into the realm of death, death itself should make an appearance. A practical, honest and intelligent story that sheds light on “the miracle of death”.
This press release was produced by Berlin-Peck Memorial Library. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.
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