Much like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, I’ve had this book for months without reading it because I was afraid I wasn’t going to really enjoy it. And much like American Gods, it was an outstanding book that I wish I would have started sooner.

Now for the backstory (or backstories).

I first read Gaiman’s Stardust and was dodging American Gods for more than a year. Eventually read both and added Neverwhere to the mix. All the while, I knew many considered Sandman to be the real opus of Gaiman’s career. But it’s a dark comic book. I historically haven’t been a comic fan (and I’ve been a bit too tired for dark). So I let it sit on the shelf.

I first grabbed graphic novels a few months ago when I grabbed the first Scott Pilgrim book and this Sandman volume. Having watched Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, I knew what tone I would be finding, so I went there first. I really enjoyed the series (as noted in previous posts), but I still didn’t consider myself a graphic novel reader. I actually picked up the first graphic novel by my favorite contemporary author, Christopher Moore, and I let both sit on the shelf.

But I finally finished the Scott Pilgrim series. And I didn’t have a hard copy book that I was reading (I always like to have one going in addition to the Kindle book I’m reading, unless I’m enthralled by the e-book). So I finally grabbed the Sandman volume.

And it was very good.

I can’t call it perfect. It doesn’t quite know where it is yet as a series (and this is something noted by numerous people in forwards, afterwards, and commentary), but it does something pretty cool.

I can’t compare it to other comics (and I’m not comparing it to Scott Pilgrim because that’s like comparing apples to the occult), so I only have a limited perspective. That said, it was enjoyable. It took on a dark tone and owned it.

Unfortunately, because I went looking to see how many books there were in the series, I spoiled the end of the whole series (I know what occurs, though I don’t know how yet). I’m hoping that doesn’t ruin things for me, but good writing is good writing, so hopefully that will help me stay engaged in the series (especially now that I’ve bought the remaining 9 volumes in one go because it was cheaper that way).

Either way, I’m excited for what’s ahead. Because the last issue featured in this volume switches to the next storyline, you can already see a big change occurring. The artwork changed, and it looks like the tone is changing a bit. It’ll be fun to watch the series grow.

Keep ya posted.

-Q

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