Thursday, October 30, 2008

'The Sandman: Endless Nights'

by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Glenn Fabry, Milo Manara, Miguelanxo Prado, Frank Quitely, P. Craig Russell, Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storey
Fiction/Graphic Novel, 2003
Titan Books, hardback, 157 p.
part of The Sandman series
Winner - Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative, 2003
Before becoming a New York Times two-time bestselling author, Neil Gaiman revolutionized the comic-book arena with THE SANDMAN. The most acclaimed and award-winning comic series of the last decade, THE SANDMAN is a rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy, in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven. THE SANDMAN set new standards for comics literature, and the ten volumes of THE SANDMAN library are seen today as one of the high-watermarks of the medium.

THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS will be a delight to fans of Gaiman’s work and newcomers to the graphic novel. Whether haunting, bittersweet, erotic or nightmarish, the seven stories in this book – one for each of the Endless siblings – reveal strange and surprising truths. Each story is illustrated by some of the greatest comics artists from around the world.
This was my first exposure to the world of Sandman, so I can’t compare it to any of the others in the series, but the art in this one was simply stunning. Plus the fact that the few other graphic novels that I’ve read (Maus, Persepolis, Three Shadows, etc.) have primarily been in black and white, really made this one stand out. In Maus and Persepolis, the simple black and white drawings, in a way, simply enhanced a moving story, but in this one, and it may be sacrilegious to say this for Gaiman fans, while I enjoyed the stories, for me it was all about the art!

I think the first story, Death, drawn by P. Craig Russell, Delirium, drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz, and the last, Destiny, drawn by Frank Quitely, were my favourites. But they were all quite fascinating, and the variety of the different styles and perspectives is definitely part of the appeal. It really was the perfect book to read during the read-a-thon, when I needed a break from my other books. And even since then, I keep picking it up and flipping through it, to look at the art.

It seems that whenever you talk about graphic novels, Sandman is always mentioned so I’m glad I finally read one of them. And now that I’ve had a taste, I think I need to go back to the beginning and read more from the Sandman series.


Author's website
Listen to Neil on NPR
Interview at Bookslut
Buy it at Amazon.com

My Rating: 4/5
(#46 for 2008, Graphic Novels Challenge, Book Awards II Challenge)

Also reviewed at:
things mean a lot
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6 comments:

  1. I don't think it's sacrilegious :P I love the writing in Sandman, but in Endless Nights in particular the art really is that good! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, and I hope you also enjoy the rest of the series :)

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  2. Nymeth - I'm not sure when I'll get around to reading more from the series since they're a bit expensive, but someday, definitely. :)

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  3. I read a few of these and I really want to read some more. I think they really got me more interested in graphic novels!

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  4. Kim - I'm curious to read more too now, when I can get my hands on them. I've really become more interested in graphic novels this year, it's been fun!

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  5. I just finished The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1, which is a compilation of the first trade paperbacks. I also thought the art was incredible, although based on the samples you posted, the style's quite different.

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  6. Fyrefly - The Absolute Sandman volumes look really nice, I'll get to them at some point. The 2 samples I posted are drawn by P.Craig Russell and Frank Quitely respectively and are quite different from some of the other styles represented in the book. It was really interesting to have such a mix of different styles together.

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