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The Absolute Sandman, Volume One

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One of the most popular and critically acclaimed comic book titles of all time, New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's masterpiece The Sandman set new standards for mature, lyrical fantasy and graphic narrative. Now, Vertigo and DC Comics are proud to present the first of four definitive Absolute Editions collecting this groundbreaking series in its entir One of the most popular and critically acclaimed comic book titles of all time, New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's masterpiece The Sandman set new standards for mature, lyrical fantasy and graphic narrative. Now, Vertigo and DC Comics are proud to present the first of four definitive Absolute Editions collecting this groundbreaking series in its entirety. The Absolute Sandman, Volume One reprints issues 1-20 of The Sandman , and features all-new coloring on issues 1-18, commissioned especially for this edition. This volume also includes a full reproduction of Gaiman's original proposal for the series and the complete script and pencils by Gaiman and Charles Vess for the World Fantasy Award-winning story "A Midsummer Night's Dream" from The Sandman 19. Finally, a gallery of character design sketches show the evolution of Dream of the Endless.


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One of the most popular and critically acclaimed comic book titles of all time, New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's masterpiece The Sandman set new standards for mature, lyrical fantasy and graphic narrative. Now, Vertigo and DC Comics are proud to present the first of four definitive Absolute Editions collecting this groundbreaking series in its entir One of the most popular and critically acclaimed comic book titles of all time, New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's masterpiece The Sandman set new standards for mature, lyrical fantasy and graphic narrative. Now, Vertigo and DC Comics are proud to present the first of four definitive Absolute Editions collecting this groundbreaking series in its entirety. The Absolute Sandman, Volume One reprints issues 1-20 of The Sandman , and features all-new coloring on issues 1-18, commissioned especially for this edition. This volume also includes a full reproduction of Gaiman's original proposal for the series and the complete script and pencils by Gaiman and Charles Vess for the World Fantasy Award-winning story "A Midsummer Night's Dream" from The Sandman 19. Finally, a gallery of character design sketches show the evolution of Dream of the Endless.

30 review for The Absolute Sandman, Volume One

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Gaya

    This graphic novel is one of Neil Gaiman’s early major works, which catapulted him to his present fame, somewhere in the upper floors of the Dark Fantasy & Mythology Redux literary pantheon. This first issue of the Absolute Sandman is a massive volume, 600 pages!, that collects the first 20 chapters of the Sandman series — there are at least five or six other volumes after this one, in the Absolute Sandman saga, published by DC Comics / Vertigo. I hate to write a negative review, especially consi This graphic novel is one of Neil Gaiman’s early major works, which catapulted him to his present fame, somewhere in the upper floors of the Dark Fantasy & Mythology Redux literary pantheon. This first issue of the Absolute Sandman is a massive volume, 600 pages!, that collects the first 20 chapters of the Sandman series — there are at least five or six other volumes after this one, in the Absolute Sandman saga, published by DC Comics / Vertigo. I hate to write a negative review, especially considering such an impressive work, with so many accolades in the last thirty years, and by one of the most charming fantasy authors around. Moreover, all the ingredients are here to please: an artistically ambitious novel, a dark handsome hero (that kinda looks like the author!), a fistful of Lovecraftian horror, a pinch of Dantean pandemonium, a quest for occult symbols — that heralds the Voldemort business in the late Harry Potter novels —, a dust of serial killers, a sprinkle of Shakespeare here and there… Nevertheless, the whole thing is, the way I see it, an overrated post-baroque, disjointed millefeuille, with a plot that peters out by the 8th chapter, leaving the rest of the volume as a collection of dismembered short stories, just barely related by a couple of recurring characters. A few of these fragments stand out, like “Tales in the Sand”, or “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; the rest is either a bit silly or stodgy. To boot, the artwork, although in line with the style of DC Comics, looks, for the most part, overdrawn and murky. Sadly, disappointing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Sandman is one of my all-time favorite comics. No, it's not for everyone, but if you like fantasy and horror, there is a good chance you'll like this. It was one of the first comics written for adults at DC back in the 1980's. The story is about Dream, one of the Endless. They are not gods but the personification of certain intrinsic ideas. When it starts out Dream has been imprisoned for the last 70 years. He eventually escapes and must reacquire the totems he last which contain much of his pow Sandman is one of my all-time favorite comics. No, it's not for everyone, but if you like fantasy and horror, there is a good chance you'll like this. It was one of the first comics written for adults at DC back in the 1980's. The story is about Dream, one of the Endless. They are not gods but the personification of certain intrinsic ideas. When it starts out Dream has been imprisoned for the last 70 years. He eventually escapes and must reacquire the totems he last which contain much of his power. The first two arcs are very much about Dream reestablishing his domain and putting things his house back in order while the third arc is an anthology of stories that Dream has a connection to. The absolute edition collects the first 3 volumes of the series. It's a gorgeous oversized edition and it's really heavy. I love seeing the art stretched out to this larger size. It has also been recolored. There's a fantastic amount of backmatter. It includes Gaiman's initial proposal and story bible. A 3-page prose recap of Preludes and Nocturnes written by Gaiman that was included before issue #8 of the series. The script and pencil art for A Midsummer Night's Dream which won the World Fantasy Award. I enjoyed seeing Gaiman's notes in the script to Charles Vess and then how he rendered those. Several pages also had Todd Klein's hand lettered word balloons which you rarely see in this kind of thing. It's an absolute monster of a book, but it's amazing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    1/31/17 First read and reread of 2017. The below review still holds completely true. 4/26/15 Neil Gaiman is pure fucking magic when it comes to writing. I’m relatively new to his work, and I’m also pretty new to comics and graphic novels. So please feel free to take the following fangirl-gasming with a grain of salt. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly freaking recommend you go to your library and start this, and soon. If this first Volume is any indication on what to expect from the futur 1/31/17 First read and reread of 2017. The below review still holds completely true. 4/26/15 Neil Gaiman is pure fucking magic when it comes to writing. I’m relatively new to his work, and I’m also pretty new to comics and graphic novels. So please feel free to take the following fangirl-gasming with a grain of salt. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly freaking recommend you go to your library and start this, and soon. If this first Volume is any indication on what to expect from the future ones, then I know I’m in for one hell of a ride. I don’t think I’ve read anything like this before. I love that every element of this story felt new and real and raw to me. It bewitched me. I’ve fallen hard for these worlds and characters, and I’m happy that I’ll be able to live in it for a little longer. The art instantly drew me in to this comic. I loved the style, and I thought the artists did an incredible freaking job giving life to Gaiman’s characters and worlds. Following Dream/Morpheus on his journey as he escaped a prison meant for his sister Death, was a really fascinating story, but it was only the beginning. There were so many other fantastical tales showing the evolution of Dream. The worlds were vast. Some were familiar and some were strange and new to me, and I loved seeing Dream interact with the people/creatures/things in each of them. He’s Endless, and every story showed what he has done during his existence. The stories showed that he can be selfless and objective, and the stories showed that he can also be selfish and cruel. I enjoyed reading about all the different aspects of Dream. Again, I highly, highly recommend reading this series!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicolo

    I bought this oversized, slip cased hardcover back in 2011 during Komikon. The prospect of owning a first edition first volume tantalized me. I haven’t seen this volume in any of the larger branches of the main book store chain here in Philippines. It was always volume two onwards, never a complete set. The sweetener was I got this a slight discount which helped assuage the loss of frequent buyer points had I bought this from the book store chain. The collected edition of the Sandman series have I bought this oversized, slip cased hardcover back in 2011 during Komikon. The prospect of owning a first edition first volume tantalized me. I haven’t seen this volume in any of the larger branches of the main book store chain here in Philippines. It was always volume two onwards, never a complete set. The sweetener was I got this a slight discount which helped assuage the loss of frequent buyer points had I bought this from the book store chain. The collected edition of the Sandman series have been reprinted countless time and in a myriad of languages, but this absolute edition contains the stories from the first three trade collections and a plethora of extras. The extra material makes this an indispensable addition to the collection of any fan of Gaiman’s Sandman work. It includes the original detailed pitch for Sandman, character design sketches and the script for the World Fantasy award winning issue nineteen. It was interesting how Gaiman constructed a pitch that became the series bible. He almost never wavered from his original intention and was able to put into print what he intended to publish. An acclaimed series it was, it had its own share of industry awards like the Eisners, but its most distinguished accolade had to be the World Fantasy award for best short fiction for Sandman issue nineteen, an adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Gaiman and Charles Vess. It was and will be the only comic book to have won that award as rules were changed to prevent comic books from winning thereafter. This collection includes two long arcs and a collection of short stories. It is in the short stories that Gaiman really shines. He used this short tales to build the backstory of Morpheus and how he has interacted with history and legend throughout the eons. Starting with the second arc, “The Doll’s House, he used these self-contained tales to give a breather to the regular artists in between issues or chapters. This is also reflected in the trade editions of Sandman, the collected arcs are interspersed with two short story collections. This is a great book, especially for me. I am unabashedly a great admirer of Neil Gaiman. I have most of the Sandman trades, and this omnibus fills the holes I have. It is a pricey tome, but it is gorgeously designed with archival paper stock and bound in faux leather. If this is beyond one’s price range, the paperbacks are a great alternative. Sandman is one of those stories that every comic fan should read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Ryan

    Considered by many, me included, to be the best comic book ever written, Neil Gaiman's now classic mix of Greek myth and modern dark fantasy remains as captivating today as when it was first published. Aided by some of the finest artists ever to grace the medium, Gaiman crafts a fantasy epic as unconventional as it is fascinating. The Sandman marks the point at which comics finally grew up. Considered by many, me included, to be the best comic book ever written, Neil Gaiman's now classic mix of Greek myth and modern dark fantasy remains as captivating today as when it was first published. Aided by some of the finest artists ever to grace the medium, Gaiman crafts a fantasy epic as unconventional as it is fascinating. The Sandman marks the point at which comics finally grew up.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    Collects Issue 1-20 of Sandman: In the course of my life I have come across certain things from art to a classic book that are masterfully done. Neil Gaiman's Sandman is one of those things. It is many things all at once. Some parts of it, especially near the beginning , seem to be of a Gothic horror nature ,yet, in the middle part of the volume there is a shift towards a fantasy based romp through a dreamworld. It is a testament to Mr. Gaiman's staggering imagination. The story centers on Dream, Collects Issue 1-20 of Sandman: In the course of my life I have come across certain things from art to a classic book that are masterfully done. Neil Gaiman's Sandman is one of those things. It is many things all at once. Some parts of it, especially near the beginning , seem to be of a Gothic horror nature ,yet, in the middle part of the volume there is a shift towards a fantasy based romp through a dreamworld. It is a testament to Mr. Gaiman's staggering imagination. The story centers on Dream, one of the Endless. Dream is one of the three eldest of the Endless (Death and Destiny being the other two) and as such he is also one of the most powerful. Sadly being a vastly powerful godlike entity caused Dream to fall to hubris. He was captured by a sorcerer and held captive for seven decades. Once he is freed Dream must undertake a journey to learn more about himself and to avoid the mistakes that led to his hubris. Yet, he must first recover his three powerful possessions: His helmet, his ruby and his pouch. The first half of the volume recalls the events that led to Dreams capture and then his subsequent freedom and adventures going from places like Hell to speak with Lucifer or consorting with the likes of John Constantine and Dr. Destiny. The story is dark and grim at times, yet your respect for Dream will grow with each issue. The Second part of the volume focuses on a Vortex in the dream world centered around a girl named Rose. This part of the story is bold and truly imaginative. We see entire dream worlds come to life and the variety and complexity are staggering. The essence of this part of the volume is of Dream attempting to repair the damage to the dream state in his 70 year absence. What I enjoyed most about Sandman is the sheer scope of the characters that the reader is introduced to. I always loved the sheer variety of concepts. From meeting the reining Lords of Hell to spending time with Dream's sister Death or even his spat with Desire and Despair- all these momentous scenes are done with flair. Gaiman's ability to anthropomorph concepts like dreaming or death are amazing and strangely apropos. The art is strangely complementary. I wish that there had been a more accomplished or detailed artist to have drawn some of these brilliant concepts, but the art does not hinder the story and in certain places helps to emphasize the dream state of the situation. If you appreciate a grand tale or one with a variety of different folklore being introduced or a tale with cosmic entities, Neil Gaiman's Sandman is for you. Whether you follow Dream's main quest or you just take a moment and appreciate the time and imagination to even write some of the side stories. The one about the man who didn't want to die and would keep meeting Dream every 100 years at the same spot is brilliant. I also enjoyed the perverse Serial Killer's convention. There are some amazing feats of imagination at work here- some sights will be beautiful and others depraved. But that is the nature of Dreams. I can not recommend this enough to any and all who love a great story. Sandman is a classic work.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    It's been more than ten years since I first read Sandman, and I've read it through probably close to a dozen times since. This is my first crack at The Absolute Sandman. Obviously, I love Sandman, or I wouldn't be reading it yet again. And yet, I never read exactly the same Sandman twice. I see more, and I see differently, every time I read it. So how can I possibly review Sandman? I just can't. All I can say is how very, very happy I am to get to read it again. It's been more than ten years since I first read Sandman, and I've read it through probably close to a dozen times since. This is my first crack at The Absolute Sandman. Obviously, I love Sandman, or I wouldn't be reading it yet again. And yet, I never read exactly the same Sandman twice. I see more, and I see differently, every time I read it. So how can I possibly review Sandman? I just can't. All I can say is how very, very happy I am to get to read it again.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Spider the Doof Warrior

    Fantastic version of the first few graphic novels of Sandman. The pictures are a lot bigger, this is hard-covered with a stylish ribbon. And Neil Gaiman is awesome. So this is a good series, but the first volume might be a bit disturbing to put it mildly. Some of it is nightmarish as hell, but that is the beauty of Sandman, really.

  9. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    This is an absolute must for a Sandman fan. If you've already collected the ten-volume collection of the Sandman series, then perhaps you don't need this, but if not, this is definitely something you should invest in if you want to collect Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. This is an absolute must for a Sandman fan. If you've already collected the ten-volume collection of the Sandman series, then perhaps you don't need this, but if not, this is definitely something you should invest in if you want to collect Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    "Preludes & Nocturnes" is a pretty surprising combination of horror & super-heroes that really differs from what follows. However, it's nonetheless really good storytelling with a few sublime moments, such as the battle with the demon and 24 hours [9/10]. "The Sound of Her Wings" is still brilliant [10+/10]. "Tales in the Sand" is very innovative for its decision to tell tales of Morpheus in the past, where he's often just a secondary character. Beyond that, it's just a good story [8/10]. "The D "Preludes & Nocturnes" is a pretty surprising combination of horror & super-heroes that really differs from what follows. However, it's nonetheless really good storytelling with a few sublime moments, such as the battle with the demon and 24 hours [9/10]. "The Sound of Her Wings" is still brilliant [10+/10]. "Tales in the Sand" is very innovative for its decision to tell tales of Morpheus in the past, where he's often just a secondary character. Beyond that, it's just a good story [8/10]. "The Doll's House" does a good job of merging almost standalone stories into a cohesive whole and also starts to open up the universe of the Sandman beyond its horror beginnings [9/10]. I don't think Dream Country is Gaiman's strongest short story sequence, but Dream of a Thousand Cats has always been one of my favorites, and it’s fun seeing the seeds about Orpheus planted so early [8-10/10]. The Absolute volume just makes all of this better with great, big, recoloured art. I also think the proposal and script at the end are nice additions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    I remember collecting the comic book series when it came out because it looked unique in both Gaiman's storytelling and Keith's art. The series turned into one of my favorite comic series of all time combining humor, horror, great art, literature, history, fairy tales, mystery, drama, dreams, and everything that Gaiman could come up with for an entertaining read each and every month. I was happy to pick up this collection with better coloring and on superior paper. I remember collecting the comic book series when it came out because it looked unique in both Gaiman's storytelling and Keith's art. The series turned into one of my favorite comic series of all time combining humor, horror, great art, literature, history, fairy tales, mystery, drama, dreams, and everything that Gaiman could come up with for an entertaining read each and every month. I was happy to pick up this collection with better coloring and on superior paper.

  12. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    While I agree with this article that the coloring in Sandman needed to be touched-up for this definitive edition, I was very disappointed at the direction they decided to go with it. You can see from the various examples in the article that in every case, they have replaced the bright, otherworldly colors with bland, murky photoshop blends. It's very disappointing to see a book which had such remarkable, experimental art reduced to such generic choices. In every instance where a face was colored While I agree with this article that the coloring in Sandman needed to be touched-up for this definitive edition, I was very disappointed at the direction they decided to go with it. You can see from the various examples in the article that in every case, they have replaced the bright, otherworldly colors with bland, murky photoshop blends. It's very disappointing to see a book which had such remarkable, experimental art reduced to such generic choices. In every instance where a face was colored in lurid, expressionist shades, we instead get a jolly, normal pink tone. Originally, the colors took influence from the often fantastical works of European artists like Moebius--refusing to limit their palate and exploring tones, textures, and novel uses of lighting to set the mood. But then, the prequel to Moebius' own series, L'Incal was similarly butchered by muddy, dodge-and-burn photoshoppery that completely obliterated the bright, wondrous colors of the French version. In this new Sandman, they even take the very stones of hell and change them from bright, fiery red to a desaturated mauve--who knew demons were so fond of light pastels? Certainly, the inks needed to be darkened, but if the colors needed anything, it was to be brightened, not submerged. If we were republishing Action Comics #1, would we want to switch from four-color action to realism? Should Las Vegas' iconic googy sign be redone in modern tones? Would Munch's 'Scream' look better in naturalistic flesh tones? Why, then, obliterate the very style that made Sandman stand out? I know that the DC of Alan Moore, Neal Gaiman, and Peter Milligan is gone now. These new Vertigo books are just young folks trying to copy what came before, and Vertigo, once an experimental art house for new creators, has become a blandly profitable branch of the company which produces safe, familiar books. So I shouldn't be surprised at the sad treatment of this great series--they want to make it more palatable in order to sell more books. Yet it sticks in my craw that this 'Absolute' edition, supposed to provide the highest quality, most authentic version of Sandman falls short of the mark set by the original.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    I will start by saying that this is an absolutely gorgeous book. It's a compilation that was obviously done with great care and attention to detail, and as a result it has a very imposing physical presence. I found myself checking if my hands were clean before picking it up to read (and I'm not kidding). What to say about the comic itself... "Sandman" is fantastic, quite different from what I got used from a comic book (and it must have been quite ground-breaking at the time it came out). I start I will start by saying that this is an absolutely gorgeous book. It's a compilation that was obviously done with great care and attention to detail, and as a result it has a very imposing physical presence. I found myself checking if my hands were clean before picking it up to read (and I'm not kidding). What to say about the comic itself... "Sandman" is fantastic, quite different from what I got used from a comic book (and it must have been quite ground-breaking at the time it came out). I started reading Watchmen at the same time I was reading The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1, and found myself comparing the two. While Watchmen is undoubtedly much more political and thought-provoking (and also quite original in its storytelling), Sandman is a lot more subtle. It's an intricate world of fantasies, of metaphors and of symbols. I could read only one story at the time, and after a while I figured out why. I found myself being unable to fully appreciate all the little details, references and symbols, because there were so many. Thus, I slowed down (and good thing I did), making this the book that has taken me the longest time to read in my life. The final part of the book is dedicated to the making-of the comic, and is really an excellent read. I enjoyed immensely going through the whole issue of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", step by step, with the quirky commentaries of Neil Gaiman to the illustrator. The artists that collaborated on this book are all very talented. I have a soft spot for Dave McKean's work, and his issue covers were another thing that made me love this book. If you like comic books, then I heartily recommend you get your "clean" hands on this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kasia

    FOR SANDMAN You are mine. Book of books. Indescribable beauty and wisdom lies within your pages. You are almost to holy to read. You need to be caressed tenderly and admired page by page in kneeling position with head bowed low. I know how undeserving I'm to touch you. Forgive me, sinner for reaching so high, for touching the sun. If I burn in your greatness I will wear my scars proudly. Pierce my heart with one ray of your dark magic and make me yours forever. FOR SANDMAN You are mine. Book of books. Indescribable beauty and wisdom lies within your pages. You are almost to holy to read. You need to be caressed tenderly and admired page by page in kneeling position with head bowed low. I know how undeserving I'm to touch you. Forgive me, sinner for reaching so high, for touching the sun. If I burn in your greatness I will wear my scars proudly. Pierce my heart with one ray of your dark magic and make me yours forever.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    This thing is seriously heavy - seven pounds! It has really lovely extra thick glossy paper and it's eight inches wide by twelve inches tall, a huge, gorgeous book. People who bought it really got a lot for their money. But I think that most people, even completely healthy and hale people, couldn't possibly read this without a table. It was the absolute max my incredible Levo book stand could handle. (If you have any kind of hand, shoulder, neck or back pain, this is absolutely worth the money, This thing is seriously heavy - seven pounds! It has really lovely extra thick glossy paper and it's eight inches wide by twelve inches tall, a huge, gorgeous book. People who bought it really got a lot for their money. But I think that most people, even completely healthy and hale people, couldn't possibly read this without a table. It was the absolute max my incredible Levo book stand could handle. (If you have any kind of hand, shoulder, neck or back pain, this is absolutely worth the money, it's honestly the best thing I ever bought. They have tablet/ebook holders too, I just switch back and forth using the same base stand, easy as pie.) I was nervous the stand would tip over the whole time. It's much bigger than anything else I've tried on it and I didn't want it to overbalanced on me, but we did OK together, and I'm so glad I didn't have to try to wrestle this big, beautiful behemoth. And the really great thing is that the extra tall and wide pages made the print much bigger than in normal comics, so much easier to see, I loved it! No complaining about squinting this time, at least until it got to the teeny tiny font they used for all of the extras at the back of the book, I guess you can't have everything. I enjoyed the book a lot. I thought the art really complemented the story. It was stark when it needed to be and lush when it needed to be. The covers are gorgeous. I complain sometimes when the cover art doesn't match the interiors, it feels like false advertising. These are terrific because they aren't another artist portraying Morpheus so he looks totally different and weird, like some cover art does with some characters. He's so distinctive in the books, I'd hate that. They're just stunning art that somehow still very much reflects the stories. Check out this link, look at the Volume 2 covers, but try to imagine them without the distracting titles and logos, they're even more stunning in this book without all of that. But do you think it was a coincidence that the Sandman looks so much like Gaiman? It was funny to see the the original proposal in the back and to see how the character sketches progressed until the artists arrived at the final version. He doesn't have curly hair, but the long face, the nose, lips, chin and cheekbones sure look like Neil to me. A grumpy, frowny Neil. And the Sandman is the Prince of Stories, I wonder... I don't know what it would have been like to read these issues every month when they originally came out, what the experience of each issue individually would have been compared to the experience I had of reading twenty issues as one big book. Next to Revival, for example, which is so dense with story and characters. this was often sparse and simple by comparison. In a big book format it wasn't a problem, I was able to keep turning the pages and go on to the next "chapter" when the story moved quickly. Maybe if I was only getting them once a month I'd have been disappointed in the beginning when they moved so quickly, while Gaiman was still getting the hang of this comic writing thing. But I also don't know how much the character would be served by too much going on too. He stalks through the scenes, he's an arrogant and powerful prince and he doesn't hurry even when he's in a hurry. And I think Gaiman has a good sense of pacing and drama. Definitely drama. The art really complemented the writing too. It was elegant when it needed to be, it was horrifying when it needed to be, gritty, slick, dark and bright. The artists and the colorists worked together wonderfully to create the contrasts that made this story work so well, gave the pages such an impact. Some of the simplest images in the book were the most powerful. And of course there was some humor too. "I will visit Constantine. Regain my pouch...He is, after all, just a human. Just ONE human. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?" I really appreciated that every time a woman's figure would be over-emphasized or sexualized in almost any other book, especially in books written in the '80s and '90s like these were, not one of these figures were. Not one naked woman has unnaturally huge breasts or hips, the shapes are there just enough to understand the image but they aren't sexualized at all. The focus was always on the story, not on images that would distract from it. This dark and kind of spooky and grim, or at least atmospheric, story would not be served by the sudden interjection of big bouncing bosoms and all of the stereotypical comic book body shapes and positions that no woman would or could take in normal life. Those belong, if they belong anywhere, in a book with brighter colors and stories. So that was a long way of saying I liked it, it was fun and the actual book I read, this actual edition, is a beautiful keepsake edition. The extras in the back include Gaiman's original and often hilariously notated script and Vess's original sketches for issue #19, A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is and will always be, due to a changing of the rules immediately afterwards, the only comic to ever win the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction. If you need a gift for a comic book lover or someone who likes urban fantasy, you couldn't go wrong with this. As long as they have the strength to lug it around. And a really big and sturdy shelf to keep it on, now that I think about it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Malum

    I put off reading Sandman for a long time for some reason, and it's too bad I did because it's pretty awesome. It is weird, dark, and can be thought-provoking in places. It reminds me of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run, only a lot bleaker. I put off reading Sandman for a long time for some reason, and it's too bad I did because it's pretty awesome. It is weird, dark, and can be thought-provoking in places. It reminds me of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run, only a lot bleaker.

  17. 5 out of 5

    L. McCoy

    This weird fantasy series that’s often considered essential for comic fans has a great first arc… and then it goes a bit downhill but it’s still good. What’s it about? There’s a race that are called the endless. A cult tried to summon Death but ended up summoning her brother, Dream. After decades, finally, someone let’s Dream out of his cage (and time for him ‘cause he’s counting no age) and after that a bunch of weird s*** happens. Pros: The story is interesting and weird. If you aren’t a fan of st This weird fantasy series that’s often considered essential for comic fans has a great first arc… and then it goes a bit downhill but it’s still good. What’s it about? There’s a race that are called the endless. A cult tried to summon Death but ended up summoning her brother, Dream. After decades, finally, someone let’s Dream out of his cage (and time for him ‘cause he’s counting no age) and after that a bunch of weird s*** happens. Pros: The story is interesting and weird. If you aren’t a fan of strange books, this probably isn’t for you. I like weird comics as long as they still make sense and I liked most of the stories. The art is really well done. The characters are usually very unique and interesting. I like this book’s version of Death and I find her to be the most interesting character. Dream’s pretty cool and has some bad-a** moments. We even see a few familiar faces including John Constantine in one issue which is pretty cool. I like the side characters for the most part, they aren’t too bland which is a very good thing. Some chapters in this book are fantastic standalone chapters which is really cool. It’s very unpredictable mainly due to how strange it is. There are a few funny moments that really made me laugh. Cons: Some chapters are boring as s*** to be honest. The ones I’m referring to are just there as filler and it isn’t even exciting filler, just filler. The gratuitous nudity for the sake of being edgy is annoying. I don’t give a f*** about mature content (I only censored that because of the language rules on this site, before anyone starts questioning me about that) as long as it makes sense to the story, not just there to be there like most of the nudity in this book seems to be. It’s like they just wanted to be edgy or something and that was the only reason, I can’t stand that, it makes the people who made it look kinda immature IMO (not saying they aren’t good at writing or drawing, just kinda trying too hard to shock people and/or justify a mature rating, especially when it would’ve probably got one anyway). Like I said, if it makes sense to the story, no problem, it didn’t though. Overall: This book is good. I would say it’s certainly worth checking out because it is considered an essential comic series and for the most part is pretty good, just had some problems. I plan on continuing to read this series, however it seems as it goes on the problems I mentioned are more and more frequent which makes me a bit concerned. As far as this collection goes though, I’d say it’s a pretty good pick. 4/5

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    When I first started reading Sandman, which was after I was introduced to Neil Gaiman through American Gods and Stardust, I had to interlibrary loan each volume, meaning (since I wanted to be able to keep track of them and ensure the loaning library got the books back in a timely fashion) I had to wait at least three weeks between volumes. It stretched out the time it took to read the entirety of the series to - well, quite a long time. But waiting for each one was sweet. I liked the anticipatio When I first started reading Sandman, which was after I was introduced to Neil Gaiman through American Gods and Stardust, I had to interlibrary loan each volume, meaning (since I wanted to be able to keep track of them and ensure the loaning library got the books back in a timely fashion) I had to wait at least three weeks between volumes. It stretched out the time it took to read the entirety of the series to - well, quite a long time. But waiting for each one was sweet. I liked the anticipation. I didn't want the series to end, nor did I want to rush through it quickly. Now I've finished it, and I got Absolute Sandman volume 1 as my anniversary present. (We've been married 2 years as of the 17th, together 7 years as of today.) It's a monster of a book with its imposing cover and thick pages. Carrying it around feels like I'm really carrying Something. And it's wonderful to read, curled up in a chair with the book propped on your knees and the ribbon bookmark marking your page. The colors are vibrant and the lettering is wonderful. And of course, all these stories are collected in this one book for me. I can blaze through them the way I couldn't when I was reading borrowed copies, or I can stop and really look at each panel, and understand how certain things relate to the all-over story. As for the story - I don't know what I can say about the story. I mean, I absolutely love it, but I can't say that over and over and let it be my review. I like the way Morpheus grows over the course of just this one volume, and how characters are introduced over the course of this book that will become so important over time. I like Morpheus with a pigeon on his head listening to Death. I wince and squirm every time I read the diner scenes, but Dream and the fairies watching A Midsummer Night's Dream makes up for that. I like Sandman. And I'm really happy my birthday is coming up. That means I can get volume 2. But maybe I should wait... prolong the anticipation.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Yeah, I know Gaiman is God and Sandman is his avatar. Still didn't like it. Sorry. Yeah, I know Gaiman is God and Sandman is his avatar. Still didn't like it. Sorry.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ramiz Qudsi

    As I was looking for a book to read by Gaiman, I came across this title. A lot of people have liked it and there were tones of paragraphs written praising the Sandman series by Gaiman. So I rushed to the library and picked this one (couldn't afford to buy this one, way too expensive. But someday!). The book didn't capture my imagination at first. I was like, meh...so there is another book. I kind of got bored and one-third in the book, I left it and picked some other books. Then 2 days back whil As I was looking for a book to read by Gaiman, I came across this title. A lot of people have liked it and there were tones of paragraphs written praising the Sandman series by Gaiman. So I rushed to the library and picked this one (couldn't afford to buy this one, way too expensive. But someday!). The book didn't capture my imagination at first. I was like, meh...so there is another book. I kind of got bored and one-third in the book, I left it and picked some other books. Then 2 days back while cleaning my room (yes, I know I should read more. I mean who has time to clean the room?) I saw this one lying around on my chair (you know the chair everyone has in their bedroom?). And I thought, 'Let's give it another try. At least should finish the first volume.' And tell you what, I found the book irresistible. Honestly, couldn't put it down at all. Was up until 5 am in the morning reading it. And the moment I finished it, went to the library to get the second volume. And from what I have read about the series so far, it only gets better. So yaayyy. I guess, initially there was just the inertia from some other books and hence took me some time to get into this one. Plus getting to know the characters and all and getting accustomed with them took some time as well. Everything said and done, a collection of brilliant stories. And I loved the graphic design of the book as well. Sandman's look is so apt! And Death, she looks so cute (oh well...)! The only problem was the huge size of the book. If Amazon is to believe (and why would you doubt it anyway?), the book weighs a whopping 3.5 kgs. My laptop is a fifth of that.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate M. Colby

    Every friend who reads comics has told me I would love Sandman. Every comic shop clerk I've ever spoken to has recommended Sandman to me after a quick chat. This has happened for six years. I finally read the first Absolute volume. They were all right, and I can't believe that it took me this long. I loved everything about Sandman. The mythology, Morpheus's compassion for and interest in humanity, Death, the smaller stories and their characters and how it all comes together, the larger themes of Every friend who reads comics has told me I would love Sandman. Every comic shop clerk I've ever spoken to has recommended Sandman to me after a quick chat. This has happened for six years. I finally read the first Absolute volume. They were all right, and I can't believe that it took me this long. I loved everything about Sandman. The mythology, Morpheus's compassion for and interest in humanity, Death, the smaller stories and their characters and how it all comes together, the larger themes of dreams and death and what it means to be human. If you love supernatural thriller, dark fantasy, mythology, and comics, come to this party. That's the great thing about books. You're never too late.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mila

    Amazing story, still warming up to the art itself.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    How good was Sandman, really? I asked myself. After all I was in my late teens and it was a long time ago. Should I take a risk on those gigantic anthologies, The Absolute Sandman or a lesser commitment on the comparatively tiddly first paperback collection, Preludes and Nocturnes? How much of it did I actually read back then? There was Death and a Cereal Convention and a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream but there was definitely much more I had not read. OK - let's play with house money a How good was Sandman, really? I asked myself. After all I was in my late teens and it was a long time ago. Should I take a risk on those gigantic anthologies, The Absolute Sandman or a lesser commitment on the comparatively tiddly first paperback collection, Preludes and Nocturnes? How much of it did I actually read back then? There was Death and a Cereal Convention and a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream but there was definitely much more I had not read. OK - let's play with house money and get The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1 for my birthday. Good choice! Because this book is utterly gorgeous simply as a physical object and the art is scaled up from the 8 issue paperback collections. (Also re-coloured, whatever that means for quality - ask a person who knows about comics.) There's also a pile of ancillary material collected at the back, some of which isn't available elsewhere. It's also, for the most part, even better than I remembered! Both Gaiman and who-ever wrote the introduction feel that these comics really found their proper voice with the first appearance of the character Death in issue 8. I agree. This marks the end of the first story arc, involving many aspects of and characters from the wider DC universe and the start of a more isolated but deeper exploration of Gaiman's vision of The Endless and how they relate to life across the universe and time as well as humanity specifically. The Endless are seven "anthropomorphic personifications" that don't seem to always be anthropomorphic at all, since they exist for all types of life - as evidenced by fairies, aliens and cats. They are: Dream, Death, Delerium, Desire, Destiny, Despair...and the other one that I never remember but presumably has a name beginning with "D" in English. They're an interesting bunch. These stories already show Gaiman's in-depth knowledge of world mythology and penchant for literary references, only the most obvious of which did I get back in the day. I noticed many more this time round. Makes me wonder if there are more I still missed... Anyway, to sum up...book gorgeous. Art gorgeous. Stories great. And addictive. Bring me Vol. 2.

  24. 5 out of 5

    jordan

    very fan of the graphic novel format chooses for themselves the moment at which the medium "broke out." Watchmen. Miracle Man. Dark Knight Returns. The Contract With God Trilogy. While there can be no right answer to this question, for me it lies with Sandman, Neil Gaiman's brilliant, literate, and highly entertaining romp through areas as diverse as pop culture, Kaballah, Freudian analysis, serial killers, Shakespeare, death, and other areas too many to number. The story follows one of the endl very fan of the graphic novel format chooses for themselves the moment at which the medium "broke out." Watchmen. Miracle Man. Dark Knight Returns. The Contract With God Trilogy. While there can be no right answer to this question, for me it lies with Sandman, Neil Gaiman's brilliant, literate, and highly entertaining romp through areas as diverse as pop culture, Kaballah, Freudian analysis, serial killers, Shakespeare, death, and other areas too many to number. The story follows one of the endless, creatures that exist as personifications of certain eternal forces, Despair, Destiny, Delusion, Desire, etc, in this case Dream. The story begins with Dream's capture by mystics in Britain between the world wars and takes off at his release in modern times, following his struggle to rebuild his realm, shattered and abandoned for his absence. While the first few issues touch at the edges of the traditional comic universe, Gaiman quickly departs this and enters his own deep textual musings. While a thread binds all the tales here together, a passion play of rise, fall, and self realization, what one finds here most pleasurable are the stories. Dream is the keeper of tales and many are to be found here. Shakespeare's troop performing a Midsummer Night's Dream for the real King Oberon, a man gifted with eternal life, another of a writer who captures and holds bound a muse for her stories, yet another of the trials of ruling hell, and many others. Nor does this volume stand along on its prose, for the art too may be some of the most lovely in any modern graphic novel, rich and varied. While the book comes pricey, fans will love the oversized format and those beginning the collection will quickly notice that the price is only nominally higher then buying the individual soft back volumes. Of one thing I am certain, no one will likely regret taking this fine work home.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    We held out on buying this because it's pretty expensive... but oh my god, the recoloring is fabulous. No longer will I hesitate to recommend the series to people with the caveat that "Um, the first three look terrible, please ignore the art," although I guess it means I will have to loan them this Giant Book (seriously, I think it may be the largest one I own). Sandman on a larger scale is equally fabulous. I don't think I've reread the first three volumes in a while, since the series really he We held out on buying this because it's pretty expensive... but oh my god, the recoloring is fabulous. No longer will I hesitate to recommend the series to people with the caveat that "Um, the first three look terrible, please ignore the art," although I guess it means I will have to loan them this Giant Book (seriously, I think it may be the largest one I own). Sandman on a larger scale is equally fabulous. I don't think I've reread the first three volumes in a while, since the series really heats up on volume four, but it's actually been a joy to find the seeds of so many later stories -- Lita Hall, Calliope, Orpheus, Lucifer, the Faeries, Nada -- and the beginnings of the characters as well. It's amazing to see how assured Gaiman was, the way the characterizations snap into place almost immediately. He does take Dream a little too seriously at first, but part of the joy is later when other characters take him lightly, so it all balances out.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ken-ichi

    Sandman is easily one of my favorite works of fiction. I loved it in high school when I first read it, and I've loved it every time I've re-read the series. Most of what I know about mythology stems from reading this series, as does a significant portion of my vocabulary. I can't recommend it enough. This edition and the rest of the Absolute Sandman series are beautiful, gigantic tomes that ought to come with their own special reading couches, because they are simply not the kind of books you can Sandman is easily one of my favorite works of fiction. I loved it in high school when I first read it, and I've loved it every time I've re-read the series. Most of what I know about mythology stems from reading this series, as does a significant portion of my vocabulary. I can't recommend it enough. This edition and the rest of the Absolute Sandman series are beautiful, gigantic tomes that ought to come with their own special reading couches, because they are simply not the kind of books you can read while traveling or walking or waiting for a bus. In the intro to one of the smaller Sandman collections, Gaiman wrote that art is anything that would stun a burglar, and that that collection was big enough to do so. The Absolute collections are big enough to stun 10 burglars.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Okay, I am intrigued. This looks like an interesting concept - there's Dream (the Sandman) and his siblings, which are somewhat like superheros/Gods of the human world. We will see where this takes us. Though, I was not a fan of the sudden nudity and how ugly some of the characters were drawn. YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads Okay, I am intrigued. This looks like an interesting concept - there's Dream (the Sandman) and his siblings, which are somewhat like superheros/Gods of the human world. We will see where this takes us. Though, I was not a fan of the sudden nudity and how ugly some of the characters were drawn. YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I want to take a star off of my review to account for the number of times this book almost crushed my head while I was reading it in bed, but I just can't bring myself to do it. It was worth every health risk, including the brusied elbows I sustained from 4 consecutive hours of reading whilst lying on my stomach (a tactic I employed after nearly dropping the book on my face for the 5th time). TL;DR: this book weighs a million pounds but god is it beautiful. I want to take a star off of my review to account for the number of times this book almost crushed my head while I was reading it in bed, but I just can't bring myself to do it. It was worth every health risk, including the brusied elbows I sustained from 4 consecutive hours of reading whilst lying on my stomach (a tactic I employed after nearly dropping the book on my face for the 5th time). TL;DR: this book weighs a million pounds but god is it beautiful.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I'm a Gaiman fan, and I got this for Christmas '06. It was my first real introduction to graphic novels, (or as Mr. Neil still calls them: comic books.) I've branched out since then, but this is such an unbelievable body of work, compelling storyline, extraordinarily riveting artwork... If you haven't discovered the Sandman, what are you waiting for? I'm a Gaiman fan, and I got this for Christmas '06. It was my first real introduction to graphic novels, (or as Mr. Neil still calls them: comic books.) I've branched out since then, but this is such an unbelievable body of work, compelling storyline, extraordinarily riveting artwork... If you haven't discovered the Sandman, what are you waiting for?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liss Carmody

    There are things in here about responsibility, reality and unreality, history, literature, and awesomeness. It's gory and vicious and definitely for mature readers, and it's not my favorite genre ever, nor my favorite story. But I don't read too many graphic novels, and for one of my first forays into the genre, it worked very well. There are things in here about responsibility, reality and unreality, history, literature, and awesomeness. It's gory and vicious and definitely for mature readers, and it's not my favorite genre ever, nor my favorite story. But I don't read too many graphic novels, and for one of my first forays into the genre, it worked very well.

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