Speaking of brothers and sisters (on today’s day), I though it would be nice to take a look at a recent family of brothers and sisters that has permeated into the collective comics consciousness like a tour de force. Although they aren’t very widely known here yet, but many might still have heard of the series in which they appear.
I was introduced to this comic by friends who were lucky enough to study a short course on comics, and the unanimously accepted importance of this series was enough reason to plunge in. And I saw its face, and I am a believer.
Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by many excellent artists, it is a series that has won more awards than any other, and has elevated the potential of the medium several notches. It mixes mythology with horror, thrills with philosophy, and innocent belief with the greatest questions about life and death. And it’s a page-turner.
The central character is, of course, Morpheus, the Lord of the Dreaming, or the Sandman in popular legend. He is one of the seven Endless ones (mythology) who are beyond time, beyond fate, greater even than Gods. And I love the alliterative names – Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, Delirium (in reducing order of age), and they are represented as brothers and sisters, each with a beautiful personality.
That this is a series that needs to be carefully peeled, patiently uncovered and thoughtfully understood is a given. Its total length far exceeds any novel and its scope in vast. It originally begun as a monthly magazine running from 1989 to 1996, and has been compiled into a 10 volume set by Vertigo. It is available in India, but at great cost. Initially it was more of a horror generic, like the Tales from the Crypt. But in the writer’s mind it started to grow into an epic. Individual stories started to interlink, characters started to repeat, stories began to be revisited. In a way it is fortunate to find the compiled editions, because it would otherwise not have been possible for one to follow through all of it.
One wonders how to tackle such a vast story as the Sandman’s. It is bigger than even 10 posts, surely. But as and when I discover something I must share, I will. But until then suggestions on what to write about are invited.