The Sandman: King Of Dreams
by Alisa Kwitney
The Sandman, written and created by Neil Gaiman, was one of the most extraordinary comic book series ever produced to date, and has been rightly noticed as such, winning awards no comic book ever has before or will again. There is much to explore in its world, and King Of Dreams is intended as both an entry point to the novice and a reminder to the well-read. But though it collects attractive samples of artwork from throughout The Sandman‘s history and Alisa Kwitney’s fine musings on the history itself, it left me feeling off-balance.
This is a truly beautiful book — as I would expect it to be with the cream of the Sandman artists — and Kwitney’s text is thoughtful and sensitive. As I would also expect, having thought her novel, Till The Fat Lady Sings, was brilliant. But I can’t shake the feeling that this book is, if not unnecessary — how much art really is that? — then certainly swollen beyond its necessary requirements. I’m a longtime fan of The Sandman, and this book is a handy refresher course on its plots, intrigues and curiosities — but Hy Bender’s Companion is an even better one.
What I mean to say is that this book is $35.00 American, and for that money you could buy a couple of volumes of the series itself, if you need an opening to it. Or if you already own the books, you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth $35 to get a lot of material you have and a little that you don’t. Your answer will depend upon your values, and I wouldn’t dream of saying a word against you either way.