Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: The Sandman Vol.1, Preludes and Nocturnes

THE SANDMAN VOL. 1, PRELUDES AND NOCTURNES: an intelligent ‘comic’ book

The Sandman hasn’t been dimmed the slightest by time, for it continues to fascinate the old and new generations. This is the apparent reason why the comic series has been fully recoloured; and so now it appears to be more vibrant compared to the previous editions, which, by the way, were released in a time when colouring technology was still on its baby steps.

The Sandman Vol. 1, Preludes and Nocturnes, begins the saga about the world of dreams and nightmares. It revolves around Dream, as he tries to recover his dream essences, which are scattered in different realms. Now, this appears to be a very generic formula for adventure, so readers might presume that the overall story is nothing special. However, there are many factors that make the story unique in graphic literature.

            From the very first chapter of the very first volume, Neil Gaiman fascinates the readers with occult rituals and magic. Very early into the series, we have discovered that it offers something very dark, and, for some, even satanic. There are lots of blood and gore -- this gives the series a very dark tinge. However, being horrific is not enough to deserve such massive attention from the public. Surely, there is something else in this book -- and that is how Neil Gaiman builds his fictional world. What makes The Sandman universe very interesting is that it is very open to exploration. Everything about it is just so intriguing, like how it is incorporated with the myths and legends that we know today. The prime example of this is the realm of Hell, where we encounter peculiar beings and their master -- Lucifer. This is the point where we realize that the series is actually an interweaving tale of mythology and drama -- and it is one that is done well.

However, these factors are not the main reason why Preludes and Nocturnes is such a captivating book. It is the subtlety behind the prose and language. I couldn’t even count the number of quotes and dialogues that not only leave a beautiful melody to the ears, but also unravel a subtle truth about dreams, wishes, and other surreal fancies of humankind. The comic book is just written in a very lyrical style, and the sentence construction is not far from complex. This poetic style is used to tell a story that is full of drama and supernatural phenomena, and what results is a masterpiece that could even challenge the writing complexities of a novel.

            As for the art style, I must admit that I am in no position to make a technical analysis, and all I can offer is a nonprofessional statement. I think that the art suits the title very well. It has elements that effectively portray the darkness of the franchise. However, I think that some pages still have a lot of room for improvement, for I find a few of them lacking in content -- this is sometimes effective in portraying different atmospheres, but in some cases the lack of content just feel a little forced. Despite this flaw, I still see this book to have incredible art.

I must admit that The Sandman Vol. 1, Preludes and Nocturnes, has impressed me deeply. And what fascinates me most is the idea that this is but a chunk of a story that has branched out immensely. Neil Gaiman is a very talented writer for having the ability to weave such a giant spider web of stories. And, indeed, he knows how to quiver every thread of it.

Related posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment