Sunday, March 14, 2010

Splash Page Podcast 8.1: Amazonian, Sandmanny.

Once upon a time, I scored a TON of comics on the cheap from a little store named I talk about that a little and then Chad Nevett get into our usual comic chit-chat and possibly make fun of a whole bunch of people and or fictional characters.

But we also talk "Sandman," the Neil Gaiman epic that has either fallen out of favor or has become such a venerated classic that no one bothers to actually look at the comics anymore. Its legend, its reputation, has surpassed its actuality. Is it just a goth/emo comic for the 1990s? Is it good-to-middling fantasy? Is it amazing?

Chad and I talk about the first sixteen issues of the series and... well, you'll have to listen to find out.

LISTEN: The Splash Page Podcast Episode 8.1!


Chad Nevett said...

We should have not answered the cliffhanger THIS week. Totally swerve the listeners. Damn. Wish we'd thought of that.

Anonymous said...

I agree more with Tim when it comes to Sandman. I think it's an absolute masterpiece. The only common ground I have with Chad's opinion is that, for me, the characters didn't resonate with me all that much. I thought many of them (the humans we meet, especially) were great characters, but I didn't come to absolutely "love" them the way many Sandman fans did (and the way I think Gaiman wanted me to).

I also think of Sandman as far as away the high-watermark of Gaiman's career. Everything involving fantasy or gods that he's done since seems like a cheap, curtailed imitation of a couple Sandmanish ideas. While I think the cliche of Sandman fans being weepy emo/goth wimps is a gross exaggeration, it sure seems like Gaiman took the stereotype and ran with it. I mean, apparently he has a book out called "Fragile Things". "Fragile Things"? I can't think of a wimpier, oversensitive title!

Sandman stands as the sort of creative fantasy work that only comes along once every twenty years or so. I put it a notch below something like Lord of the Rings in terms of creativity. So I guess it's too much to ask for Gaiman to ever be as unique a writer as he was on that for 75+ issues. If it gets shortchanged in the comics community these days, I guess that's just a byproduct of the sort of people who make up most of the comics reading audience these days (maybe Steven R. Stahl could explain that to us), or maybe it's because Sandman fits more into the canon of great fantasy works, or great literature period, better than it fits into the pantheon of great comic books.

Kind of shocked me to hear Tim say that The Unwritten was a poor man's Sandman. I haven't read Sandman in so long, and had been enjoying The Unwritten. I'm sure I'll still enjoy what Carey's doing after this, but your comment really put things in perspective. While still a great book, The Unwritten doesn't come up to Sandman's ass in terms of innovation, uniqueness, substance.

Timothy Callahan said...

Anonymous, I like your style. But who are you?