Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Classics - Sandman #75

The question readers wondered as Neil Gaiman wrapped up his legendary run on The Sandman in 1996 was: how would he tie up the epic tale?

The answer was: he didn't.

Which was just as well, because it was an impossible task.

Over its more than eight years, the comic had covered an amazing variety of tales, introduced a new mythology to the DC Universe (one that virtually no one outside of Gaiman would touch), created innumerable characters and set the bar impossibly high for fantasy tales.

Sandman was always a book about stories (which also happened to include some amazing art), so it was natural for Gaiman to return to the world's greatest storyteller for the final issue - William Shakespeare.

Where a previous visit to the Bard was connected to his story A Midsummer Night's Dream, this time around the focus is on The Tempest and how it relates to both the author and Dream himself.

It's an intelligent, finely-crafted story by a master of the art form, winding together history, art and imagination.

The art is by Charles Vess, and it's beautiful work - expressive, with a gentle, flowing, organic line. He works in a classic style, and I'm a huge fan.

There have been quite a number of Vertigo Comics from DC, but few attain classic status. Alan Moore's Swamp Thing is outstanding, but I think Sandman holds the spot at the top of the list.


Grade: A+


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